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Digital Access Program’s SIDE Initiative to Catalyze Innovation and Impact in Nigeria

Social Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship

Social Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship (SIDE) initiative, a flagship project under the Digital Access Program (DAP) by the UK NG Tech Hub, is geared towards addressing the critical need for accessible, safe, and secure digital access among underserved populations in Nigeria.

In collaboration with the Network of Incubators and Innovators (NINE), the SIDE project has engaged entrepreneurs across Nigeria’s six geopolitical regions, utilizing selected innovation hubs to provide support. The aim is to address sustainable solutions that target economic data, risk capital, infrastructure, and advisory gaps within key sectors. By leveraging digital innovation, the project seeks to alleviate poverty and address challenges faced by SMEs in identified markets and sectors, particularly those affecting underserved populations.

The SIDE project is a 4-month acceleration program tailored for entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs developing sustainable, relevant, and scalable solutions to local challenges through digital innovation. Focused on various economic indicators aimed at poverty alleviation, the program is supporting entrepreneurs in developing sustainable and scalable solutions across key sectors such as health, education, food security, employment, and climate change.

The initiative began with the design and validation of a research-focused challenge brief in collaboration with Nigeria’s academic ecosystem. Subsequently, a call for applications was made, resulting in over 900 submissions. From these, 60 startups were selected to participate in the Masterclass phase, conducted in collaboration with partner hubs in Adamawa, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kwara, and Osun.

Following the Masterclass and pitching sessions, 12 startups were chosen to participate in a 16-week acceleration program, culminating in a Demo Day scheduled for June 25, 2024, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

This event aims to provide SIDE startups with a platform to showcase their progress, attract potential investors, receive valuable feedback, and network with industry experts, thereby facilitating the growth and scalability of their businesses.

Event Highlights:

The Demo Day will feature stakeholders from Nigeria’s vibrant tech ecosystem, providing them with an opportunity to witness impactful solutions and extend their support. Join us as we accelerate change and empower communities through digital solutions.

To register for the SIDE Demo day: visit

Having any questions, further information or need to make inquiries, kindly email us at [email protected] or visit our website:

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