President Buhari inaugurates the national council for digital innovation and entrepreneurship based on the Nigeria Startup ACT 2022 (NSA 2022) at FEC. Photo: State House
The Nigerian Startup Bill, also known as the Nigerian Innovation and Entrepreneurship Act, was recently passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 19th 0f October, 2022.
The law aims to support and promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria, particularly addressing youth unemployment.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, over 60% of the country’s population under the age of 25 are unemployed which places the rate of youth unemployment at over 40%.
This has led to a significant number of young people being unable to find work and contribute to the country’s economy.
The Nigerian Startup Act therefore, aims to address the issue by providing support and resources to young entrepreneurs and startups. One of the key benefits of the law is the establishment of a National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council which will be responsible for coordinating and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria, including the development of policies and programmes to support young entrepreneurs.
The Council which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday April 5, will also provide funding and mentorship opportunities to young entrepreneurs and startups through the Nigerian Innovation Fund.
The Nigerian Startup Act also includes provisions for tax incentives for businesses that invest in innovation and entrepreneurship. This will encourage businesses to invest in startups and young entrepreneurs, providing them with the resources and support they need to grow their businesses.
Support to startups
Additionally, the law allows for the creation of innovation zones, which will provide a supportive environment for startups and young entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses.
The law also makes provision for National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition that will provide young entrepreneurs with the opportunity to showcase their ideas and compete for funding and resources to help them turn their ideas into reality.
It mandates the provision for the establishment of a National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Incubation Fund that will guarantee financial assistance to young entrepreneurs and startups in the form of grants, loans, and equity investments.
This will help young entrepreneurs access the capital they need to start and grow their businesses, which is often a major barrier for many young entrepreneurs.
Another important aspect of the Nigerian Startup Bill is the establishment of a National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award that will recognize and celebrate the achievements of young entrepreneurs and startups in Nigeria. This will provide a platform for young entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses and receive recognition for their contributions to the economy.
The awards will also serve as an inspiration for other young entrepreneurs, encouraging them to start and grow their own businesses.
Fundamentally, the Act calls for the inclusion of entrepreneurship education in the national curriculum, which will help to develop the entrepreneurial mindset and skills of young people in Nigeria.
In addition, the law ensures the protection of intellectual property rights to help young entrepreneurs to protect their ideas and inventions and ensure that they can benefit from their creations.
This will also attract more investment in the start-up ecosystem and will encourage more young people to start their own businesses.
No doubt, the establishment of the Nigerian Startup Act is a strong indication of the government’s commitment to addressing youth unemployment and promote entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
Moving forward, government at all levels must ensures that the law is implemented effectively through the provision of funds and resources.
With the right implementation, the Nigerian Startup Bill has the potential to be a game-changer for the Nigerian economy and for young entrepreneurs in the country.
Writing by Hemen Dyako of our ICT Directorate; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu