... ...

Social Innovation Driven Entreprenuership (SIDE) Project

Creating digital solutions to solve local challenges:

Sectors in focus:
Food, Education, Employment, Health, Climate and Environment

States in focus:
Adamawa, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kwara and Osun

Female start-up founders and innovators are highly encouraged to apply

Application Period: 27th November - 15th December 2023

SIDE Project


The objective of the Social Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship (SIDE) is to support commercially viable and innovative digital solutions that reduce poverty challenges through identified market & sector gaps affecting undeserved populations in Nigeria. The project seeks to meet the primary purpose of DAP as well as attract startup investments and measure the tangible impact on improved access to much-needed basic services from solutions identified from the program. Inclusive of the SIDE project, is a 4-month startup development program targeted at scaling identified solutions through a lean innovation scale approach where solutions are based on relevant data sets and a sustainable business model.

Challenge Statement

The fundamentals guiding the call for innovations are based on several overarching questions around innovation expressions, gathering and developing. The thinking involves the following; How can visionary innovators and dynamic startups collaborate with government agencies, private sector leaders, and impact-thinking investors to cultivate an ecosystem that fosters and amplifies social-driven entrepreneurship in Adamawa, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kwara, and Osun States that are digitally inclined? Are there identified local challenges from state-focused mapping? and are start-ups and innovators creating solutions fit to address those local issues at scale in key sectors of the economy?

Eligibility Criteria

Start-ups/Innovators in Ideation, Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or Early stage of development.

Start-ups/Innovators addressing challenges within the following sectors : Education, Employment, Food, Health, Climate change and environment.

Start-ups & Innovators operating within the geographic boundaries of Adamawa, Edo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kwara and Osun states.


Participate in a dynamic venture development program designed to promote your tech innovations

Enjoy access to potential investors through an opportunity to pitch on the Demo Day

Enjoy access to a ready market, providing your tech solution with a launchpad for immediate impact and growth.

Benefit from continuous support and mentorship as you navigate the post-venture development phase.

Expected Outcome

Successful solutions will not only contribute to the development of an enabling and supportive digital entrepreneurship ecosystem in the focus states, but also foster economic growth, job creation, and empower local communities.

Solution Criteria

Practicality of proposed solutions

Development and potential growth impact on the entrepreneurship landscape of the state

Scalability and digitization of proposed initiatives

Ingenuity and creativity in the proposed strategies

Ability to address the specific challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the State

Side Project



Challenges In Kaduna State

EducationKaduna State faces the specific challenge of low enrollment of girl children in education, with a net enrollment rate of 52% for girls compared to 68% for boys, leading to limited opportunities and perpetuating poverty and inequality. Insecurity further threatens education, as attacks by armed groups on schools and kidnappings of students and teachers hinder the provision of a safe and secure learning environment. * According to a United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) 2022 report, Nigeria has 18.5 million out of school children. Three and a half million these children are from the Nomadic background. Kaduna State and by extension the North Western part of Nigeria has the largest number of out of school children in the country. Banditry and kidnapping are major contributors to this unfortunate situation.

EmploymentA significant challenge in Kaduna State is the lack of skills for emerging digital jobs, which contributes to unemployment. Many organizations struggle to find qualified employees, while job seekers often lack the skills needed for available positions. The workforce's inadequate skills level is notably high, with a survey revealing that 70% of workers in Kaduna State lack the necessary skills for available jobs. * Members of the PWD communities in Kaduna are some of the most vulnerable in our society, therefore we need to collectively work to ensure that we protect them from any form of discrimination. Kaduna State and the other States in North Western Nigeria hava a high number of PWD’s that can be seen in public places begging. This is a serious problem that needs to be tackled.

FoodInsecurity, primarily due to bandit attacks, is the most pressing challenge in Kaduna State, severely affecting food security. These attacks result in crop and livestock destruction, hindering agricultural and food sector investments. In 2021, the state witnessed over 2,000 banditry-related incidents. The impact disproportionately affects the poor and marginalized, who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods and lack the resources to recover from these attacks, exacerbating food security concerns.

