Bolt, Africa’s hailing operator is set to empower Nigeria’s entrepreneurial drivers with €25,000 in its accelerator programme to support business plans around sustainable transport.
This seed fund is available to support business plans developed by Nigerian drivers that link to its Africa City Vision, based around sustainable transport. This will be run in close partnership with The Nest, whose network of mentors will support eligible drivers in developing their business plans before a pitch day is held in November.
This €25,000 seed funding is in line with Bolt’s Den innovative accelerator programme in partnership with the Nest Innovation Park (‘the Nest’).
“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, while speaking on what the partnership means to Nigerian drivers.
“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 operations,” she said.
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 programme further afield in Africa.”
According to the company, the application period is set to commence on September 18 and conclude on September 29. Selected participants will be equipped with invaluable mentorship, workshops, and access to funding, all the ingredients for a recipe for entrepreneurial success.
Drivers will be invited to pitch business ideas connected to Bolt’s new African City Vision (which is about creating cities that prioritize people’s well-being, sustainability, and accessible mobility for everyone).
Here are the programme stages
1. Idea Submission and Screening: Drivers’ innovative ideas undergo a thorough evaluation.
2. Idea Interviews and Selection: Top 20 drivers proceed after in-depth interviews on their ideas.
3. Mentorship for Top 20: Twenty drivers undergo comprehensive mentorship to prepare for the final pitch.
4. Pitch Day and Seed Fund: Drivers pitch their ideas for a chance to win seed funding and access to valuable mentorship. The top 10 most innovative ideas will each receive 2000 euros.