By Muhammed Akinyemi

Nigerian media executives and media business owners gathered at The Colossus Hotel in Ikeja for a two-day funding workshop hosted by the Nigeria Media Innovation Program (NAMIP) on April 29th and 30th, 2024. The event aimed to empower participants in the program with essential knowledge and strategies for accessing external funding opportunities, revenue generation from non-traditional sources, and understanding how Venture Capital investments work.

Dara Ajala, Program Manager of NAMIP, welcomed participants, outlining the workshop’s objectives. The event was tailored to have contributions from funders on both impact investment and private funding part and to learn from organizations that have benefitted from significant funding across board. Deji Adekunle, Program Director, delivered opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and innovation in the media industry. Deji encouraged participants to spend time during the two-day event to network and collaborate with media funders at the event.

Day 1 started with sessions from an impact investment expert, Lebogang Maphada from the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), and a Venture Capitalist (VC), Davidson Oturu from Nubia Capital, who shared valuable insights on unlocking external funding opportunities from both impact investors and private investors. Participants engaged in an engagement session afterward, seeking advice, and sharing their experiences.

The first day also featured Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director of ICIR, who provided valuable insights from the grantmakers’ perspective. Attendees gained a deeper understanding of the grant application process and best practices for securing funding.

Mr Aiyetan, who through the ICIR has provided small grants to other newsrooms explained some of the rationale behind grant funding and how the participants can benefit from better opportunities, as well as how to find opportunities that serve their newsrooms’ purposes.

Using ICIR’s journey, Mr Aiyetan showed participants what their stories could be, how to overcome some of the challenges The ICIR faced, and how to create an overall healthy media ecosystem that can attract better funding to allow for more independence.

Day 2 commenced with Tomiwa Aladekomo, CEO of Big Cabal Media, sharing strategies for CEO-led fundraising. BCM, publishers of the popular culture magazine, Zikoko, and the pan-African tech publication, TechCabal, raised $2.3 million in 2022, a rarity among media publications in Nigeria. Mr Aladekomo used BCM’s fundraising pipeline as a strategic discussion point on how to court investment. He recommended that organizations should understand the different funding types and seasons and be sure that they can deal with the highs and lows of any investment type they settle on.

Frank Aigbogun, CEO of BusinessDay —a Nigerian business publication that has existed since 2001, surviving different economic situations, multiple fundraisers, and internal challenges —then discussed the transition from a bootleg operation to a corporation, highlighting the importance of strategic planning and scalability.

The workshop also included mock pitching sessions, allowing participants to showcase their projects and receive feedback from Lebogang Maphada, Davidson Oturu, and Dayo Aiyetan.

The event concluded with Deji Adekunle summarizing key takeaways and providing closing remarks. Participants left the workshop equipped with practical insights and strategies for accessing external funding, poised to drive innovation and growth in the media industry.

For more information about NAMIP and to read some of our learning articles, please visit or follow @namip_mdif on Twitter.