Keystone Bank Launches Startup Incubator Program

Keystone Bank Launches Startup Incubator Program
Keystone Bank Launches Startup Incubator Program

Keystone Bank Limited, a fast-growing financial services provider, has launched a specialized incubator scheme with offerings to meet the needs of startup businesses.


The Keystone Startup Advantage Programme (KSA Programme) will provide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and startups in Nigeria with the necessary support.


This aligns with the United Nations Envision #2030 Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 8 – to promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all – and President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for the growth of the SMEs sector.


“Recent reports show that foreign venture capital investment is increasingly attracted to the African startup ecosystem, with Nigeria boasting the highest number of startups.”


“Venture capital investments in Africa reached an all-time high in 2019.” According to Partech, 234 African tech companies raised $2.02 billion in 250 equity rounds totaling $2.02 billion. This represented a 74% increase over the $1.16 billion raised by 146 startups in 164 rounds in 2018.


“In 2021, African startups received between $2.25 billion and $2.8 billion in venture capital funding.” “As of August 2021, a national newspaper reported that Nigerian startups raised $276.5 million in seven months,” according to a statement issued by the bank on Monday.


“Several foreign investors are showing increasing interest in investing in Nigeria’s digital economy, owing to the country’s ranking as one of Africa’s leading startup ecosystems.”


“These recent trends have resulted in the passage of Nigeria’s Startup Bill (NSB), which aims to leverage ICT platforms to create jobs while ensuring that the economy’s diversification creates more support for other emerging sectors,” the financial institution added.


Mr Anayo Nwosu, Divisional Head, Retail, SME & Value Chain Division, Keystone Bank, stated that capacity building is critical for the growth and development of SMEs, adding that SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy in every part of the world.


“SMEs are the lifelines of every economy in the world, just as they are in ours.” They make a significant contribution to the GDP of the economy, the creation of jobs and wealth, economic prosperity, and, of course, all of these details to economic growth and development,” he explained.

“There are numerous challenges associated with launching a business in the country, but by tapping into the ideas and experiences shared by industry experts at this training, as well as the grants, the sky is the limit.”


“It is our vision as a bank to impact 100 startups annually through the program, and up to 1,000 startups in the next five to ten years,” he added.


Mr Nwosu also revealed that the KSA program, a three to four-month Investor Readiness scheme, will take a blended approach, offering a hybrid option with virtual and physical sessions.


He also stated that three successful SMEs/startups from the program will each receive a N3 million grant to help them with their business operations.


“The modules will be tutor-led as well as self-study within a user-friendly e-learning platform.” During the course of the program, there will be both group and one-on-one mentoring and coaching sessions.


“The program will serve as a platform for innovative SMEs and tech startups to connect with potential investors.”


“Startups will also be able to gain the knowledge and skills required to accelerate their business to the next stage of growth.”


“The program will launch on January 24 and 25, 2022, with an Open Day webinar titled Building Sustainable Startups.” Applications for interested and eligible tech startups and SMEs with innovative ideas, solutions, and business methods will open on January 31.


“All of the information needed to learn more about the program, its upcoming webinar, and how to apply is available on the bank’s website,” he said.


Keystone Bank is a technology and service-driven commercial bank that provides its customers with convenient and dependable solutions.