• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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FSI assembles 4,674 members, builds start-up innovators in two years

FSI assembles 4,674 members, builds start-up innovators in two years

As it marks its two years of existence, Financial Services Innovators has successfully assembled 4,674 members, building start-up innovators and contributing to talent growth and economic development.

FSI going into the New Year is optimistic of harvesting new talents, and therefore reiterates its commitment to the creation of an enabling platform for innovators to ideate, develop and commercialise the ideas.

As a non-profit organisation, the group has created a system that produces talents for the tech ecosystem: from growing a community to clarifying the implication of certain policies on startups, nurturing businesses, partnering key stakeholders and educating startups and innovators.

The efforts are aimed at aiding the Federal Government of Nigeria’s initiative to reduce the unemployment rate, currently put at 33.3 percent, according to tradingeconomics.com.

To mark its two years anniversary, Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, executive Director of FSI, said the organisation launched an essay competition for students in tertiary institutions and would handsomely reward winners.

“This is an opportunity to transfer knowledge and encourage students in tertiary institutions in their academic pursuits,” Kola-Oladejo said.

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She also said that FSI’s key focus areas for 2022 include developing its Founders Community to raise unicorns in Nigeria and Africa.

Discovering tech talents that are employable, globally, and engaging others eager to embark on entrepreneurial journey and enhance collaboration in the ecosystem are part of the New Year goals, she said.

“We would continue to organise tech-related challenges for several sectors, including education, health, transportation and insurance, to solve financial inclusion challenges as well as create products for the underserved markets,” she stated.

According to her, Nigeria’s fintech scene has been fraught with several challenges lately, but opportunities abound for innovators and startups.

“We have seen several startups in Nigeria become unicorns despite the economic situation and other limiting factors in the country. Our primary goal is to build, grow and support an innovative and collaborative ecosystem. It has been a rewarding experience,” she added.

From ideation to market, FSI has supported several startups, Kola-Oladejo noted.

This includes the launch of FSI’s Appstore on its sandbox to serve as a clearing house for startups to interface with a network of partners and venture capitalist firms.

She said, “To date, over 46 people have visited our startup clinics and received the requisite guidance for their business since its launch in April 2021.

“We believe that Nigeria’s fintech ecosystem has a great number of tech talents and innovative products with potential for global markets.”

The Campus Ambassadors programme, launched in October 2021, in collaboration with the Nigeria Association of Computing Students, facilitates FSI’s plans to nurture talents in tertiary institutions across the federation.

She said the sandbox has over 200 APIs from many providers since its launch in December 2019.

Stating that key players in the ecosystem has partnered FSI to support startups, she commended Sterling Bank, First City Monument Bank, Ecobank, Zenith Bank, Heritage Bank, Wema Bank, Fidelity Bank, Union Bank, StanbicIBTC, Fidelity Bank, AXA Mansard, Flutterwave, Capricorn Digital and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System for tremendously supporting FSI’s growing community of over 4,674 members across the country.

“I would like to use this medium to say a big thank you to all our donors – Flourish, EFInA and partners – for the support thus far, while we look forward to greater opportunities in the new year,” Kola-Oladejo added.