Do you have a powerful business idea or concept to share? Everything is perfect, but the only downside is you lack the necessary resources to develop your entrepreneurial project?
Then, a business incubator will therefore be the dedicated organization for carrying out your project.
Business incubators are organizations that help and accompany the creation of a business. They are platforms where small businesses get financing, investment opportunities, access to logistical and technical resources, and premises with the equipment they need to grow.
Being part of an incubator means taking advantage of shared services and having the possibility of reducing operating costs.
Business incubators also offer complete support ranging from coaching to management. Mentoring has been proven to significantly increase a company’s chances of success, so it’s a big help.
Business experts agree that the success rate of businesses increases significantly if they start in incubators, and the survival rate after 5 years is 87% for companies that have joined these organizations.
Best Business Incubators
Hence, if you are a micro-entrepreneur, you can choose from the list of 10 best business incubators below:
1. Co-Creation Hub
CcHub is Nigeria’s first open startup fund established in Lagos in 2011 to assist the advancement of technology in Nigeria. CcHub offers a 12-month incubation scheme, a 12-week accelerator initiative, and a 6-month pre-incubation initiative to new business startups.
Applicants in the program have access to internal specialists at CcHub, mentoring sessions with top experienced professionals, mentorship opportunities, and partnerships and connections. Some of the most notable businesses funded by CcHub are Church+, BudgIT, 500 stores, NaijaTeenz, Truppr, and Efiko.
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2. Startup Wise Guys
Startup Wise Guys is a startup incubator founded by Cristobal Alonso, Jon Bradford, Andrea T. Orlando, Herty Tammo, and Mike Reiner in 2012. In Africa and Nigeria by extension, Startup Wise Guys run their incubation program for five months.
They welcome startups especially those in the B2B and SaaS sectors from African countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and Rwanda. With the help of their team of more than 150 international and domestic specialists, they help new startups build their businesses to reach customers.
3. Faster Capital
Faster Capital is an incubation lab for businesses based in Lagos, Nigeria. They provide two distinct, three to six-month programs with their tech partner that help startups create a minimum viable product while contributing 50% of the funding themselves.
They also give new startups the training and assistance that will strengthen their fiscal estimates and pitch decks and help them to finalize deals with funders.
4. Wennovation Hub
The Wennovation Hub, which launched shortly after the Co-Creation Hub, is one of the first tech startup incubators in Nigeria established in 2010. The social benefit areas targeted by their 4-month incubation program include education, agriculture, healthcare, and infrastructure.
Startups that are selected after the program gain free office space in addition to coaching and knowledge-sharing.
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Seedstars is a startup seed capital fund launched in 2012. Seedstars run a three-month online post-accelerator growth course and organize a world pitching contest annually to identify the most prospective, new, and fast-growing enterprises.
Rewards after the program include a $50,000 upfront investment, up to $100,000 in-kind incentives, and up to $500,000 in additional perks. Some Nigerian startups that have benefited from the Seedstart program are Chaka, Quickcheck, Edves, and Medsaf.
StartupBootCamp is a business incubator established in 2010 by Trevor Townsend, with its headquarters in London, UK. StartupBootCamp offers programs globally including in Nigeria.
After the program, ten startups will be selected. The selection will give them access to a rigorous three-month business growth seminar.
A mentor is often provided to each startup firm from StartupBootCamp’s network of more than 100 business owners, financiers, and collaborators. Founders also get $17,000 in investment and partnership services worth up to $450,000, or more.
Additionally, startups have the opportunity to present their ideas to over 200 venture capital firms when the program ends.
7. MEST Africa
MEST is a hub, private venture capital, and training platform for African tech entrepreneurs. It was established in 2008 in Ghana by ‘The Meltwater Foundation’ (not-for-profit arm).
MEST incubation hub uses Meltwater’s extensive network of investors, business people, and contacts in Silicon Valley, Europe, and other parts of the world. The initiative offers software design training, networking, business, money, and support to African digital startups.
MEST Africa has branches across African cities like Lagos in Nigeria, Cape Town in South Africa, Accra in Ghana, and Nairobi in Kenya.
Pioneer is a startup incubator established by Daniel Gross. Pioneer runs a two-month scheme where coaches train new startup entrepreneurs on financing, product management, and much more.
The application is in four phases. In phase 1, applicants enroll using their innovative project. In phase 2, they participate in the pioneer competition. In phase 3, qualified applicants make it to the global Top 50, and in phase 4, startups are selected by an expert to become pioneers.
Some Nigerian startups that have benefited from Pioneer are Flux, Afriktrip, Onboard, and Bumpa.
Enspire is a three-month incubation initiative that connects new businesses to investors, training, mentorship, and networking chances. An MVP (minimum viable product) is required from entrepreneurs before they can apply.
After the program, those selected have the opportunity to have their proposals funded in several seed capital rounds.
LeadPath Nigeria is an investment fund that provides short, medium, and long-term financial support to small and medium-sized new enterprises in software, mobile, and web technologies.
LeadPath concentrates on IT innovators working in big data, smartphone apps, and electronic payments.
LeadPath’s funding varies from $25,000 to $100,000 for seed investments and millions of dollars for follow-on financing series, and they also provide office space and direct business assistance.
To get started with any of the selected business incubators in this article, you’ll need to get your application file ready. The file should contain a detailed overview of your company’s project, your motivations, and your specific expectations.
It is also important to provide them with a feasibility study, which analyzes the viability and the economic and organizational implications of the project. A business plan is also required for a concise and coherent project vision.
Note that even if your application is refused by any incubator, don’t give up! It’s a win-win because you would have learned how to structure your project to present it for the next try.
I wish you good luck in your search for a business incubator, and I hope that you will find the incubator of your dreams among the ones in this article.