FATE Foundation, Dutch bank support startups

Determined to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, FATE Foundation, Netherlands Enterprise Agency and the Netherlands Consulate-General in Lagos, have recently hosted the Capital Unleashed Roundtable.

In a statement, the organisers said that in the rapidly evolving world, young entrepreneurs were the driving forces behind innovation, economic growth, and sustainable development, hence the need to boost access to capital for them.

The statement added that the ideas of young entrepreneurs and ventures hold the key to addressing societal challenges and creating opportunities for a brighter future.

It stated that the event underscored the commitment of the Netherlands to address the financing needs of young entrepreneurs together with players in the Nigerian ecosystem, create pathways for growth and sustainability, and propel Nigeria’s innovation ecosystem to new heights.

The Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Geoffrey van Leeuwen said, “With Nigeria emerging as one of Africa’s leading startup ecosystems, the need for accessible finance is more pressing than ever.

Bringing together government institutions, banks, venture capital funds, development organisations, and young entrepreneurs, these engagements will forge partnerships that will drive tangible outcomes in the realm of entrepreneurship and innovation.”

The organisers further said that the objective of the event was to initiate and develop ideas for new financial products that can bridge the early-stage financing gap, ranging between 50,000 and 250,000 euros.

“This initiative comes as a follow-up to the Orange Corners Innovation Fund, providing finance up to 50,000 euros and finance provided via FMO subsidiaries starting from 250,000 euros, both Dutch initiatives in Nigeria.” the statement said.

It added that despite the vibrant entrepreneurial landscape, many startups struggle to secure the necessary funding to scale their ventures beyond the initial stages.

“Although Nigeria is the most popular investment destination on the continent, access to finance remains a significant barrier for many budding entrepreneurs; particularly in the pre-commercial phase. This lack of growth capital impedes economic growth, entrepreneurship, and innovation across various sectors,” the partners said.

The Executive Director of FATE Foundation, Adenike Adeyemi, said, “I am excited about the collaboration between the Netherlands and Nigeria to accelerate access to growth capital for young entrepreneurs. This initiative aligns seamlessly with FATE Foundation’s commitment to fostering job creation, and innovation, addressing finance gaps, and propelling Nigeria’s startup ecosystem to new height.”

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