Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apply Now

The British Council supported by Bank of Industry presents: 
Business training for Creative entrepreneurs 
taking place in Abuja and Lagos this October.

Download and complete the application form to apply.

Deadline: September 30th so apply immediately.
Cost: Free of charge.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ginger's Gist

Do you think banking is "where the money at"?
First read this hilarious account of the real deal in three parts:
So you want to be a banker? Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

The girl can gossip!
Know your KPI.
August 2011 on Ginger's blog at

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Fresh air and hard work

I feel the breath of fresh air promised by the campaign of Jonathan - well, not the peace and prosperity itself, but that we are turned towards it in our journey as a country. The way I see things, Nigerians have learned to apply pressure on the leadership, this is coupled with the fact that Jonathan has chosen to plug in and be guided by the wishes of Nigerians.

So for instance, in about two months, the Electric Power Reform efforts have gone from lost at sea, to somewhat more free: in the news are a few Independent Power Projects of 10MW and up, and a bulk trader has been set up. This is the right direction, especially if we quickly move up to 100MW projects and above. Bear in mind that demand is at least 10x, but closer to 20x, above current output of 3000MW, that is, for this country of 150million inhabitants to move from 20W per capita to about 200W per capita.

Give us electric power and we can forgive other wrongs.

I feel confident that there is committed economic leadership, for a change. A Ministry to raise investment in the trillions of Naira ($100bn) over the next few years, a Central Bank that has insisted on lowered corruption in banking - including sanitizing balance sheets and imposing cash withdrawal limits - and that is also driving hard to promote lending to the real sector, a deregulation team that self-criticized the massive corruption in privatization deals, and as mentioned before, the way anti-corruption and popular demand have just recently reshaped the pronouncements of the Electric Power team.

It is also fantastic to see that Jonathan did something, anything, about the appallingly rotten legal/judicial profession. In today's top Nigeria news, his predecessor, President Yar'adua could not sack former Chief Justice Aondoakaa even though he knew he was disastrously corrupt. Other top Nigeria news for today is, refreshingly, about the economy:
1. CNN interviews Hajara Adeola, MD of Lotus capital, for an explanation of Islamic banking, as Islamic finance spreads in Nigeria.
2. Bloomberg has the Central Bank predicting that the yuan will appreciate given the strength of China’s economy. Nigeria plans to reach a target of holding 10 percent of its foreign-exchange reserves in yuan; will start holding the Chinese currency next quarter. The $32 billion in Nigerian reserves are now 79% held in U.S. dollars, with the rest largely in euros, Swiss francs and British pounds.
3. We can't get away from corruption: Reuters has a story on Nigerian politicians, and even the Joint Task Force against oil-bunkering, actually "benefiting from" oil theft. "Some observers compared the relationship between the JTF and major militant groups to arrangements between rival gangs in U.S. urban areas; generally each JTF unit and militant band had its own territory in which they operated and from which they derived their illicit incomes," it said.

Jobs, we need jobs. Without the reforms in all the aforementioned areas: access to capital, electric power, anti-looting policy, the incentive to do honest work would remain weak.
But now that the government has started to move the major obstacles away, it is time for us to bring out all our best work:
we need to export agric farm products and arts and crafts, not just oil.
We need to make our own computers and steelworks, not just import.
We need employment in building rail networks and expanding power systems.
We need our historians and scientists and shopkeepers and town planners.
We need to kill this corruption beast - if you're still giving or taking bribes, what's your excuse?
We need intelligence and police to fight organized crime (including corruption rackets)
We need Arabic and Islamic scholarship to combat Boko Haram with the clear message that Boko (Western Education) is Halal (Permitted by Islam).
The Ministry of Finance has (correctly) stated that job creation will be its focus. Nobody can perform such a huge miracle alone. Time to stop blaming and start working.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Diaspora Internship Opportunity at Pioneer Angel Network Org

LoftyInc Angel Network Internship Opportunity in Nigeria

As a volunteer intern, you will provide crucial contributions to LoftyInc's social impact investing activities, especially through the newly formed LoftyInc Angel Network (LAN). 

The LoftyInc Angel Network (LAN) is a network of Nigerian angel investors (registration in progress) organized by, but independent of LoftyInc to offer seed and expansion capital to businesses incubated by LoftyInc Allied Partners Limited.

As an intern, you will augment LAN staff and investor members by tackling projects such as sector or regional analysis, case studies, due diligence support and/or investor support.

The volunteer intern role provides crucial additional capacity to the LAN team.  Responsibilities include one or more of the following, depending on your experience and interests:

  • Sector and Regional Analysis:
    • Learn about the most attractive emerging investment areas by performing analysis on target investment sectors (such as clean technology, education, mobile technology, mobile payments, or fair trade).
    • Perform market, segment, trend and company analysis to identify what's hot in impact capital and in social enterprise in these areas, identify potential deal flow partners and make recommendations. We plan to use this analysis to guide future investment decisions.

  • Case Studies:
    • Learn how social impact investments are made by studying investments we've made and writing up detailed case studies on how the investment was identified, researched and structured and the potential for exits.  We plan to feature these case studies on our website and in our public relations activities to demonstrate our impact and success.

  • Due Diligence Support:
    • Learn how investors perform due diligence on prospective investments by preparing pre-meeting investor briefs and recording highlights of investor conversations with social enterprises.  We plan to use this input to help us better assess investment opportunities.

  • Investment Meeting Secretary:
·         Be a proverbial fly on the wall for our member investment meetings where we discuss investments and other top issues.
·         Record meeting minutes and distribute to the team. This is a unique opportunity to form relationships with the industry’s leading impact investors in an otherwise closed-doors meeting.  A great way as well to get to hear how investors evaluate projects in real time.

  • LAN MD  Support:
    • Work with the MD of the LoftyInc Angel Network to identify potential members of the network, and follow up as required.
    • Represent the MD as required.
  • Other: We sometimes consider other projects which leverage unique capabilities of our volunteer interns. 

Experience, Education and Training
  • The ideal candidate will be highly analytical; detail oriented and possess a strong interest in social enterprise and impact investing.
  • Experience in social enterprise, developing countries, public policy and/or investing desired but not required.
  • Must be a current student or recent grad living in Nigeria.

Time Commitment
Time commitment is quite flexible.  We would ask for a minimum of 4-6 hours per week or more (depending on your project) for approximately 10 to 12 weeks, though by combining several projects, can also take full-time interns.  We sometimes consider other time periods and time commitments depending on your situation.

Reporting and Compensation
Interns report to the LAN MD and each is mentored, as appropriate, by a LAN member investor.  While this is a volunteer position with no monetary compensation at the moment, we make every effort to assure your experience is valuable.

Next Steps
Send resume and cover e-mail with subject heading- “Attention LoftyInc Angel Network” to on or before September 30, 2011

About LoftyInc
LoftyInc Allied Partners Ltd. is a business development company founded in 2008 to specifically focus on supporting innovative entrepreneurs and businesses. LoftyInc specializes in start-up business and project incubation in West Africa. LoftyInc unique business incubation model is implemented on a platform jointly initiated with the Africa Leadership Forum: the Wennovation Hub. LoftyInc supports over half a dozen domestic start-ups and three early stage projects sponsored by domestic and international clients.
Plot C, Obasa Road, off Oba Akran Road, Ikeja Lagos

Previously on UpNaira