Nigeria launches i-DICE program to spur entrepreneurship
Nigeria today will unveil the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE) program aimed at up-scaling entrepreneurship and innovation in digital technologies and creative industries.
The program seeks to promote entrepreneurship in support of government’s job creation efforts.
i-DICE is expected to create 849,970 new jobs (77,270 direct and 772,700 indirect),and add 77,110 new entrepreneurs to the economy.
Nigeria vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the president of the African Development Bank (ADB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and other partners will launch the program in Abuja today.
The nationwide program will cover all the 36 states of Nigeria, and young entrepreneurs (15-35 years) are expected to benefit from multi-million dollar i-DICE program.
In addition, early-stage growth technology-enabled ventures, and creative sector micro, small and medium enterprises also qualify to be part of the i-DICE program.
i-DICE program is co-financed by the ADB, the Islamic Development Bank and Agence Française de Développement.
The federal government of Nigeria is providing counterpart finance through the Bank of Industry, which also serves as the executing agency.
A steering committee chaired by the vice president’s office will oversee the initiative in cooperation with a technical committee made up of business leaders, and government ministries, departments, and agencies.
Also, DICE Fund, a venture capital outfit will be created under the program, to draw additional funding from institutional and other private investors.
In a statement, the ADB says: “The launch marks the rollout of a flagship initiative that will drive vital funding for Nigeria’s digital and creative industries. In addition to the leaders of government, corporations, and development finance institutions, the event will feature youth working in the digital technology and creative sectors, students, and investors.
“i-DICE is a major step toward significantly up-scaling entrepreneurship and innovation in digital technology and creative industries, which include film, fashion, and music.”