Young Nigerian Entrepreneurs, Innovators & Lucrative Business Ideas To Watch Out For In 2018

nigerian innovators 2018

January 10, 2018 – Looking For Business Ideas, Don’t Know Where To Start? We Hope This Inspires You

Young Nigerian Entrepreneurs, Innovators And Lucrative Business Ideas To Watch Out For In 2018

By Daniel Essiet 

An exciting time lies ahead for young Nigerian innovators and entrepreneurs with big and bold business ideas this year.

Nigeria is set to celebrate entrepreneurship, innovation and disruption across the small and medium enterprises and technical space. This is because the nation is going to witness enterprising entrepreneurs, technologists, company builders and investors that will promote ventures of all sizes from startups to enterprises.

Innovators To Watch Out For  

Passion Incubator( PI) co founder Olufunbi Falayi is an innovator to watch. He is determined to help Nigerian entrepreneurs turn their visions into reality with the aid of technology, which has shaped virtually every sector: banking, healthcare, transportation, education, agriculture . PI is a technology startup incubator, in Lagos, that helps early stage founders validate their startup ideas and refine their business model.

With innovation hubs, having become a mainstay of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, analysts expect some of the best minds to shine a spotlight on Nigerian tech innovation excellence. They expect young innovators and entrepreneurs, to come out from Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), to provide solutions that will help to change the lives of Nigerians. In line with this, Facebook will open a “community hub space” this year to encourage software developers and technology entrepreneurs.

The centre would host an “incubator programme” to help develop technology start-ups, while it will also train 50,000 Nigerians in digital skills. CcHub is billed to play a major role in the project.Last year, CcHub made two moves in May to tap talent and investment abroad. The Lagos-based innovation space launched its Diaspora Challenge in London: a programme that offers up to $250,000 and nine months of mentorship to startup ventures run by Africans living in the United Kingdom(UK), United States(US) and Europe.

CcHub operates its Next Economy accelerator programme and Growth Capital fund, which take equity in early-stage startups while offering business support. The programme is open to businesses in three categories -¯education, fintech, and energy¯with a criterion that their startups “solve a clear problem that affects a large number of people in Africa.

Another  innovator to watch is Hanson Johnson. He is Akwa Ibom’s foremost tech entrepreneur and CEO of Start Innovation Hub. The tech focused hub is based in Uyo. Aimed at stimulating economic growth in the local community, the hub helps tech startups by providing work spaces, internet and power. They also provide seed funding, mentoring and access to business expertise. His efforts have helped place Uyo in the spotlight as an emerging tech city.

Other analysts are expecting forward-thinking individuals and startup to push the boundaries in everything from e-retailing, agri tech, e-travel, e-education, business incubation , fintech to security and cloud technology.

E-Commerce Sector

For stakeholders, the year is going to be an eventful one with more Nigerians focusing on building their own online stores. E-commerce is already a thriving industry in Nigeria, especially, Lagos.

Online platforms such as Jumia, Konga, Yudala, Payporte,Kara, Fashpa, Gloo.ng; OLX; Wakanow, will push for Internet customers this year. Despite shrinking purchasing power, retail sales still sustain the big players while the new entrants continue to struggle.

Like the Managing Director, CEO PayPorte Global Systems, Eyo Bassey Francis, noted, the challenge is finding ways to encourage more Nigerians to make more online transactions with innovative solutions to boost online sales, through trouble-free deliveries and returns.

A lot of young entrepreneurs are building and hosting online stores . There are now platforms that enable e-commerce companies and marketplaces to sell to consumers in international markets.

Yenne-eMarket, an online trading platform, founded by Akan Don Udom, connects buyers and sellers of old and new products and services is a platform to watch.

It was started in 2016, after he resigned from a teaching job, as an errand running service. Currently, it still offers domestic and cooperate errand services such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, babysitting, package delivery among others.The platform connects people with international admission and flights agents who help people with flight bookings, visa processing, hotel bookings and local logistics for travelers.

So many online groups will emerge this year, offering a commodities’ marketplace that connects farmers with customers. Between 2015 and last year, many young entrepreneurs have established online platforms which offer to save consumers trips to markets by delivering to their doorsteps farm produce and food stuff. The platforms operate both web and mobile-based supply platform for customers to order supplies such as vegetables, groceries and confectioneries.

Specific websites and platforms will provide fertiliser, improved seedlings, agro-chemicals, extension, advisory and disease early warning..

Hotels.ng

Hotels.ng founder Mark Essien is an entrepreneur to watch. Hotels.ng, raised $1.2 million to expand across Africa. Investors include EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund and Omidyar Network.

Users performed more than a million hotel searches on the site last year, while 70,000 new customers signed up. Hotels.ng’s growth in its home market hinges on two factors: Nigeria’s Internet penetration rate, which is the highest in Africa and still increasing rapidly, and the government’s investment in its tourism industry, which is expected to contribute 5.8 percent of its gross domestic product by 2024.

Uber alternatives

Transportation might be a pain in Nigeria. but it is also a business opportunity. Poor coordination and the deteriorating state of the sector is promoting private sector competitiveness in the bid to provide solutions and attracting new businesses. Last year was really challenging for Uber, with rival service, Taxify, headquartered in Estonia, trying to get a large chunk of the market with its services through smarter products. The two may remain the major players; however, many transport sub sector specific applications and platforms will be inaugurated with a focus on hard to reach locations.

Online farmers market

There is an array of startups that are expected to do great things this year.

For instance, Farmcrowdy, a digital agric platform,having raised $1 million from investors including Techstars, Cox Ventures and Social Capital, will bring more small scale Nigerian farmers to a broader market . One of the latest entrants is Grain Capitals, a digital platform that gives opportunity to investors to invest in grain storage.With support from African Development Bank and others, watchers expect the food ecosystem to receive a lot of venture funding flowing into the area.

ThriveAgric

ThriveAgric acts more like a middleman servicing farmers and individuals interested in investing in farming. For individuals, it allows easy and insured investment with a promise of 23% ROI in less than a year. While farmers get access to the funding needed to embark on their farming operations.

Since inception last year, Thrive Agric has made notable achievements. The startup claims to have sold out more than 200 hectares of farmland, which is not up to a fraction of the 80 million hectares of arable land Nigeria is blessed with. Also, it was admitted as part of Ventures Platform’s second cohort, which got it $20,000 in funding.

Fintech

The lifeblood of the nation’s emerging and growing digital marketplace is the presence of mobile payment solutions that are instant, seamless and secure. This has led to the emergence of payment solutions that enable seamless payment experience between marketplaces, sellers and buyers. So many fintech companies have birthed, including , Startcredits.com, to provide online loan marketplace for entrepreneurs to fund their start-ups, promoting financial inclusion in the bid to fix the access to credit problems.

A fintech to watch is Social Lender, a digital lending solution based on social reputation on mobile, online and social media platforms. Social Lender is designed to bridge the gap of immediate fund access for people with limited access to formal credit. Social Lender uses its own proprietary algorithm to perform a social audit of the user on social media, online and other related platforms. Loans are guaranteed by the user’s social profile and network allowing users to then borrow from banks and other financial institutions based on their social reputation.

One area innovations are expected is in mobile payments with more digital payment platforms growing out of the challenge of United States online payment provider, PayPal, not allowing Nigerians to withdraw money from its platform.

Flutterwave, a payments platform is making it easier for banks and businesses to process payments across Africa. U.S. investors have invested $10 million into it.

Flutterwave is backed by an impressive collection of VCs: Omidyar Network, Social Capital, Greycroft, Khosla, Green Visor and more.

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