Oyo Expresses Commitment To Growth Of Startups As Unicorn Den Launches In Ibadan.
The Oyo State government has assured entrepreneurs of its commitment to continue to support the growth of startups in the state by providing an enabling environment for growth.
Bayo Akande, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Oyo State on ICT, stated this in Ibadan recently at the launch of Unicorn Den, an organisation built to support start-ups.
He said that the Oyo State government was in the process of building infrastructure that will support the growth of SMEs including an 11MW Independent Power Project (IPP), harmonised fibre infrastructure policy for over 300km of fibre optic cable in the state, CCTV cameras for security among other initiatives.
Akande commended the founders of Unicorn Den, saying that the organisation “is looking to empower the youth, and will greatly increase opportunities and quality of life for a lot of vibrant youth in Oyo State. I have seen the ecosystem here and I do know there are a lot of brilliant young people looking for a chance, and for guidance.
“We in government have our role to play, but it is also important when you have private organisations taking it a step further. I am proud of what Unicorn Den has been able to achieve.”
Founded by Dr Simpa Dania and Funmi Roberts, the Unicorn Den seeks to to fill a need in Oyo State/South-Western Nigeria’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In a chat with Tribune Online, Dr Dania explained that “We seek to midwife 100 Unicorns ($1 billion valuation technology-based startups) over the next decade.”
Speaking further on the role of Unicorn Den, Bukola Haastrup-Ashagidigbi, Associate Partner at Funmi Roberts and Co, said Dr Dania and Mrs Roberts have been planning this for years. A lot of structures have been put in place. We intend to partner with a lot of organisations within the country and outside. It is a hub, a one stop shop where startups will have the opportunity to access various resources in terms of financing, advisory services, and more.”
Speaking on the sustainability of the organisation, she said, “We are sure that with the kind of people we have brought on board and the kind of sustainability plan we have, we will certainly attain our goals.”
Prior to the launch event, Unicorn Den hosted entrepreneurs to panel sessions hosted by experienced professionals in the startup space including Dr Omobola Johnson, a former minister of communications, Gabriel Petrus of the International Chamber of Commerce, among others. Kemi Oladipo, a managing partner at Funmi Roberts and Co, explained that Unicorn Den with its online presence is open to work with startups throughout the country and in Africa.