UK South Business Summit

Diversity House, led by CEO Christine Locke, proudly participated in the inaugural edition of The UK South Business Summit on May 25th, 2024. Organised by The Diaspora Investment Liaison and Business Committee (DIL&BC), this event marked a significant milestone in connecting Nigerian diaspora businesses with opportunities for homeland development. Held at the Union Jack Club in London, the summit was a vibrant gathering of influential figures and thought leaders dedicated to fostering sustainable growth and creating meaningful pathways for Nigerian businesses in the diaspora.

The Summit’s Theme: Building Bridges

Themed “Building Bridges: Connecting Nigerian Diaspora Businesses with Opportunities for Homeland Development,” the summit aimed to drive positive change and foster sustainable growth. It sought to bridge gaps, create pathways, and cultivate meaningful connections that empower Nigerian diaspora businesses to thrive and contribute meaningfully to their homeland’s development. The event featured prominent speakers, including Dr. Abib Olamitoye (MB.BS, MBA) and Christine Locke (MA, MSc, FCMI), each bringing unique insights and expertise to the table.

Christine Locke’s Presentation: Harnessing Innovation

Christine Locke’s presentation, titled “Harnessing Innovation: The Future of Nigerian Diaspora Businesses,” was a highlight of the summit. Christine, a seasoned leader with extensive experience and multiple accolades, delved into the transformative potential of innovation within the Nigerian diaspora. Her comprehensive agenda covered various facets of innovation, opportunities for growth, challenges to overcome, and strategies for success.

Key Points from Christine Locke’s Presentation:

1. Understanding Innovation:

Christine began by defining innovation as the process of creating new ideas, products, services, or methods that bring significant improvements or changes. She emphasised the equation of invention plus practical application and commercialisation, which together solve problems, meet needs, and create value.

2. Opportunities for Innovation:

Christine highlighted several areas ripe for innovation:

  • Technology and Digital Transformation: Fintech, e-commerce, digital payments, and cryptocurrency were noted as significant opportunities.
  • Agriculture Innovation: Innovations such as precision farming, drone monitoring, IoT, and value chain development can revolutionize agriculture.
  • Education and Skills Development: E-learning platforms and collaborative research are crucial for advancing skills.
  • Healthcare Innovation: Telemedicine and HealthTech startups offer promising avenues for growth.

3. Challenges to Overcome:

Christine discussed the regulatory and policy environment, infrastructure deficits, access to finance, and cultural and market barriers as significant challenges that need addressing.

4. Strategies for Success:

She outlined several strategies for success, including education and skills development, networking and collaboration, access to funding and investment, and leveraging diverse perspectives. Christine also emphasised the importance of policy advocacy, cultural and creative industries, and social innovation.

5. Examples of Innovative Initiatives:

Christine provided examples of successful initiatives:

  • Diaspora Investment Platforms: Diaspora Angel Networks can facilitate investments in Nigerian startups, offering financial resources and mentorship.
  • Innovation Hubs: Establishing innovation hubs and co-working spaces in Nigeria.
  • Partnerships: Collaborating with UK institutions for technology transfer programs.
  • The “AKURULO Concept”: Promoted by the Alaigbo Development Foundation, this concept exemplifies the power of community-driven innovation.


Christine Locke concluded her presentation by emphasising the significant promise that harnessing innovation within the Nigerian diaspora holds for transforming businesses and driving economic development in Nigeria. She stressed that by leveraging technology, fostering collaboration, and addressing key challenges, Nigerian diaspora entrepreneurs could play a pivotal role in shaping a prosperous and inclusive future. The collective efforts of the diaspora, local stakeholders, and policymakers will be crucial in unlocking the full potential of innovation for the benefit of Nigeria and its global diaspora community.

The UK South Business Summit 2024 successfully showcased the immense potential within the Nigerian diaspora, with Christine Locke’s insights serving as a beacon of inspiration and a call to action for all attendees. Diversity House’s participation underscored the importance of innovation and collaboration in driving meaningful progress and sustainable development.