The Oxford Foundry and FMDQ Private Markets Limited, Africa’s first vertically integrated financial market infrastructure group, have launched a global partnership to accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s start-up ecosystem and nurture a future generation of young Nigerian leaders in entrepreneurship, through knowledge exchange and collaboration. The partnership will support Nigeria’s future business leaders and high-growth start-ups to access the networks and skills they need to grow and sustain their businesses, create jobs and inclusive socio-economic growth, and facilitate the growth of Nigeria’s venture ecosystem.

Nigeria has one of the largest numbers of technology start-ups in Africa and has seen huge successes with companies such as Flutterwave – valued at US$1 billion – and Nigerian-led Paystack, now bought by payments giant, Stripe, for $200 million. Nigeria has been identified as one of the eleven ‘3G’ countries by Citigroup - countries of large growth potential and profitable investment opportunities.

There are an increasing number of programmes to support Nigerian start-ups, with corresponding high demand, implying that there is huge potential and opportunity to create new partnerships to support high-growth potential businesses, and an increased need to access capital. Currently, over 80% of venture funding comes from an entrepreneur’s personal or family savings.

Through this partnership between the Oxford Foundry and FMDQ Private Markets Limited, bespoke programmes have been co-created, leveraging the University of Oxford’s global, multidisciplinary networks and Nigeria’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, to support Nigeria’s future business leaders and high-growth start-ups to access the networks, skills, and investment pathways they need to grow their businesses.

The Programme is focused on three (3) key areas;

  • Upskill – Facilitation of the training of twenty (20) young Nigerian aspiring entrepreneurs and future leaders through the OXFO-FMDQ Young Entrepreneurs Leadership programme.
  • Grow – Promotion of knowledge exchange and shared best practices across Oxford’s and Nigeria’s angel investment communities, through roundtables and relationship-building initiatives.
  • Accelerate – Acceleration of five (5) high-potential Nigerian start-ups through a tailor-made accelerator - Innovate Nigeria, to scale up transformative social and economic impact in Nigeria. The Programme leverages the Oxford Foundry’s unparalleled assets, including networks, partnerships and a venture building and leadership curriculum delivered by some of the world’s leading experts.

Applications are open 1 December 2021 - 31 January 2021

FMDQ and Oxford Foundry Global Partnership (

Apply: Young Entrepreneurs Leadership Programme (

Apply: Innovate Nigeria Programme (

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Ana Bakshi, Executive Director of the Oxford Foundry, said:

“I am sincerely pleased to launch our first global partnership with FMDQ in Nigeria. Nigeria has one of the largest numbers of tech start-ups in Africa, and Africa is a continent of immense entrepreneurial talent and high-growth venture potential. There’s a huge opportunity to invest in the future generation of global entrepreneurs and leaders who will come from across the continent, and this first partnership is an important step to build new relationships and learn from other entrepreneurial ecosystems. Now more than ever, it’s vital that we share our resources, access to networks and opportunities, and work together across geographical boundaries to benefit society, create jobs, and boost economies. We want to open the Oxford Foundry up to the world, and together, support the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders to create the purpose-led impact and positive change we all need to see.”

Press coverage 

Business Day, University of Oxford FMDQ to accelerate Nigeria's start-up ecosystem, 13 July 2021

CNBC Africa, Oxford foundry partners FMDQ to grow Nigerian start-ups, 13 July 2021

WebTV, The Oxford Foundry Partners FMDQ Private Markets to Support Nigeria’s Start-Up Ecosystem, 13 July 2021

Proshare, University of Oxford and FMDQ Group Launch Global Partnership, 13 July 2021

The Nation, UK., Nigeria partner on corporate start-ups, 14 July 2021

Tide, Oxford, FMDQ Empower Young Nigerian Entrepreneurs, 14 July 2021

Blueprint Nigeria, Oxford varsity, FMDQ private market launch pioneer global partnership, 14 July 2021

WorldStage news, Oxford, FMDQ empower young Nigerian entrepreneurs, 14 July 2021

Arise TV, 13 July 2021

NewsDiaryOnline, Oxford, FMDQ empower young Nigerian entrepreneurs, 13 July 2021

Punch, Oxford, FMDQ partner to accelerate Nigerian startups, 15 July 2021

Naija247news, Oxford, FMDQ empower young Nigerian entrepreneurs, 13 July 2 021

Oxford Foundry, FMDQ Private Markets partner to accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem, Africa Inc, 23 July 2021