Lagos Innovates Looks to Support Yaba’s Start-ups

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (which already supports MSMEs with subsidised loans) is rolling out an initiative to support the city’s start-up ecosystem.

Lagos Innovates, launched in December 2017, wants to support not only Nigeria’s entrepreneurs, but also the support system that has popped up around them. It is undertaking six initiatives. Here is a breakdown of the initiatives.

Workspace Vouchers

Start-ups can apply for vouchers that will contribute N12,000, N20,000, or N150,000 ($33, $55, or $415) per month toward their co working space fees. The size of the reward depends on the the stage of the start-up. The state government partnered with several co-working spaces on this initiative, and the offer extends only to these hubs.

Hub Loan

Tech hubs in Lagos will be able to borrow up to N50m ($140,000) at 0% interest rate for four years from the government in order to grow operations or open a new space.

Event Sponsorship

In order to promote the tech ecosystem’s development, the government is making grants of up to N5m ($14,000) available for various events (pitch events, hackathons, etc.).

Programme Vouchers

Like workspace vouchers, the government will be subsidising entrepreneurs who want to take part in programmes that will benefit their start-ups’ development (accelerator programmes, programming courses, etc.). Expected to launch in Q2.

Accelerator Programme

Lagos Innovates will be partnering with an accelerator programme in the city for two cohorts of ten start-ups to go through a twelve-week programme. The first ten start-ups are expected to start the programme in Q2.

Co-Investment Scheme

The government will look to de-risk early stage start-ups by matching funding put in by other investors (angels, incubators, seed funds, etc.). Expected to launch in Q3.