Are you:

  1. Dutch startup – or based in the Netherlands – and do you have a solution for a challenge related to one of the SDGs and relevant to the Nigerian context?
  2. Active in the agro-food sector or do you offer a solution that contributes to the theme “sustainable cities and circular solutions”?
  3. Excited to travel to Nigeria together with Minister Kaag and other Dutch companies from July 9-12 to explore business opportunities?

Then apply now for the Nigeria Startup Challenge!

What’s in it for you?

  • Join the 3-day trade mission led by Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, to Lagos, Nigeria (max. 2 persons per startup) from the 9 July – 12 July. This will include company visits, matchmaking with local partners, networking, flights and hotel. Not included:  food and drinks not included in the mission fee, visa and vaccinations,
  • A meet and greet with Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag.
  • A chance to discover new business opportunities for your startup in Nigeria

How to apply

  • Please send a video (max. 2 min) about why your startup should accompany the Minister on this trade mission to Nigeria! Be creative!
  • Send along basic information regarding your startup (pitch-deck); what is the value proposition of your product or service, what is the target segment, what is the business model.
  • Send your submission to [email protected]
  • Application deadline: 24 May 2019


  • The best video pitches will be selected. The selected startups are asked to come to the Hague to convince a jury, consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and RVO, that they should participate in the trade mission. The pitching day for finalists will take place on 7 June 2019 in The Hague. 
  • The best startup is selected based on the below criteria and their pitch on 7 June.

Criteria for participation:

  • You have to qualify as a startup, meaning:
    • Your company does not exist longer than 5 years
    • Your company offers a new and innovative product with a high growth potential
  • Your startup has to offer a solution for a challenge related to one of the SDGs and relevant for the Nigerian context;
  • Your startup is already in business, meaning that you are already selling products or services to customers;
  • Your startup has to be active in the agro-food sector (could also be agro-logistics or other related themes) or offer a solution related to the theme sustainable cities and circular solutions;
  • Business experience in Africa is a plus;
  • We strongly encourage young and female entrepreneurs to take part in this challenge! In case of equal qualifications age and gender will be decisive in our judgement.

Disclaimer: If there are not enough applications that fit in with the criteria, the challenge will not be continued. This go / no go decision will be made preceding the pitch event at RVO.

Kingdom of the Netherlands