Nigeria has hundreds of entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists based in the UK working, doing business and living their contributing the country’s economic growth and research and development.

However, in a move to develop countries back home starting from Nigeria, Lagos-based Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) has launched the ‘CcHub Diaspora Challenge’, to engage the African communities in the UK and encourage them to source scalable business solutions to social challenges in Africa. The launch kicks off a UK-wide search for early stage ventures focus on Financial Technology, Energy or Education.

According to ‘Bosun Tijani, CcHub Co-founder and CEO, “We have long wanted to build stronger tech community connections between the UK and Africa in order to increase Diaspora community involvement. CcHub is a social innovation hub – we innovate and build to address social problems, and we want to facilitate development-focused dialogues and attract the best talent to help us in our mission. The CcHub Diaspora Challenge is the starting pistol to engaging, mentoring, incubating and investing in Africans in the UK who can help ‘build Africa’ alongside us.”

Held at Facebook’s offices in central London, the launch saw over 300 people meet to hear CcHub’s Co-founder and CEO, ‘Bosun Tijani and Dr. Nelson Ogunshakin. In attendance was Emeka Afigbo, Platform Partnerships, Head of Middle East & Africa and Boko Inyundo, Rachel Jenkins, Iyin Aboyeji, Alae Ismail and Ike Anya, who looked at the challenges of connecting African professionals in the Diaspora with improved development on the continent.

A panel of esteemed judges made up of academics, industry experts and investors will select two ventures from each Thematic Area who will go on to receive nine months’ incubation from CcHUB and investment of $15,000 from CcHub. Ventures which are able to demonstrate sustainability and innovation are then each able to access a further $250,000 seed investment from Growth Capital.

UK-based Africans make up approximately 35% of UK outflow remittances. Although remittances are a noteworthy contribution to Africa’s development, there remain gaps in the Diaspora community contribution to development that needs to be filled. With over 300,000 highly qualified Africans in the Diaspora, and about 10% of which have PhDs, the brain drain occurrence has long been a conundrum and the emigration of African professionals to the West is one of the greatest obstacles to African development. CcHub aims to alleviate the consequences of brain drain by purposefully engaging the Diaspora community, harnessing their intellect and leveraging their network.

Founded five years ago, CcHub is a vibrant community of over 15,200 entrepreneurs and a portfolio of over 55 early stage ventures providing solutions to social problems with technology.