How start-ups are invariably aligned to United Nations 2030 Agenda of the (SDGs)

The action or process of setting something in motion has been described as a start up. This can happen in any sector with an individual founders or entrepreneurs, who are searching for a repeatable and scalable business model. More specifically, a startup is a newly emerged business venture that aims to develop a viable business model to meet a marketplace need or problem. This model most times is brought to life using the human design approach (THDA). Founders design startups to effectively develop and validate a scalable model. Hence, the concept of startups and entrepreneurship are similar, however entrepreneurship refers to all new businesses, including self-employment and businesses that never intend to grow big or become registered, but startups refer to new business that intend to grow beyond the solo founder, have employees, and intend to grow large. Therefore, In discussing about Start-ups it is imperative to talk about how Start-ups face high uncertainty and do have high rates of failure, but the fact remains that the minority that have gone on to be successful companies, have become large and quite influential.

At the heart of the United Nations 17 goals and 169 targets, lies goal 11 which is about building sustainable cities and communities that are inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable which is what StartupSouth4 is also about, gathering the biggest Startup/Entrepreneurship focused Conference in the South-South and South-East. An event which started in 2015 brought together Startup Leaders from across the globe, Africa and Nigeria in a city within the South-South/South-East to discuss ecosystem interventions, development, business and investment. With a main objective to educate, connect and attract investment to Startups and Founders in the regions. It is a fact that building a virile economy in South-East & South-South begins with encouraging Startups for they are at the heart of expanding Individual states’ IGR and network. Take Last year’s edition of Startup south that was held in Aba for instance, this singular event gave birth to the Made in Aba Hackathon. The Hackathon, in partnership with Ford Foundation earlier this year encouraged SMEs and bridged the gap between funders and business owners and all these were to find innovative solutions to the manufacturing done in the area. The intervention alone, has given rise to about $150,000 in investment and grants to Startups in the region.

In November, Owerri, the Imo State Capital, will play host to StartUpSouth as the event returns with even more juicy offers. Themed, Nichely, Strongly & Global highlights the need for States in the regions to focus on their areas of comparative advantage. It will spotlight the emerging Hospitality industry in Imo State and discuss possible interventions and ramifications for the region and Nigeria at large. In addition to the conference, there has being mini-conferences in 10 other cities in the region as build-up to the main event. Since #StartupSouth3, the concept has evolved to become destination focused. Thereby, helping guests to explore the best of the host city, this year’s edition is taking it a notch higher with a post conference Party at Oguta and a Boat tour of Oguta Lake for guests. The event will feature the most interesting sights and entertainment that makes Imo state the Eastern heartland. Now since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has presented historic opportunity for corporate sustainability movement engaging small business owners and start-ups in the south to key in the global goals is a way of introducing them to the international business community. From building more inclusive value chains to developing sustainable technologies and solutions, from business organizations to making essential contributions towards the realization of true global sustainable development. As the main interface between the United Nations and business, start-ups are the ones helping reduce the rate of unemployment, and bring speedy development that will not only consolidate sustainable cities but strategically position them for business. They are uniquely placed to strengthen business engagement in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

During the past 3 editions, over 5000 people have attended a #StartupSouth event/training physically/online and over $350,000 has been raised by #StartupSouth founders. It has also featured some notable names in tech/startup Entrepreneurship (both in Africa and globally) – including Mark Essien (, Iyinoluwa E. Aboyeji (Flutterwave), Lexy Novitske (Singularity Invest), Simeon Ononobi(Simplepay) to mention just a few. Consequently, #StartupSouth as a movement aims to collaborate with several city based clusters, hubs, tech founders and startup group leaders to create a structured startup ecosystem employing the SDGs as a guide which is what the United Nations former Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed as a universal, integrated, and transformative vision for a better world. The startup community is in 100% agreement; each of them contributing in their own way to make sure we reach agenda 2030 and all we can do right now is to support them because there are capable of unlocking the full potential of responsible (and accountable) business towards a economical sustainable world.

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