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New startup and support portal launched

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By Abraham Adekunle

This is a part of the Nigeria Startup Act implementation newly signed into law.

Nigeria has just unveiled a novel platform, the Startup Support and Engagement Portal, serving as a crucial component in realizing the goals set forth by the Nigeria Startup Act. In May 2021, the Nigerian presidency and a group of influential figures from the Nigerian Technology industry came together to launch the Nigeria Startup Act. This Legislation has been devised with the purpose of establishing guidelines and frameworks that promote collaboration between startups, as well as governmental and regulatory bodies. By doing so, it seeks to foster the expansion of Nigeria’s thriving tech ecosystem.

In October 2022, Nigerian then-President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new startup support portal into law, following the approval of the Federal Executive Council in December 2021 and the passage of the Senate in July 2022. The purpose of this legislation is to provide a platform that enables Nigerian startup ecosystem to operate at a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness, thereby putting it at the forefront of African nations. The new portal will provide an array of services that include access to business resources, mentorship programs, financial support, and networking opportunities. It will also offer information on upcoming regulations, government programs, and market trends. Additionally, the portal will facilitate seamless collaborations between investors, startups, and other stakeholders.

FG first announced the bill in 2021, alongside partners.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Startup Bill, which was a coalition of efforts to bring stability and certainty to the regulatory environment, was announced first in 2021. The initiative was led by the Nigerian presidency, in collaboration with 30 tech leaders including Ventures Platform founder Kola Aina and Future Africa founder Iyin Aboyeji, NITDA officials and the Minister of Digital Economy Isa Pantami. One of the objectives of the Nigeria Startup Bill is to bridge the engagement gap between startups and regulators.

A proposed council, made up of members from both parties, which meets regularly to harmonize on regulation, executes this. The bill stipulates the quality of persons on the council, number of council members, quarterly meetings, among others. Contrary to the popular belief that regulators lacked communication or understanding, Osaretin Guobadia, the Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President for Digital Transformation, had presented a different perspective. According to him, the key players in Nigerian tech ecosystem, such as investors, media, users, and Infrastructure providers, have always made efforts to engage and influence each other without giving regulators the same level of attention or importance.

Platform will streamline processes in the startup sector.

The Nigeria Startup Act’s continuous execution involves the establishment of a fresh startup portal. This platform aims to streamline the process of discovering and gathering Nigerian startups, venture capital firms, Innovation hubs, and centers of innovation. Its primary goal is to encourage interaction and provide assistance to all participants within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. According to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the introduction of the portal will enable the country to commence the establishment of the consultative forums for startups.

These forums will help Nigeria in the selection of representatives for the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The primary purpose of these forums is to encourage discussions and achieve agreement among participants within Nigeria’s ecosystem. Startups, venture capital firms, hubs, and innovation centers from Nigeria are warmly welcomed to enroll on the platform. You can access the complete document in its entirety for public viewing here, whereas a concise overview can be located here.

Several countries have also established their own startup bill.

Italy implemented the world’s initial dedicated legislation for startups back in 2012, while Tunisia and Senegal took the lead in Africa by enacting similar laws. This has been a major milestone in the development of startup businesses, and other countries are now following suit. Africa is now leading the way with several countries currently progressing at different stages in establishing their own framework for startups. These include Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Kenya.


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