African ride-hailing operator, Bolt, has joined financial forces with Nest Innovation Park to package €25,000 to support business plans developed in Nigeria to support a robust city transportation system.
The fund comes under its Accelerator program which empowers drivers to go on an entrepreneurial journey.
The seed fund is available to support business plans developed by Nigerian drivers that link to Bolt’s Africa City Vision, based around sustainable transport.
The Nest will use its network of mentors to support eligible drivers in developing their business plans before a pitch day, slated sometime in November. The pitch time will coincide with Bolt’s November launch of Bolt Academy, a tailored online training program for Nigerian drivers to promote business development skills and support future career development.
The Bolt Academy online training will be provided by global leader Coursera and supported by in-person sessions with PM4Success International.
Together, these two initiatives will form the Bolt Accelerator Program, which seeks to redefine the journey of drivers as entrepreneurs and amplify economic growth prospects across Nigeria. Bolt’s Regional Director of Rides for Africa, Caroline Wanjihia, said: “Ride-hailing has always offered drivers the flexibility to earn whilst pursuing wider career opportunities. We hope this program will take this a step further, supporting concepts that will transform drivers’ lives, make a real difference to communities, and perhaps one day be incorporated into Bolt’s own operations”.
She also added that “drivers are the heartbeat of our business, and we believe that offering more developed economic empowerment opportunities makes our platform a more attractive place to come. It’s a win-win and we hope to take the program further afield in Africa.”
Co-founder at The Nest, Oluwajoba Oloba, said: “At The Nest, we maintain a deliberate and discerning approach when selecting our partners and undertaking projects. We hold a high level of enthusiasm for the Bolt accelerator program due to its alignment with Bolt’s commitment to the prosperity and welfare of its stakeholders, a quality that distinguishes Bolt from its counterparts.
“This initiative not only promises to enhance the quality of life for individuals within the Bolt ecosystem but also to make a valuable contribution to the innovation landscape of our ecosystem and the overall GDP of our country”.
Meanwhile, Hadi Moussa, Managing Director EMEA at Coursera said his company was thrilled to play a role in unlocking potential and nurturing entrepreneurship among Bolt drivers.