Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of Nigeria announced the launch of a $618 million fund under a new program tagged “investment in digital and creative enterprises” (iDICE) to empower young investors in the technology and creative sectors of the country.
- The initiative, launched in Abuja on March 14, 2023, directly targets young Nigerian entrepreneurs, innovative early-stage growth technology-enabled ventures, as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- In addition, it is expected to benefit Enterprise Support Organizations (ESOs), which include accelerators, venture capital and private equity firms.
- The program aims to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in digital technology and the creative industry by providing direct jobs and additional funding for technology-enabled startups and creative businesses.
What was said
“Government must provide more support for startups and small businesses, and investors must provide more funding,” Osinbajo said.
About the initiative
- The initiative, led by Nigeria’s advisory council for technology and creativity, was approved on December 13, 2021, and is expected to run until December 1, 2027.
- Partners with the Federal Government of Nigeria on the initiative include the African Development Bank (AfDB), which contributes $170 million, and the French Government, under the Agenceé Française de Development, adding $116 million to the fund.
- Other partners include the Islamic Development Bank, expected to contribute $70 million subject to the approval of its board.
- The Nigerian government would contribute $45 million in counterpart funding through the Bank of Industry. At the same time, institutional and private sector investors are expected to contribute up to $217 million under an independently managed venture capital fund tagged DICE.
- iDICE is expected to impact about 175,000 young people and attract investments in more than 200 tech and creative startups. It is also expected to generate $6.4 billion for the Nigerian economy and create six million new jobs.