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In 2015, NINe carried out the first survey on the Nigerian tech innovation Ecosystem: Incubators, Accelerators, Innovation Centres, other organizations and individuals that support the development and growth of innovation, start-ups in Nigeria, and our findings were very encouraging. From this, we predicted a 300% rise in the number of Incubators and Innovation clusters by 2020.

As predicted the Innovation space in Nigeria grew tremendously surpassing the 300% projection by 2017, due to interventions from entrepreneurship initiatives development organizations and government in a way but most importantly the advent of IT hubs and innovation clusters were driven by entrepreneurs in localized regions looking to drive impact and build successful venture.

In 2015, we began Ecosystem Mapping Project, with the aim of capturing information on existing hubs, their location, services they provide, available startups in the hubs and their focus areas. The purpose of this is to create a mapping that gives a more improved narrative of the Nigerian Entrepreneurial and Innovation ecosystem- which will help propose policy discussions, investment oppotunities and capacity development programs to help grow the ecosystem.

Now in 2018, we are witnessing the influx of more entrepreneurs and the rise of start-ups in FinTech, EdTech, AgriTech, HealthTech, GreenTech industries and more creatives and innovators in Nigeria as a result of the increasing number of incubation hubs, acceleration hubs, innovation centres and co-working spaces.

This has progressively led to Ecosystem Mapping 2.2.

Ecosystem Mapping 2.2 indeed gives a more improved narrative of the Nigerian entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem as we recorded 26 Incubators, 54 Co-Working Spaces, 8 Accelerators and 17 Innovation hubs in Nigeria.

Ecosystem Mapping 2.2 covers most of the incubation hubs, acceleration hubs, innovation labs and co-working spaces across the six geo-graphical regions of Nigeria.

Highlights of Ecosystem Mapping 2.2

·       26 Incubators

·       54 Co-Working Spaces

·       8 Accelerators

·       17 Innovation hubs

With over a dozen more on our watch list


Lagos state has the highest number of co-working spaces in Nigeria. Most startups in Lagos hardly go through hubs programmes.

Abuja has the highest number of incubator hubs in Nigeria and will be launching its city based angel network soon. There is a high concentration of Impact driven startups in Abuja

With a rising number of social entrepreneurs, Nigeria’s Entrepreneurial ecosystem is indeed blooming with boundless opportunities to invest. The growth of the Nigerian entrepreneurial ecosystem has been incredible to watch, as in the first quarter of 2018, Nigerian start-ups recorded $9.2m in funding according to and with the observed trends we predict an estimated 200% increase by the fourth quarter of the year.

The growth of the Nigerian ecosystem is a proof of the ingenuity of the Nigerian people and the innovation prowess of the nation. By the next update 2.3 we would be able to identify the number of startups that have graduated from hubs, that are existing in hubs and the focus areas of interest of the different kinds of hubs in Nigeria and with the right partnership we will definitely do more.

Currently we are also engaging tertiary institutions leaders on the need to understand the innovation wave happening across Africa and steps to move beyond the current innovation management docility in most Nigerian Institutions. This engagement will an increase in the set up of hubs and IP Technology Transfer Offices in almost every tertiary institution in Nigeria including commercialization strategies and ecosystem development for the innovation culture in most tertiary institution in the country

There is still room for more partnerships (Private Sector/Public and Development organizations and the need to create proper incubation programs in Nigeria will further see a tremendous rise of more quality startups fit for the ever dynamic African market (not just Nigeria).

Authored by Bankole Oloruntoba and Mercy Olorunfemi.