Bolt, a ride-hailing company, is making strides in driver empowerment through its newly launched accelerator program. In collaboration with the Nest Innovation Park, Bolt is set to create opportunities for drivers to embark on entrepreneurial journeys.
Bolt has officially begun accepting applications for the Bolt Den, a €25,000 ($26,712) seed fund aimed at supporting business proposals developed by Nigerian drivers. These proposals should align with Bolt’s Africa City Vision, which centers around sustainable transport solutions.
The Bolt Den initiative will be closely coordinated with The Nest, an innovation hub, which will provide a network of mentors to guide eligible drivers in refining their business plans. The culmination of this endeavor will be a pitch day scheduled for November.
“At The Nest, we maintain a deliberate and discerning approach when selecting our partners and undertaking projects,” said Oluwajoba Oloba, Co-founder at The Nest.
“We hold a high level of enthusiasm for the Bolt accelerator program due to its alignment with Bolt’s commitment to the prosperity and welfare of its stakeholders, a quality that distinguishes Bolt from its counterparts,” he said.
According to Oloba, this initiative not only promises to enhance the quality of life for individuals within the Bolt ecosystem but also to make a valuable contribution to the innovation landscape of our ecosystem and the overall GDP of our country”
The company noted that in November it will launch the Bolt Academy, a tailored online training program for Nigerian drivers to promote business development skills and support future career development. The Bolt Academy online training will be provided by global leader Coursera and supported by in-person sessions with PM4Success International.
Together, these two initiatives will form the Bolt Accelerator Program, which seeks to redefine the journey of drivers as entrepreneurs and amplify economic growth prospects across Nigeria.
“Ride-hailing has always offered drivers the flexibility to earn whilst pursuing wider career opportunities” said Caroline Wanjihia, Bolt’s Regional Directors of Rides for Africa, “we hope this program will take this
a step further, supporting concepts that will transform drivers’ lives, make a real difference to communities and could even one day be incorporated into Bolt’s own operations.
She said, “Drivers are the heartbeat of our business, and we believe that offering more developed economic empowerment opportunities makes our platform a more attractive place to come. It’s a win-win and we hope to take the program further afield in Africa.”
“We’re thrilled to play a role in unlocking potential and nurturing entrepreneurship among Bolt drivers,” said Hadi Moussa, Managing Director EMEA at Coursera.
“Through this program, we’re not just fostering individual growth with vital business skills, but also positively impacting Nigeria’s economic landscape. It underlines our belief in the transformative power of education on lives and communities,” Moussa said.