Start-up Act gets immediate boost

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The Nigeria Startup Bill (NSB) signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last week has started getting immediate positive reactions.

This is as telecom company, MTN Nigeria says it is set to invest in Nigerian owned start-ups through a new campaign tagged  ‘MTN Pulse  BlowMyHustle’.

The new campaign aims  to economically empower Nigerian youths involved in scalable businesses.

Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Adia Sowho, said “The ‘hustle spirit’ amongst  young Nigerians is truly inspiring as they are innovative and entrepreneurial.   She promised that MTN has vowed to support that ‘hustle’ so that their dreams can become reality. “Young business owners have told us what they need, and with MTN Pulse  Blow My Hustle, we will share business skills from experts in relevant fields and create access to financial grants. We look forward to the transformation that this initiative will propel,” she added.

Everything the MTN initiative, appear to tally with the objectives of the Start-up bill which has now become an Act.

The Act emanated from a bill which was a joint initiative of Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem and the presidency to harness the potential of the country’s digital economy through co-created regulations.

It seeks to provide an enabling environment for the establishment, development and operation of startups in Nigeria, as well as providing development and growth to technology-related talent capable of positioning Nigeria’s startup ecosystem as the leading digital technology centre in Africa.

The law establishes a council responsible for formulating and providing general policy guidelines for the realisation of the objectives of the startup law. It is empowered to review policies and directives of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), which may affect the operation, establishment and investments in a startup.

The new law prescribes that the council will design and implement a training and capacity-building programme for startups.

The council will also collaborate with the National Universities Commission (NUC), universities, and polytechnics within Nigeria to develop modules, and programs and hold workshops aimed at impacting knowledge necessary for the establishment and running of a start-up in Nigeria.

‘Side hustles’ amongst Nigerian youths have become prevalent compared to previous generations. According to a  2019 Geo Poll, side hustles have become fast-rising, with Nigeria leading the pack at 44.4 percent, followed by Kenya at 40.8 percent. This report sampled youths from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania, and found  some of the major side hustles include agriculture, entertainment, ICT, online business, logistics, and food and beverage sectors, among others. 

MTN said its campaign is geared towards further building entrepreneurial skills amongst Nigerian youths and providing them with the right principles to excel in various business industries.

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