The Nexus Project

Transforming job seekers to sustainable job creators

A transformative partnership from Henley Business School, Lagos Business School and Semicolon Africa 

Quick Links:   –   Why are we doing this?   –   Project Blog   –   Further Information   –   Partners

What is the Nexus Project?

The Nexus is a virtual platform that de-isolates young entrepreneurs and connects them to an ecosystem of knowledge intervention and technical support services. It is designed to improve the chances of building sustainable businesses, thereby improving the conversion rate of job seekers into job creators and reducing the failure rate of start-ups in the context.

The Nexus platform will have the following features:

1. The Investment Readiness Map (IRM) – a personalized mapping of enrolled entrepreneurs’ learner journey. It is a market-driven narrative articulating the entrepreneur’s journey from ‘unlocked’ assets to investable and sustainable ventures. The IRM is expected to embed an Investment Readiness Scorecard capable of identifying investor-proof knowledge gaps and learning needs of enrolled entrepreneurs. This will then inform the knowledge and industry interventions to be delivered across the project timeframe.

2. (A) Academic institutions’ content delivery capability to deliver knowledge intervention throughout the project based on the identified knowledge gaps learning needs.

2. (B) Personal Development and Wellbeing component that addresses the individual development and wellness of the founders throughout their journey.

3. Comprehensive coaching and mentoring programme aimed at connecting the target youth to technical knowledge and expertise

4. An investment hub designed to showcase investors for investment-ready entrepreneurs to secure investments for their viable businesses or products


Why are we doing this?

In 2040, Africa will be the continent with the largest workforce in the world. However, current job prospects are insufficient for the working-age population, and formal jobs cannot absorb the growing working-age population. Africa’s future rests largely on the success of her youth, whose enterprises can catalyse economic growth and development. With a GDP growth of just 2.53%, Nigeria’s economic system cannot provide enough jobs for the population, which some estimates say is growing at least 2.6% annually. The consequence of this is that the unemployment rate in Nigeria rose to 33.3% in December 2020, according to a report published by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics. This is an increase from 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020

Entrepreneurship is a promising approach to transforming “job seekers” into “job creators,” hence the challenge – How can Africa’s enterprising youths become sustainable job creators? At the core of this challenge are three key issues: first, translating the high volume of entrepreneurial activities on the continent into investable job-creating ventures; second, closing the massive skills gaps among young African entrepreneurs; and third, building better functioning innovation ecosystems to support start-ups. In the current Nigerian ecosystem, it is almost impossible to successfully transform a desire for entrepreneurship into an “investment ready” initiative without the relevant ecosystem support.

For these youths, access to credible technical and business education with reputable institutions and coaching and mentoring to develop their business ideas are their short-term focus. Their long-term focus is gaining exposure to funders, investors, and other key stakeholders who can support their ultimate dream of building investable businesses. Furthermore, youth entrepreneurs in silos are isolated from the ‘real world’ and necessary market support to enable their venture creation journeys. Ecosystem players such as academic institutions, industry partners, and investors have the knowledge, human and financial assets, able to offer specialised technical and market support for young entrepreneurs but lack a safe platform to connect with them sustainably. For investors, access to portals where credible and validated investment-ready start-ups are forged remains a critical short- and long-term need.

Project Blog

– Coming soon –


Further Information

Please contact members of the project team if you would like to know more.

Henley Business School


Lagos Business School
Semicolon Africa




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