• Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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MTN urges Nigerian companies to invest in startups

MTN urges Nigerian companies to invest in startups

Tobechukwu Okigbo, chief corporate services officer, of MTN Nigeria has urged Nigerian firms to invest in startups.

Okigbo stated that investment in Nigerian startups by major companies will enable the growth of the ecosystem.

Speaking on the current state of the tech ecosystem at the Technology Breakout Session Panel at the Ehingbeti Economic Summit, held in Lagos, Okigbo said, “From a funding perspective, major Nigerian companies can enable the growth of the ecosystem by making major investments in these startups. This will send a signal to the external community and most certainly increase the amount of investment these startups will receive. Nigerian companies should partner with startups as a corporate social investment to create shared value.”

Meanwhile, he noted that MTN recently announced the MTN Pulse Blow My Hustle initiative, which aligns with the brand’s promise to support existing businesses and startups.

The initiative launched recently, according to MTN is aimed at providing grants and capacity building to 100 young Nigerian business owners aged 16 to 30.

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The 100 shortlisted participants will undergo a two-week training session after which 20 finalists will compete for a range of grants as high as N10 million, which will be awarded based on the quality of pitches presented during the grand finale, according to MTN.

According to Disrupt Africa’s ‘The Nigerian Start-Up Ecosystem Report 2022’, Nigeria, with at least 481 active start-ups across the country, constitutes one of Africa’s big four startup ecosystems, along with Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa.

Between 2015 and 2022, 383 tech startups raised a total of $2,068,709,445, making Nigeria one of the continent’s most popular investment destinations.

Citing the report, MTN stated that earlier 2022, Nigerian fintech firm Flutterwave received a $250 million Series D round, the largest round on record which reflects the growing maturity of the Nigerian ecosystem and its fintech prowess.

Despite this growth, MTN explained that Nigeria faces significant challenges, including a lack of financing options and inadequate broadband internet infrastructure.

The communication company said, “Nigeria’s success in the tech ecosystem necessitates ongoing infrastructure investment to ensure the country keeps up with global counterparts such as Silicon Valley, New York, London, Boston, and Beijing. Recent developments, such as the Nigeria Startup Bill and MTN’s commercial 5G rollout, are expected to propel growth that will enable Nigeria to catch up with its global counterparts.”