Skip links


Solving Social Problems through Business by Utilising IT Technology

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in partnership with Aiivon Innovation Hub is proud to introduce to you the NINJA Startup Gateway in Abuja – a project designed to support startups by accelerating their business development, along with opportunities for potential investment and exposure.

JICA has launched the Project NINJA (Next Innovation with Japan) – a global project to strengthen the Startup Ecosystem. NINJA in Africa is to be developed and implemented in pilot counties including Nigeria which mainly covers fostering innovative startups, business matching support, and policy advocacy.

One of the main objectives of Project NINJA is to encourage innovations and solving the prominent problems of the society by utilizing emerging technologies.

the overall goal of the program is to 1.  Establish their companies legally incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria, 2. Produce the Minimum Viable Product of their innovative ideas, and 3. Establish connections between the startups and investors.

Who can apply

Application Closes by Midnight on 23rd July 2021

1. Individual/Groups who will establish a company that is legally incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria and start a business in Nigeria during this program.

2. Team leader must be at the age of between 18 and 35.

3. Proposals from the existing (already incorporated) organisations will not be considered.

4. Individual/Groups who can participate in all the trainings/events of the program.

5. Sector: all sectors are welcome
Businesses that have a feasible business plan that tackles social issues with an innovative product(s) or service(s) using emerging technology.

6. Individual/Groups that reside in Abuja or are able to get accommodation in Abuja for the duration of incubation program. (JICA does not provide accommodation etc. The applicants cover it by themselves).

Funding opportunity
and Support

Free Support for Legal Registrations

5 teams will be selected and supported with the legal incorporation by the corporate affairs company of Nigeria and given the chance to sign a work contract with JICA for their innovation(s).

About $8,000

After the legal incorporation is complete, selected 5 teams will be eligible for equity/debt-free sum of about USD 8,000 by JICA for covering costs associated with the remuneration of staffs of your proposed activities. (This is work contract subject to conditions, NOT grant.)

Free Business Incubation and workspace

Selected startups will undergo intensive training by experienced startups and key stakeholders in their sector and beyond. Startups will also be able access the workspaces at Aiivon Innovation hub and all attached benefits for free.

Opportunity to Attend International Conferences by JICA

Some of the selected 5 teams that show significant success during the program may also get the opportunity to attend meetings/conferences organized by JICA or travel to other countries.

Selection criteria
and process

Application Closes by Midnight on 23rd July 2021

1. The proposal should introduce some level of innovation in terms of a business model, a new product or service that can be more actively used, and/or profitability.

2. Proposals should be as commercially-oriented as possible.

3. Group with a very strong management team of at least 2 people are desirable.

4. JICA may establish an evaluation board with outside evaluators and experts under strict confidentiality to evaluate proposals.

5. JICA will have 2 step screening processes, the 1st is document screening and the 2nd is online interview screening. JICA will select approximately 20 finalists out of which up to 5 winners will be selected.

6. Winners are able to participate in NINJA Startups Gateway

Program Activities Timeline

We’d be glad to hear from you about possible collaborations and partnerships

This website uses cookies to improve your web experience.