HealthKaduna State grapples with significant challenges related to ineffective governance in the health sector, with 30% of deaths attributed to preventable factors. This governance issue results in poor healthcare access, inadequate sanitation, insufficient investment in public health, and various health burdens like preventable diseases, malnutrition, and maternal and child mortality. Problems including accountability issues, corruption, and a failure to implement reforms weaken the state's health system. There is also a lack of coordination between different care levels, limited access to quality healthcare, and a high rate of preventable deaths, exacerbating the health crisis.

ClimateClimate change's most significant impact in Kaduna State is the reduction of crop yields, crop failures, and subsequent food insecurity for rural communities. Ecosystem disruption also contributes to the loss of biodiversity, affecting local flora and fauna, and impacting the livelihoods of affected communities. The state is grappling with a pollution crisis primarily driven by industrial emissions, vehicular pollution, and solid waste disposal, leading to health problems, environmental degradation, and further exacerbating climate change. Around 70% of pollution in Kaduna State is attributed to fossil fuels and machinery, resulting in common health issues such as respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer, with heavily congested areas like Sabo and Kawo Motor Park experiencing the highest pollution levels.


Challenges In Kwara State

EducationThe rise in school enrollment has strained school facilities in Enugu State, resulting in inadequate classrooms and a high teacher-student ratio, particularly in urban schools. Moreover, the existing facilities are in poor condition, making them unsuitable for student use. * We have high percentage of girls with interest to school but not allowed to because preference is given to the boys AND because of high rate of poverty.

EmploymentKwara State's unemployment rate significantly increased from 21.13% in the third quarter of 2018 to 42.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, marking a notable rise of 21.37% during that period. * Unstable electricity

FoodIn Kwara State, challenges in the food sector, particularly in subsistence farming, revolve around information gaps, limited access to credit and loans, ineffective government communication with rural farmers, and an uncompetitive market with inefficient price controls, posing a significant risk to food security and accessibility. * Expensive infrastructure and equipments for agriculture *No digital platform for farmers to deliver food *Lack of low-tech solutions

HealthKwara State faces high maternal and child mortality rates, driven by factors like limited healthcare access, poor nutrition, and inadequate sanitation. Additionally, health challenges include insufficient healthcare infrastructure, unequal distribution of services, a shortage of skilled professionals, and inadequate funding, impacting the quality and availability of healthcare services. * High mortality rates (generally)

ClimateKwara State faces severe air pollution issues, with 94% of the population exposed to pollution levels exceeding WHO guidelines due to factors like agricultural expansion, fuelwood collection, and charcoal production. Additionally, the state is grappling with increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, disproportionately affecting the poor and marginalized populations who are less equipped to cope with the resulting damage to infrastructure, agriculture, and displacement from homes.


Challenges In Adamawa State

EducationThe education sector faces a challenge with 348,500 out-of-school children, where 75% have never attended school, and gender disparities persist, with over half being girls, particularly in higher grades.

EmploymentThe employment sector challenge in Adamawa State is characterized by a high unemployment rate of 54.89%, significant underemployment at 24.67%, and a prominent issue of low female labor force participation, with only 62.9% of women being part of the workforce due to cultural and societal barriers.

FoodIn Adamawa State, the food sector faces challenges including food insecurity, low agricultural productivity, limited access to modern farming techniques, inadequate market infrastructure, and government support, aggravated by climate change, despite agriculture being the backbone of the economy with 80% of the population dependent on it.

HealthIn the health sector, Adamawa State faces challenges including inadequate access to quality healthcare, insufficient infrastructure, medical personnel, and essential supplies, leading to high child mortality rates, exacerbated by poverty, limited access to treatment, and disruptions caused by the insurgency.

ClimateClimate change in Adamawa State poses a severe threat to food security, disrupting agricultural activities, increasing food prices, and causing diseases due to changing weather patterns. It also affects water availability, impacting both agriculture and domestic supply, leading to conflicts, particularly among farmer-herder communities, as water becomes scarcer. Pencil’s certified Bluetooth Smart wireless delivers a fast, stable connection with industry-leading power conservation. Each Pencil is milled from a single, solid piece of material. Graphite brushed aluminum model shown.


