Five Female entrepreneurs on Thursday emerged winners at the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub pitch competition aimed at supporting gender-inclusive economic growth.
Honey Ogundeyi, the Country Director of the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, said that the programme was aimed at bringing 15 of the continent’s most ambitious development-focused women entrepreneurs to the United Kingdom in January.
Ogundeyi made this known during the Africa-UK Female Tech Founders 2020 programme held at the British Deputy High Commissioner’s Residence at Ikoyi, Lagos.
” The five entrepreneurs who emerged winners during the pitch competition are Damilola Emuze, founder of Scholarx, Damilola Olokesusi, of Shuttlers mobility and Dr. Funmi Adewara of Mobihealth.
“The two others are Ifeoma Uddoh of Shecluded and Keturah Ovio of Limestart, “Ogundeyi said.
NAN reports that other participants at the pitch competition were Agorite, Easy shop Easy cook, Mumspring, Roving Heights and 9IJAKIDs.
She said that the entrepreneurs would gain access to world-class mentoring time with UK investors and expert training to help scale their companies.
Harriet Thompson, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Nigeria, said that UK-Africa Investment Summit would take place six weeks from now.
Thompson said that the winners would be in London during the summit, adding Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) would cover all costs and programmes to help support them grow their businesses.
“We are pleased to be hosting an event that brings support for women, whose empowerment is vital for Nigeria’s future prosperity and stability.
“Nigeria’s tech sector accounted for over 11 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP in 2018 (compared with 9 per cent from oil and gas) and is the fastest-growing part of Nigeria’s economy.
“In 2018, Nigeria’s technology companies attracted $300 million (+167 per cent YoY) in funding, mainly from foreign investors, “she said.
Thompson said that the UK was supporting and looking forward to strengthening its partnership further in Nigeria.
She said this was necessary because the technology could be a key enabler to boost Nigeria’s growth, tackle poverty and create jobs.
‘The UK is trying to build and expand that eco-system in different ways.
“We now have our very own Tech Hub here in Nigeria and the Director is Honey Ogundeyi. The hub is funded by our Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport.
‘’The UK-Nigeria tech hub focuses on three key areas: skills and capability development, digital ecosystem building and facilitating innovation collaborations between Nigerian and UK tech businesses.
“This will help to build skilled, entrepreneurial and networked populations which will create jobs and address digital inequality.’’
She said the tech hub had supported companies such as Riby, Innovation Corner, Social Lender, and Farmcrowdy to grow their businesses, build links with the UK’s thriving tech sector.
Thompson, who noted that Nigeria was one of the most exciting technology sectors in Africa, said the hub would support the growth of the thriving digital eco-system in the country.
According to her, the outfit will also provide support to scale innovations and drive growth in tech investment in Nigeria.
“As Europe’s leading tech hub, UK is a credible partner. We generate more billion-dollar tech businesses than any other country on the continent.
“We have a network of regional tech clusters which reflect a dynamic and growing industry across the whole of the UK with London as the centre of Europe’s technology sector.”
The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport in 2019 launched the UK-Nigeria Tech hub as part of international Tech Hub Network in partnership with the British High Commission in Nigeria.