Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking has said it has adopted a focused approach that removes barriers and galvanises the critical sector of the economy around a bold growth agenda with the launch of its innovation accelerator programme tagged, “HB LAB”.
The maiden edition of HB LAB is a 12-week programme expected to provide technology start-ups with enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions with the potential to radically improve financial inclusion/intermediation, agriculture and other related problems affecting critical sectors of the economy.
The application portal https://www.hblabs.com.ng/ which was launched on January 31, 2019 closed on February 14, 2019. About 154 applications were reviewed and 24 of them scored above 60, while the final selection will produce seven successful applicants from which the winner will emerge.
Speaking on the HB LAB, its chief executive CEO, Ifie Sekibo, explained that in Nigeria, technology startups still account for a relatively small share of all businesses, but they have an outsized impact on economic growth because they provide better-paying, longer-lasting jobs than other start-ups, and they contribute more to innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.