Financial Services Innovators (FSI) is set to mark its second anniversary with its 4,674 members, and many more still joining. The firm reiterated its commitment to the creation of an enabling platform for innovators to develop and commercialize their ideas. The non-profit organization has in the past two years it was launched created a system that produces talents for the tech ecosystem – from growing a community to clarifying the implication of certain policies on startups, nurturing businesses, partnering key stakeholders and educating startups and innovators.
To mark the event, the Executive Director of FSI, Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, said the organization has launched an essay competition for students in tertiary institutions and would handsomely reward winners. “This is an opportunity to transfer knowledge and encourage students in tertiary institutions in their academic pursuits,” Kola-Oladejo said. She also said that FSI’s key focus areas for 2022 include developing its founders’ community to raise unicorns in Nigeria and Africa.
Discovering employable tech talents globally and engaging others eager to embark on an entrepreneurial journey and enhance collaboration in the ecosystem are part of next year’s goals.
“We would continue to organize tech-related challenges for several sectors, including education, health, transportation and insurance, to solve financial inclusion challenges as well as create products for the underserved markets,” she stated. According to her, Nigeria’s fintech scene has been fraught with several challenges lately, but opportunities abound for innovators and startups. “We have seen several startups in Nigeria become unicorns despite the economic situation and other limiting factors in the country. Our primary goal is to build, grow and support an innovative and collaborative ecosystem.”
It has been a rewarding experience,” she said.
From ideation to market, FSI has supported several startups, Kola-Oladejo noted. This includes the launch of FSI’s Appstore on its sandbox to serve as a clearinghouse for startups to interface with a network of partners and venture capitalist firms. She said: “To date, over 46 people have visited our startup clinics and received the requisite guidance for their business since its launch in April 2021. “We believe that Nigeria’s fintech ecosystem has a great number of tech talents and innovative products with potential for global markets.”
The Campus Ambassadors programme, launched in October 2021, in collaboration with the Nigeria Association of Computing Students, facilitates FSI’s plans to nurture talents in tertiary institutions across the federation. She said the sandbox has had over 200 APIs from many providers since its launch in December 2019.
— Courtesy ‘The Guardian’, Nigeria