It was an interesting time, over the weekend, for the ten African startups that won a total of $1 million at the grand finale of the maiden edition of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI). The event took place in Accra and was attended by Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire whose brainchild this is to support African entrepreneur.
The biggest winner of the night
Nigeria’s LifeBank was declared the biggest winner and was awarded the sum of $250, 000 to facilitate its business of saving lives. The healthcare startup specialises in the use of technology and logistics to deliver “lifesaving medical products” to hospitals across Nigeria and beyond.
Information reaching us from the event also noted that the company’s Founder, Temi Giwa-Tubosun, was bestowed with the Jack Ma African Business Hero Award. An excited Tubosun was quoted by CNN to have said the following:
“The Africa Netpreneur Prize will give me the resources to grow LifeBank and expand our presence in Nigeria and throughout the rest of Africa. I look forward to continuing my journey to solve problems and make a significant impact on the future of Africa.”
— Africa’s Business Heroes (@africa_heroes) November 16, 2019
The first and second runners-up
Other winners also emerged one of which is Nawah Scientific, a private research centre in Egypt that received $150, 000. Water Access Rwanda was also awarded $100, 000 to facilitate its operations in Rwanda it works to provide access to clean drinking water.
3 other Nigerian startups win
With half of the prize going to the top three winners, the remaining $500,000 was left to be shared between seven startups. Three Nigerian startups got a cut from this sum, and they include the following:
- Thrive Agric: An agric-tech company that works to avail small farm owners access to finance
- DrugStoc: A startup that uses IT to fight counterfeit drugs
- Black Swan Tech Ltd: Works to increase birth registration and immunisation of newborn
Other winners drawn from across Africa include: Afrikrea.com from Ivory Coast, J-Palm Liberia, Mumm from Egypt, and Uzuri K&Y from Rwanda.
— Black Swan Tech (@BlackSWTech) November 16, 2019
The panel of judges at the event included Jack Ma, First Bank of Nigeria’s Chairman, Ibukun Awosika, and Zimbabwean serial entrepreneur and billionaire, Strive Masiyiwa. They were praised for doing “stellar” job at finding the right winners.
Stellar panel of judges with serious questions and actionable advice @AFNetpreneurs in Accra @joetsai1999 Jack Ma, Strive Masiyiwa, and @IbukunAwosika. Down to which slides to remove, governance structures, realistic addressable markets. Look out for it on youtube pic.twitter.com/mdVgKcvbOX
— Aubrey Hruby (@AubreyHruby) November 16, 2019
In the meantime, the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI) is set to give out another $1 million to deserving African entrepreneurs next year. This will be done for ten consecutive years, with $10 million awarded in total.
TLG Capital and Fidelity Bank to invest $20 million on Nigerian SMEs
TLG Capital announced that it would be investing with Fidelity Bank Plc amount to the tune of $20 million on SMEs in Nigeria
Private Equity firm, TLG Capital has announced that it would be investing together with Fidelity Bank Plc, an amount to the tune of $20 million on SMEs in Nigeria.
The funds will be channelled through TLG’s Africa Growth Impact Fund (ADIF), towards the development of SMEs in the country. Notably, the fund will be directed to SMEs that are focused on healthcare, education, consumer sectors, amongst others.
This new investment is in line with the bank’s move to provide innovative funding options and other forms of relevant support to entrepreneurs in the country.
What you need to know
- Fidelity Bank Plc is a commercial bank in Nigeria with over 5 million customers, serviced across its 250 business offices and other digital banking channels.
- According to information from the website of TLG Capital, a total of $303 million loans was still outstanding to SMEs and the unbanked through its portfolio companies.
Why this matters
This new investment will come as good news to SMEs and other entrepreneurs in the country, especially those seeking to obtain loans in the listed sectors.
FG to set up micro, small and medium enterprises in 774 LGAs
The FG has disclosed plans to establish micro-enterprises in the 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) across the country.
The Federal Government has said that it plans to establish micro-enterprises in the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across the country to help create jobs and ensure improvement in the well-being of the local populace.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Dr George Akume, at the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) General Assembly with the Theme: Strategic Positioning for the Future: A New Era, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Akume, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Office of the Minister, Mr Simon Tyungu, said that the establishment of the micro-enterprises was conceived to cushion the effect of the current economic situation.
What the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs is saying
Akume said, “As a ministry, we have proposed the establishment of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises in the 774 local governments in Nigeria based on economic corridors. We believe that this will create jobs and ensure improvement in the well-being of the local populace.’’
Akume also applauded the role played by ALGON during the COVID-19 pandemic in bringing relief to the people at the grassroots despite their limited resources.
The Minister said, “The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has taken some bold steps to reposition the local government administration such as granting of local government autonomy and enforcement of democratically-elected local government councils by the states.”
“This is a clear demonstration of political will by Mr President. The COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the entire country in 2020 was felt more in our local communities. The leadership of ALGON contributed in no small measure, particularly on stimulus packages and advocacy, notwithstanding your financial limitations,’’ he said.
The minister said the Federal Government recognized the fact that people could be reached through the local government area councils and then put some measures in place.
Going further he said, “The Federal Government in its wisdom then realised that the local government area councils are the veritable vessels through which the dividend of democracy will reach the vulnerable indigent citizens.
“Mr President (of ALGON), I urge you to take advantage of this initiative and key into President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to lead 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years. The Federal Government is favourably disposed to attaining this developmental goal.’’
Speaking at the occasion, the ALGON National President, Dr Kolade Alabi, said that ALGON’s general assembly seeks devolution of powers, both financial and administrative, with concomitant fiscal devolution. He said that this is in addition to the request for complete autonomy for local government area councils for effective administration and service delivery to the people noting that such would require the review of the 1999 constitution as relates to local government administration and uniform tenure of the 4-year term for local government administration among others.
What this means
The establishment of such micro-enterprises by the Federal Government will create jobs especially among the unemployed youths and help to boost the economy. This is as the nation tries to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, businesses and households.
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