Ten Music entrepreneurs have emerged as winners following the completion of their successful business pitches to a panel of judges as part of the British Council’s Creative Enterprise Support Programme.
In the exercise which was conducted on Tuesday 28 June, £20,000 was disbursed to the winners, with each receiving a prize of £2,000 as seed funding towards the growth of their businesses including access to further mentorship with key music industry players organised by Imanage Africa.
The Creative Enterprise Support Programme is a British Council initiative which provides young creative entrepreneurs with access to artistic, technical and enterprise skills training as well as mentorship and coaching opportunities.
The recently completed programme, kicked off last year with 61 Music entrepreneurs selected through an open call and was delivered by ‘IManage (NG), Musically (UK) also selected through an open call for delivery partners. This edition of the programme focused on the enterprise strands in the music industry to explore more efficient, sustainable and environment friendly ways of running profitable music businesses in Nigeria.
“Leveraging on the UK and Nigeria’s expertise within Music sector, the programme aims to support capacity development of creative entrepreneurs as well as stimulate UK – Nigeria linkages between individuals and institutions to share, learn and collaborate within their respective sectors”, said Adetomi Soyinka, Director, Higher Education, Skills and Enterprise, British Council.
Over 300 music entrepreneurs applied for the opportunity and 60 were selected through a thorough screening exercise which includes, former works done in the industry, age and level of interest and availability. The 60 Music entrepreneurs initially participated in an intense 2-week training programme, which includes artistic, technical and enterprise training tailored to the needs of the local sector and this was followed by a 6-month incubation programme for 30 entrepreneurs from the cohort who made it to the next phase. The incubation programme included direct business support and mentorship.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 and an attempt for a country wide coverage, the programme was structured to be delivered online and the past seven months have seen our delivery partners (iManage and MusicAlly) closely working with the group and helping them structure their music businesses. 15 finalists pitched their businesses, with 10 of them emerging as winners. On Tuesday 28 June 2022, each finalist was given five minutes to make their presentation virtually to the judges of the contest, while the judges used one minute to give their feedback on the presentations.
The winners selected were Nurat Chioma Eluma, Pius Momoh Oshogwemoh, Ife Adediran, Adenike Adegbite, Tomisin Akinwunmi, Ralph Udofa, Olufisayo Odebode, Uzor Daniel, Inioluwa Baderinwa and Ikechukwu Meshach.
Giving more insight into the music business, Godwin Tom of Imanage Africa said “The Creative Enterprise Support Programme started in December 2021 with a two-week intensive training course which was followed by a mentorship and coaching process that lasted over 6 months and led us to the pitch finale. The growth of these businesses has been phenomenal and we look forward to seeing these businesses succeed”
One of the winners, Uzor Daniel, stated that: “The British council CESP proogram was a turning point for my business as it redefined most of our processes and illuminated our flaws which were all addressed critically by the coaches. Also, the funding has created a smooth sail into the next phase of our business”.
Adenike Adegbite One of the winners stated that “The CESP Program by British Council, Imanage Africa and Music Ally was an amazing learning and networking experience for me. The information was rich, detailed, applicable and relevant at this time. I feel totally grateful for the icing on the cake, £2,000 grant. This would help us with additional assets acquisition and Marketing efforts.
Uju Dubas-Agbasi, Project Manager, Arts & Creative Economy, British Council, explains that, ”The Creative Enterprise Support Programme is targeted at young creatives who are doing things on their own but are limited in various areas. We train them to run their businesses properly, give them more knowledge, exposure and bring in trainers from Nigerian and the UK to widen their scope, help them run their business better and make money.
The highlight of the programme was the presentation of cheques to the winners by Brenda Fashugba, Head of Arts, Nigeria| Regional Lead, Creative Economy SSA, British Council and Idowu Akintade, Director Operations, British Council Nigeria.