Startup Engagement Portal: Bosun Tijani's Agenda for Digital Entrepreneurship

Startup Engagement Portal: Bosun Tijani’s Agenda for Digital Entrepreneurship

The interactions and connections of individuals and organizations in Nigeria’s digital space make it an interesting prospect for startups that can thrive thanks to the environment that has gradually developed over the years.

It is impressive that this initiative has driven many young people to become smart entrepreneurs by leveraging technological tools such as online marketplaces, AI delivery mechanisms and services. This is driving the growth of many businesses and gradually putting an end to demand. and supply gaps.

Interestingly, the ever-expanding digital inclusion program, which includes access to technology, digital skills and literacy, community engagement, and policy development, aims to provide fair opportunities for people to participate in and benefit from the digital world. , has bridged the digital divide.

The adage “All you need to survive in Nigeria is data” has become a prophecy for the current level of social media engagement. This has made it easier to conduct online business, consume content, interact with online communities, and interact with customers. It is no coincidence that technology contributed his 8.44% to the country’s GDP in 2022.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, has taken some bold actions in his determination to accelerate ICT literacy and digital inclusion in Nigeria while witnessing a thriving industry. One of his historic steps is the launch of a startup support and engagement portal.

The portal is part of the implementation of the Nigeria Start-up Act (NSA) signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari. The NSA was enacted into law on October 19, 2022. This legal framework has enabled startups to access public and private funding. It was expected to promote the identification and aggregation of start-ups, venture capital firms, hubs and innovation centers.

The Act applies to all companies established under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) whose activities affect the creation, support and development of labeled start-ups in Nigeria. To determine which companies have the right metrics to be considered technology-enabled, the law provides for “labeling”, a benefit given to eligible startups and grants access to incentives. .

To be eligible for the label, a startup must be a limited liability company and have been in existence for 10 years or less. The law mandates the establishment of a portal to facilitate the issuance of labels and bridge the gap between regulators and start-ups. This includes the requirements for companies to obtain the Start-Up label and the obligations they must comply with.

Start-up companies have access to a special fund created under the Act. The legislation establishes a Startup Investment Seed Fund to provide capital and technical relief. This means more access to capital to grow the startup ecosystem. Start-ups can easily finance their operations by taking advantage of available grants and loans.

Start-ups will further benefit from several tax breaks and incentives under the law. These labeled startups are eligible for pioneer status incentives and other tax breaks. Therefore, labeled start-up companies with at least 10 employees, where 60% of employees have no previous work experience within three years after graduation or vocational program, are eligible for percentage-based tax relief.

Impact of NITDA
In recent years, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), led by Yoshifumi Inuwa, has been working on a youth-centered philosophy of empowering young people, taking them off the streets and reducing crime. The solution is not to promise them white-collar jobs that don’t exist. Rather, the solution is ICT literacy.

NITDA has committed energy and resources to the full implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy, which aims to create solutions that train and engage youth on how to increase productivity while leveraging ICT. Further growth has been made possible by the creation of a platform for ecosystem stakeholders to come together and discuss the future direction of the startup revolution.

The initiative will educate and deploy technical knowledge to many communities, establish training centers across the country, start-up empowerment programs, and other activities to provide access to and benefit from digital services to rural populations. You can now raise it and enlarge it. Launch their business.

NITDA has liberalized Nigeria’s technology ecosystem by bringing ICT knowledge to youth and women in areas where such opportunities have only existed in the dreams of local residents. The institution has given millions of young Nigerians the skills, tools and life-changing opportunities to realize their dreams.

In academia, media, real estate and other fields, NITDA supports many up and coming businesses and helps them become self-reliant by providing them with the resources, computers, other tools and internet facilities they need to operate. I’ve been doing it.

6,000 iPads were distributed to educational institutions in Nigeria to facilitate virtual education, and partnerships were secured with leading technology companies such as Microsoft, Huawei, KOICA, and Cisco. Additionally, the 2022/2023 blockchain technology training for over 30,000 Nigerians supported innovation towards building digital governance and inclusion.

The Minister has come up with the best ideas for innovation and revolution in this field. He found the right foundation laid by his predecessors and his NITDA efforts. With the opening of the portal, start-up companies will usher in an era of abundance. The ultimate beneficiary of Mr. Tijani’s passion for the law’s provisions and its implementation will be the economy.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Minister are determined to improve the living standards of young people by providing funding, mentorship and training to the endless opportunities in the digital space. Nigeria will soon be filled with millions of digital entrepreneurs who will also create opportunities for others to realize their potential and earn a decent living.

Zeenat Sambo is a Tech Digest staff writer in Abuja


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