By Biola Lawal
The federal government has invited young innovators and entrepreneurs from North Central and South East to apply for support on the platform of private-sector driven “Start-up Nigeria’’ empowerment programme.
Mr Godwin Arigbonu, the Communication Associate of the programme, said on Thursday in Abuja that applications into the programme has been kick-started by the coordinating firms, opening from April 7 to April 19.
“Interested candidates are invited to apply via the website www.startupnigeria.ng.
“They are expected to take advantage of the opportunity and have their innovative ideas taken from mind to market,’’ he said.
He assured them that the empowering programme would help them a great deal in entrepreneurship development team.
Arigbonu described the Start-up Nigeria coordinating private firms as Emerging Platforms, partnering with Ventures Platform Foundation and Genesys Tech Hub to implement the programme in the regions.
He said the programme “has been designed by the Federal Government to help Nigerians with amazing, innovative ideas, create viable products go to market and gain traction’’.
“The Start-up Nigeria project is an incubation programme in partnership with existing hubs and enterprise development organisations for young Nigerian startups in the North-Central and South-East regions in the early traction phase of their enterprises.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Startup Nigeria is being anchored by the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) in the Office of the Vice President as part of the Federal Government’s support for Innovation Hubs across the country.
He said the current programme “will mainly be focused on finding startups/innovators, who either had ideas or start-up to solve the challenges of agriculture and governance in the North-Central region.
According to Arigbonu, the programme will also look into commerce and finance in the South-Eastern areas of Nigeria.
He noted that the implementation of the programme was a fulfilment of Federal Government’s promise to support entrepreneurial growth.
“ The APC-led government of Nigeria has made great strides in fulfilling its promise to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the nation by partnering with existing enterprise development organisations across the country,” he said.
Vice-President Yemi Osinabjo had stated that the Government would support eight private sector-led innovation hubs with one in each of the six geo-political zones of the country with Lagos and Abuja having each of the private sector-led hubs.