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Bolt Accelerator Program completes post-mentorship exercise for the top 10 winners

Bolt, Africa’s leading ride-hailing platform, has concluded the last and final phase of its Bolt Accelerator Program – an initiative in collaboration with The Nest Innovation Park to empower its driver community to redefine their roles as entrepreneurs and amplify economic growth prospects across Nigeria.

The post mentorship graduation ceremony was held virtually on January 19, 2024 to send forth the top 10 winners.

Launched on September 19, 2023, the Bolt Accelerator Program has empowered drivers beyond conventional ride-hailing services and contributed to the economic growth of drivers in Nigeria.

The initiative witnessed a myriad of applications from drivers in diverse states in Nigeria, their brilliant ideas were meticulously scrutinised, and appraised, and ultimately the top 10 innovative business ideas emerged as winners, each receiving a seed fund of 2000 euros but proceeding to start a 6-week mentorship phase of the Bolt Den to mark a significant milestone celebrated during the virtual closing ceremony.

The initiative is in line with Bolt’s goal to contribute towards the development of Nigeria’s economic growth whilst keeping Bolt’s African City Vision project, which encourages the adoption of shared mobility in the ongoing development of wider transport ecosystems.

Recent analysis from Oliver Wyman Mobility Forum and Bolt highlighted that the African shared mobility market is the world’s fastest growing and is set to double to $8bn by 2030, creating more than 550,000 additional earnings opportunities while bringing significant economic and social benefits.

Speaking on the importance of the mentorship exercise, Bolt’s Senior Public Policy Manager WA & NA & CA, Weyinmi Aghadiuno, reiterated that the mentorship exercise is important to help nurture the winners and prepare them for the real-life tasks ahead.

“The program’s legacy will persist through follow-ups, meticulous record-keeping, and ongoing growth initiatives even in other countries, fortifying Bolt’s commitment to fostering innovation, empowerment, and increased mobility in Africa.

“The journey is not over; it is just starting, and we would love to be able to refer to the growth of these businesses five years down the line,” Weyinmi said.

One of the participants, Arinze Emmanuel a driver from Abuja whose idea aimed to tackle security issues focused on car theft by developing a website to monitor cars and disseminate information swiftly said, “I thank Bolt for this initiative, the mentorship phase has really equipped me to address the challenges my business idea aims to tackle.”

Another participant, David Uviowho, a driver from Port-Harcourt with the business solution to ensure efficient deliveries with the use of bikes for urban logistics said, “The program has been worth every single moment invested, and I am now operational thanks to the impact of it.

I will make Bolt proud.” He attributed his growth to the program’s educational value which he said significantly contributed to the realisation of his business idea.

Jennifer Modinatu, the only female Bolt driver among the top 10, whose zeal to encourage women driving to earn for themselves developed the car-for-hire business to encourage female inclusion in the ride-hailing ecosystem.

She encouraged women, urging them to engage more actively in initiatives such as the Bolt Accelerator Program introduced by Bolt.

Temitope Stephen, winner of the Oliver Wyman Mentorship, a driver from Lagos state with the ecofriendly business idea of converting petrol vehicles to compressed natural gas has kickstarted his private mentorship sessions with the Oliver Wyman team under seasoned professional as he commences operation of Raindom Energy Services Ltd.

The top 10 participants radiated enthusiasm, basking in the joy of the positive turnaround in their lives as they reintroduced themselves as owners of CAC-registered companies, sharing insights and heartfelt moments from the transformative journey in the Bolt Accelerator Program.

Bolt and The Nest stand united in propelling African entrepreneurs toward a future of innovation and economic growth.

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