Nigeria’s Union Bank to support startups through innovation challenge


Nigeria’s Union Bank has unveiled the 2021 UnionX Innovation Challenge, as part of efforts to discover, showcase, and support entrepreneurs with innovative, technology-focused MVPs. 

The challenge calls on early-stage startups registered in Nigeria to submit innovative MVPs with the potential to transform society in areas such as fintech, e-commerce, health, education and agriculture. 

Three winners will earn cash prizes totalling NGN4.5 million (US$12,000) from Union Bank in addition to a two-month incubation programme with GreenHouse Capital, a leading fintech venture capital fund.

In addition, the winners will leverage Union Bank’s network and value chain to further develop their solutions and scale for greater impact. Startups will be supported with a range of services focused on product development, distribution and business modelling geared towards potential integration to the bank. 

“The UnionX Challenge highlights our focus on supporting innovation as a key driver of sustainable development and growth of Nigeria’s vibrant startup ecosystem, and the society at large. Union Bank has a rich heritage as a trusted partner to generations of Nigerians; providing the support they need to achieve their goals. This challenge is one of the many ways we continue to build on this heritage,” said Union Bank’s head of retail banking and digital Lola Cardoso said. 

The UnionX Challenge is the most recent in Union Bank’s Innovation Challenge series, which has also included the Centenary Innovation Challenge in 2017, the Campus Innovation Challenge in 2018, and the 2019 Ed-tech Challenge. Applications are open here until March 14.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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