Last Friday at the British residence in Lagos, the British Deputy High Commission today hosted the Nigerian leg of the 2019 Go Global Africa Programme. 15 start-ups, selected from an unprecedented 340 entries, presented their pitches to a combined Nigerian and British panel of tech experts at the British Deputy High Commissioner’s Residence in Ikoyi, Lagos. The winning entries will now travel to the UK in late March for a two-week immersive programme of support.
The businesses who pitched are all active in fields aimed to create a better future for Africa, with a specific focus on Water, Connectivity, Digital Health, Fintech and Agritech.
UK Deputy High Commissioner Laure Beaufils said:
“I am delighted to host the 15 pitches today. The huge Nigerian interest in Go Global shows just how much huge entrepreneurial talent and potential already exists in Nigeria’s digital economy. I’m committed to bringing together the best of the UK’s tech sector with Nigeria’s tech entrepreneurs. This is a win-win for both our economies. The Go Global programme is the first of many support programmes, particularly in the areas of tech and financial inclusion that we will be working with Nigeria on, following the commitments made last August when the Prime Minister visited Nigeria. “
She also added that due to the volume and quality of applications received in Nigeria the number of Nigeria, two additional slots had been awarded, bringing the number of winners up to 7 from 5.
The winning Nigerian entrepreneurs are : RemindMe, an app by Innovation corner that would use USSD and text to remind new mothers of vaccination dates, Piggybank; an automates savings and investment solution, Social Lender; a money lending solution that uses social media platforms, Thriveagric; a program that lowers the entry barrier for people willing to invest in agriculture by connecting farmers to crowdsourced finance, Helium Health; a hospital management software, Helpmum; an app that provides healthcare information to combat maternal and infant mortality, and eTrash2Cash; an online platform that will help low income & marginalized women earn & save cash benefits for gathering trash for recycling.
Prominent UK tech sector leader Gary Stewart, Director of Wayra UK and a panel judge, said: “I’ve been deeply impressed by the quality of the Nigerian start-ups pitching today. The UK’s tech sector thrives on international collaboration and I look forward to seeing more Nigerian companies look to the UK for finance and business opportunities.”
Minister for Digital Margot James said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to support Nigerian start-ups and entrepreneurs to build their businesses and develop solutions to global challenges. I congratulate those firms chosen to participate in this exciting and intensive programme in the UK. It is an integral part of the deep UK-Nigeria tech partnership announced during Prime Minister May’s visit to Africa in August and will be a real boost to those using technology to improve people’s lives.”
The UK is ideally placed to be Nigeria’s go to tech partner. The UK has produced 1 in 5 of the continent’s billion-dollar tech unicorns and is home to the big European tech investors, with 7 of Europe’s 10 leading unicorn venture capital hunter funds. More than 2.1 million people work in the UK’s digital economy. The scheme aims to boost both countries’ economies and help the UK achieve its aim of being the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business.