Chief Corporate services officer of MTN Nigeria Tobechukwu Okigbo has urged firms in Nigeria to invest in startups.
He disclosed that investing in Nigerian startups by major firms in the country will lead to the growth of the startup ecosystem.
While speaking at the Technology Breakout Session Panel at the Ehingbeti Economic Summit, held in Lagos, he stated that companies in Nigeria need to collaborate with startups in Nigeria, as a corporate social investment to create shared value.
In his words, “From a funding perspective, major Nigerian companies can enable the growth of the ecosystem by making major investments in these startups.
“This will send a signal to the external community and most certainly increase the amount of investment these startups will receive. Nigerian companies should partner with startups as a corporate social investment to create shared value.”
On the other hand, Mr. Okigbo disclosed that in a bid to support small businesses and startups in Nigeria, MTN has launched the “MTNPulse Blow My Hustle” initiative which is aimed at providing grants and capacity-building to 100 young Nigerian business owners aged 16 to 30.
According to MTN, the 100 shortlisted participants will undergo a two-week training session after which 20 finalists will compete for a range of grants as high as N10 million, which will be awarded based on the quality of pitches presented during the grand finale.
Meanwhile, with close to 340 start-up founders in 2022 and a $680 million financial injection into the Nigerian tech ecosystem in 2022, projecting the Nigerian tech space as a promising industry is valid.
In the first quarter of 2022, the startup sector witnessed an influx of investors. It is reported that Nigeria is the most popular tech startup investment destination in Africa.
Between 2015 and 2022, 383 tech startups raised a combined US$2,068,709,445. With at least 481 startups active across the country as of August 2022, Lagos leads the way with no fewer than 425 – 88.4 percent.
In conclusion, funding Nigerian start-ups is a necessary culture that needs to be inculcated in the consciousness of the major firms in the country which will contribute greatly to the nation’s economy.