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British Council rewards 10 music entrepreneurs with seed funding

British Council rewards 10 music entrepreneurs with seed funding

Following the completion of their successful business pitches to a panel of judges in the British Council’s Creative Enterprise Support programme, 10 music entrepreneurs have emerged as winners and rewarded.

The British Council, United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities rewarded the winners with a total of £20000, with each receiving a prize of £2000 as seed funding towards the growth of their businesses. Apart from the seed funding, the winners will have access to further mentorship with key music industry players courtesy of Imanage Africa.

The winners selected were; Nurat Chioma Eluma, Pius Momoh Oshogwemoh, Ife Adediran, Adenike Adegbite, Tomisin Akinwunmi, Ralph Udofa, Olufisayo Odebode, Uzor Daniel, Inioluwa Baderinwa and Ibedu Kenechukwu.

Over 300 music entrepreneurs applied for the opportunity and 60 were selected through a screening exercise, which includes, former works done in the industry, age and level of interest and availability. The 60 music entrepreneurs initially participated in an intense two-week training programme, which included artistic, technical and enterprise training tailored to the needs of the local sector and was followed by a 6-month incubation programme for 30 entrepreneurs from the cohort who made it to the next phase. The incubation programme included direct business support and mentorship.

The Creative Enterprise Support Programme is a British Council initiative, which provides young creative entrepreneurs with access to artistic, technical and enterprise skills training as well as mentorship and coaching opportunities.

The recently completed programme, kicked off last year with 61 music entrepreneurs selected through an open call and was delivered by iManage(NG), while MusicAlly(UK) also selected through an open call for the delivery partners. This year’s edition of the programme focused on the enterprise strands in the music industry to explore more efficient, sustainable and environment friendly ways of running profitable music businesses in Nigeria.

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“Leveraging on the UK and Nigeria’s expertise within the music sector, the programme aims to support capacity development of creative entrepreneurs as well as stimulate UK–Nigeria linkages between individuals and institutions to share, learn and collaborate within their respective sectors”, said Adetomi Soyinka, director, higher education, skills and enterprise, British Council.

Due to the impact of Covid-19 and an attempt for countrywide coverage, the programme was structured to be delivered online and the past seven months have seen iManage and MusicAlly, our delivery partners, closely working with the group and helping them structure their music businesses. 15 finalists pitched their businesses, with 10 of them emerging as winners. On June 28, 2022, each finalist was given five minutes to make their presentation virtually to the judges of the contest, while the judges used one minute to give their feedback on the presentations.

Giving more insight into the music business, Godwin Tom of Imanage Africa said, “The Creative Enterprise Support Programme started in December 2021 with a two-week intensive training course, which was followed by a mentorship and coaching process that lasted over 6 months and led us to the pitch finale. The growth of these businesses has been phenomenal and we look forward to seeing them succeed”.

Uzor Daniel, one of the winners, stated that: “The British Council CESP programme was a turning point for my business as it redefined most of our processes and illuminated our flaws, which were all addressed critically by the coaches. Also, the funding has created a smooth sail into the next phase of our business”.

Adenike Adegbite, one of the winners stated that, “The CESP programme by British Council, Imanage Africa and MusicAlly was an amazing learning and networking experience for me. The information was rich, detailed, applicable and relevant at this time. I feel totally grateful for the icing on the cake, £2000 grant. This would help us with additional assets acquisition and marketing efforts”.

Uju Dubas-Agbasi, project manager, arts & creative economy, British Council, explained that: ”The Creative Enterprise Support programme is targeted at young creatives, who are doing things on their own but are limited in various areas. We train them to run their businesses properly, give them more knowledge, exposure and bring in trainers from Nigeria and the UK to widen their scope, help them run their business better and make money”.

The highlight of the programme was the presentation of cheques to the winners by Brenda Fashugba, head of arts, Nigeria Regional Lead, Creative Economy SSA, British Council and Idowu Akintade, director operations, British Council Nigeria.