How Endeavor’s Network Is Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis in Nigeria
The past few weeks have been challenging for individuals, families, and organisations. To navigate an unprecedented crisis that many did not see coming, business leaders and entrepreneurs are stepping up to support the Nigerian ecosystem. From private sector efforts such as CACOVID, to Lifebank’s mass-testing service with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, and the Innovation Challenge by Ventures Platform, key players in the ecosystem are collaborating to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society don’t suffer the dire economic consequences of the pandemic.
Giving back is essential to our mission as an organisation, and we look for meaningful and measurable ways to maximize our influence.
At Endeavor, one of our values is ‘Paying it Forward’; a value that is built into everything we do — from the Endeavor selection process to how we engage with our ecosystem. We always strive to multiply our impact because we feel a deep obligation to magnify change and innovation. Endeavor Entrepreneurs, Mentors, and Board-Members willingly commit themselves to mentoring and investing within and beyond their communities. Giving back is essential to our mission as an organisation, and we look for meaningful and measurable ways to maximize our influence. Here are some examples of how Endeavor’s network in Nigeria is supporting our ecosystem.
The ANAP Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank was established to help Nigeria respond to the pandemic. The think tank is comprised of 18 volunteer members drawn from across the 6 geopolitical zones and the diaspora. The think tank will act as a catalyst to enhance the government’s response to the crisis and mobilize stakeholders around effective action plans by encouraging positive interventions by federal, state and local governments; NGOs; private sector; traditional and religious institutions. The Foundation is led by Endeavor Nigeria’s Board Chair Atedo Peterside (CON).
With the increased number of cases of COVID-19 in Africa, the need and urgency of medical and cleaning supplies have gone up. AZA has been prioritizing payments for such emergency shipments to support companies, particularly in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors, so they can pay for these essential supplies on time, and with ease, using their online payments platform, BFX. Given AZA’s unique position at the cross-section of multiple industries managing their FX, they are also hosting a series of webinars to provide valuable insights — on topics such as cross-border trade and steps to surviving the financial impacts — to companies in Africa who have suffered as a result of the crisis. AZA is led by Endeavor Entrepreneur Elizabeth Rossiello.
As the crisis increases the financial burden for many households, customers can count on Carbon to step up. Carbon is still giving out loans and rescheduling loan repayments for customers who have difficulty paying back. Customers facing challenges get a one month ‘payment holiday’ and have their loan spread out over double their initial loan tenor. At a time when healthcare is top of mind for most people, the company recently announced a healthcare benefits program in partnership with AXA Mansard that will provide N20,000 cash for customers who fall sick. Carbon customers can now also transfer funds to Nigerian banks for free. Carbon is led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Chijioke Dozie and Ngozi Dozie.
Flutterwave launched a ‘Grow My Business’ webinar series where experts in various fields of business growth in Africa share their expertise on how to survive the crisis as a business owner. The series is a useful resource for business owners to gain useful information on different aspects of business continuity as they navigate uncertainty. The company recently launched Flutterwave Store, an e-commerce marketplace — complete with integrated inventory, social media and delivery systems — to help small-medium businesses and startups that have experienced disruption pivoting to an online model. Flutterwave is led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Olugbenga “GB” Agboola and Ife Orioke.
Olaniwun Ajayi is one of Africa’s outstanding full-service law firms with offices in major commercial centres across Nigeria. They have followed the crisis since the beginning and launched a dedicated resource centre with publications covering diverse topics such as the impact on the film industry, privacy and security risks, private equity, and more. Prof. Konyin Ajayi (Managing Partner) is an Endeavor Mentor.
As Nigeria’s leading mobile money provider, Paga’s products and services will reduce cash handling and POS withdrawals. In an effort to minimise the impact of the crisis on its customers, the company removed transfer fees from Paga accounts to bank accounts on transactions below N5,000. Its Justpaga.me feature is also helping SMEs accept payments and is allowing merchants to accept payments from Paga customers for free.
Paga recently launched Donate.ng to connect credible charitable causes and organisations to donors, while elevating their efforts in providing help to the most vulnerable in the society. Paga is led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Tayo Oviosu and Jay Alabraba.
Support our Healthworkers via Giving.ng
Health workers are at the frontlines battling the pandemic. The intervention fund was set up to support all frontline health workers directly involved in containing the coronavirus pandemic (doctors, nurses, public health officials & ambulance drivers) by paying hazard allowances to this category of people who are not only poorly paid but are now at risk of being infected. The goal of the fund is to raise a N1billion fund to support them at this critical moment while they help those sick with Coronavirus get better. All beneficiaries are guaranteed N100,000. Sterling Bank, led by Abubakar Suleiman (CEO and Endeavor Mentor), seeded the fund with N25million.
UUBO’s specialist teams follow developments, identify areas of concern and share thought leadership, news and business continuity updates and more on the unprecedented and fast-moving crisis. The resource hub provides information and links to local and international web-based resources and news alerts about political, regulatory and economic updates. Yinka Edu (Partner) is an Endeavor Mentor.