By NKIRUKA NNOROM
Nigerian social technology entrepreneurs are to witness a boost in their creativity as the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) plans to partner with Co-Creation Hub Nigeria in the development of Nigeria’s information technology sector with the planned transformation of the social technology space in the country.
The partnership which is the first of its kind in Nigeria is being formed with the aim of rewarding and encouraging innovative ideas among social entrepreneurs.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is an institution dedicated to the promotion and celebration of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa, while Co-Creation Hub Nigeria (CcHub) is Nigeria’s first open living lab and pre-incubation space dedicated to catalysing creative social technology ventures.
A statement from the TEF observed that the TEF will contribute seed funding to 20 technological ventures in a bid to grow the industry.
“Through the partnership, TEF will contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria’s emerging technology industry from the “Silicon Lagoon” by providing managed seed funding to 20 technological ideas/ventures targeted at typical social challenges faced by the average Nigerian.
It further stated that the fund will support the novel use of technology in several key areas of the economy including healthcare, education, agriculture, governance, inclusive technology, small business development, and finance.
“By focusing on the early stages of high-impact, results-oriented ideas/ventures, the seed funding will support experimentation and prototype development in order to accelerate the adoption of the solutions. Each technology venture will then have the potential to become a self-sustaining profitable social enterprise.
“On its part, the Lagos-based CcHub will act as an incubator designed to accelerate the successful development of the funded social technology ventures through an array of business support resources and services developed and orchestrated by the hub’s management.
In addition, the group will lead co-creation initiatives and facilitate multiple stakeholders to work together to create novel technologically-driven solutions for the myriad of social challenges that Nigerians face,” it added.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, noted that the partnership was part of the broader effort to develop an integrated venture pipeline development process in Nigeria.
He explained that the Co-Creation Hub would be working at the sweet spot, equipping emerging entrepreneurs with a passion for transformative social and economic wealth creation in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
He added: “It is my belief that our collaboration with CcHub will help provide job creation opportunities across a broader geography than CcHub currently operates, and ultimately improve the investing space in Nigeria.”