Challenges In Osun State

EducationOsun State's state-run schools suffer from a lack of essential facilities, including libraries, laboratories, and computer centers, hindering students' access to quality education. Many financially capable parents opt for private institutions. Furthermore, inadequately trained teachers have contributed to a decline in the overall quality of education in the state.

EmploymentOsun State faces a substantial youth unemployment rate of around 30%, surpassing the national average of 33.3%. Moreover, the state's economy depends on agriculture and manufacturing, but there's a shortage of skilled workers in these sectors, creating challenges for economic development.

FoodFood challenges experienced in Osun state include adverse increase in cost of food commodities, high cost of transportation influenced by poor road network and other climate-related causes. The climate- related causes include worsening situation of degradation of farmlands, scarcity of rain to cultivate food crops, huge loss of food crop due to unpredictable rainfall and hot weather. * The food sector struggles with pests invasion on farm land

HealthOsun State confronts health challenges stemming from brain drain, as qualified healthcare professionals leave for better opportunities elsewhere, exacerbating the shortage of healthcare workers. Additionally, limited access to basic healthcare services persists due to factors such as poverty, distance from health facilities, and lack of awareness among the population.

ClimateDeforestation is a significant environmental challenge in Osun State, driven by factors such as agricultural expansion, logging, and fuelwood collection. This leads to soil erosion, water pollution, and contributes to climate change, exacerbating existing food security issues. Recurrent droughts in the northern regions are causing crop failures, rising temperatures are hindering crop growth, and food prices are increasing, further compromising food security in the state. * Inadequate waste disposal  and management system in place (from collection to elimination), * Mining activities have affected host communities adversely causing environmental degradation


Challenges In Edo State

EducationEdo State's commitment to education improvement through the EDOBEST program is hindered by understaffed public secondary schools, issues with at-risk and out-of-school children, and societal inequalities exacerbated by insufficient funding.

EmploymentEdo State faces a significant employment challenge with an unemployment rate of 49.0% and underemployment at 15.9%, driven by limited job opportunities and low educational attainment levels.

FoodFood insecurity in Edo State is influenced by population growth, changing dietary preferences, climate change, and conflicts between farmers and herders, exacerbated by weather variations, political instability, and price fluctuations.

HealthEdo State's public health facilities require urgent rehabilitation, increased staffing, and modern technology adoption to enhance service quality, given the current lack of maintenance and inadequate staffing levels.

ClimateEdo State grapples with severe pollution of water, land, and air due to sewage, industrial, and agricultural waste, alongside climate change-induced disruptions like droughts and floods, which are negatively affecting food security by hampering agricultural production and community food needs.


Challenges In Enugu State

EducationEnugu State's education sector struggles with underutilized school-based management committees and limited technology integration, alongside challenges such as insecurity, insufficient learning space, and a lack of innovation-driven, skilled labor force.

EmploymentEnugu State's unemployment rate rose to 31.62%, driven by over-dependence on crude oil, a lack of digital job opportunities, nepotism, and youth restiveness, despite its relatively lower rate in the South-east due to its civil service status. * Youth Restiveness: it has not been properly solved

FoodEnugu State faces a pressing food security challenge, with only 30% of the sampled population achieving food security. Most households experience food insecurity due to issues like limited food access, affordability, and dietary diversity, influenced by factors such as farm yields, income levels, household size, education, and spending a significant portion of income on food.

HealthEnugu's health sector confronts issues, particularly in rural areas where primary health care centers are neglected and dilapidated, forcing the poor to travel long distances for quality healthcare, thereby increasing their healthcare costs. * Low number of health service providers : There are no alternatives thus making the few king *There has not been any digital form of intervention provided for in the health sector.

ClimateIn Enugu State, the most significant effects of climate change on farmers include soil erosion, water scarcity for humans and livestock, loss of vegetation and pastures, increased weed growth, pest and disease incidence, disruption of wildlife ecosystems, decreased soil fertility, and health-related issues like heat stress and production challenges.