Nigeria Launches Groundbreaking Startup Portal To Drive Innovation

By  |  November 23, 2023

The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken a significant step towards fostering innovation and collaboration within its burgeoning startup ecosystem with the recent launch of the Startup Support and Engagement Portal. Dr. Bosun Tijani, a notable stakeholder in Nigeria’s tech scene who is now Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, unveiled the portal on Tuesday night, marking a crucial milestone in the implementation of the Nigeria Startup Act.

This milestone achievement follows the enactment of the Nigeria Startup Act in October 2022, signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari. Aimed at resolving longstanding uncertainties within the startup industry, this legislation outlines specific criteria for companies seeking official recognition as startups. Essential to this recognition is the acquisition of a startup label through the newly launched portal,

Dr. Tijani, in an official announcement via a post on his X handle, highlighted the portal’s pivotal role in aggregating Nigerian startups, venture capital firms, hubs, and innovation centres. He emphasized its function in facilitating engagement and support for these crucial players within the ecosystem. Moreover, the portal will serve as a platform to establish consultative forums, enabling the selection of representatives for the National Council for Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Nigeria Startup Act delineates stringent requirements for companies aspiring to attain startup status. Notably, only registered limited liability companies operational for a maximum of ten years from their date of incorporation qualify. The acquisition of the startup label bestows a range of benefits, including access to the Startup Investment Seed Fund, designed exclusively for startups. This fund aims to provide financial support and technological relief, bolstering funding opportunities for startups to fuel their operations.

Additionally, labelled startups stand to benefit from tax reliefs and incentives outlined in the Act. These incentives encompass pioneer status privileges and percentage-based tax relief for eligible startups meeting specific employment criteria, particularly favouring employees with limited prior work experience.

The implementation of the Startup Support and Engagement Portal signifies a pivotal stride towards nurturing innovation and collaboration while fostering a conducive environment for the exponential growth of startups in Nigeria. As the portal gains traction within the ecosystem, it is anticipated to catalyze heightened participation and support from both governmental and private stakeholders, propelling Nigeria’s startup landscape, a leading hub in African tech, to greater heights.

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