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UK to empower Nigeria entrepreneurs with grants, partnerships

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UK to empower Nigeria entrepreneurs with grants, partnerships

Over 150 Nigerians in the fashion and film industry have been selected by the British government to participate in the Nigeria Creative Enterprise Support Programme.

The Nigeria Creative Enterprise Support Programme is an initiative by the British Council and the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) which focuses on the development of talent and innovation within Fashion and Film sectors of the arts and creative industries.

The 11-week programme for the creative entrepreneurs began with a 2-week face to face intensive training programme for 108 selected participants and will be followed by an 8-week incubation programme for 50 participants who make it through.

At the end of the 11 weeks, 10 entrepreneurs will pitch to receive grants to scale their businesses.

In the second phase, the Business Advisory Support programme, which includes a master class and study tour for hub managers and sector support representatives of entrepreneurs, will provide a platform for participants to expand their networks, exchange knowledge, increase collaboration and partnerships with their UK counterparts.

“The idea (of the programme) is to train them (entrepreneurs) and make sure that they don’t just have the passion and flair and talents, but they are also in tune with the business needs,” the British Deputy High Commissioner, Laure Beaufils, told The Guardian on Thursday.

She said the programme would help creators to have an idea “into what financiers are looking into. To make them savvy and challenge them to link that talent and capacity to business – on the back of this, they can have a sustainable business from their talent.”

Director, Higher Education, Skills and Enterprise, British Council, Adetomi Soyinka, said the programme is a way to linking Nigeria’s film and fashion industry “as well as stimulate UK – Nigeria linkages between individuals and institutions to share, learn and collaborate within their respective sectors.”

The programme is a collaborative effort of four UK and Nigerian partners – Afrinolly (Nigeria) and Henley Business School (UK) for the film sector, The Assembly Innovation Hub and Fashion Foundry (Cultural Enterprise Office, UK).

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