On Wednesday 10 July, Orange Corners Nigeria celebrated the start of its first six-month incubation programme for Nigerian entrepreneurs in Lagos. The programme provides 20 talented young innovators with expert training and mentorship as well as access to facilities, networks and supply-chains to start and grow their company. Orange Corners Nigeria is an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands executed by local entrepreneurship platform FATE Foundation and in partnership with local and international companies including Nigerian Breweries Limited and BE Networks.
Orange Corners are platforms for job creation and socio-economic growth across Africa and the Middle East that support aspiring young entrepreneurs in building sustainable and scalable business models for their innovative ideas. Nigeria is the sixth country in the region to host an Orange Corner programme, following South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Morocco and Sudan. During 2019, new programmes are also expected to launch in – amongst other countries – Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Iraq, Algeria, Ghana, DR Congo, the Sahel region and Egypt. Entrepreneurs from these different hubs will have the chance to exchange knowledge and experiences and explore opportunities and synergies together through an exchange programme to be launched in 2020.
Deputy Ambassador of The Netherlands to Nigeria and Head of the Dutch Embassy in Lagos, Michel Deelen: “If I had to qualify Nigeria with just one single word, I would say ‘entrepreneurial,’ as I am convinced that there is no other place in Africa where you have such a great concentration of young creatives minds ready to conquer the business world!”
Following the announcement of the application process for the first Orange Corners Nigeria incubation programme, over 430 applications were received. After a two-day bootcamp at FATE Foundation on 24 and 25 June, and a pitch event on 28 June, 10 female and 10 male entrepreneurs were selected to form the first incubation cohort for Orange Corners Nigeria. Their business ideas address pressing issues in the areas of circular economy, agriculture, creative industries, health, education and technology. All contribute directly to the challenges of Nigeria and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
Executive Director of FATE Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi: ‘’The energy coming from the bootcamp is electrifying and we look forward to working with other partners in the ecosystem to provide business incubation support for the 20 selected entrepreneurs over the next 6 months.”
The formal incubation programme will start on Tuesday 16 July at the Orange Corners workspace at FATE Foundation in Lagos.