Now, you don’t have to worry about funding anymore. Use this list of available business grants in Nigeria to expand your business.
Here’s the link to the second part of the post: 22 Verified FG & International Grants for Small business in Nigeria
Without any of it; your dreams. Your entrepreneurial aspirations will not happen.
Harsh reality. But, true.
So, what do you do to raise capital?
Dip your hands into your savings? Take out a loan? Chase after investors?
you can apply and get grants for your business.
The good news is, in this post, we’ve rounded up 55 funding options for entrepreneurs. From Federal government agricultural grants, privately-funded grants for small businesses, and international entrepreneur grants.
No matter your industry, there’s a funding option for your business. All you have to do is pick one, make sure you meet the criteria, apply, and hopefully get the funding to start/expand your business.
How to use this list
To make wading through the list easier, we’ve grouped them into categories. Use the table of content to go to the section of the article that interests you.
For each grant, we explained what it is. How much you can potentially win. Then list out the criteria to become eligible. Finally, we shared how you can apply.
Need a Business Grant? Find the best business grants in Nigeria. Join hundreds of successful entrepreneurs using our grant application resource to secure their dream funding. Download the resource.
List of Available Business Grants for Entrepreneurs [Part 1]
So, if you are ready, here are 55 available grants in Nigeria to kickstart your dream business.
1. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme
Launched in 2015 by Billionaire Entrepreneur and CEO Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, the grant is a 10-year $100 million US dollar commitment towards empowering African entrepreneurs.
Since its launch, the foundation has disbursed $25 million worth of grants to 7520 entrepreneurs from Africa, making it the largest philanthropic institution on the continent.
Once you’re accepted as a TEF entrepreneur you can take advantage of the premium network of mentors, resources, and support you need to take your business from an idea to reality, to scale up and grow quickly.
So, it’s not just winning the grant; you also get invaluable professionals and experts you can turn to for help when needed.
Non-refundable seed funding of $5000
- You must have the legal rights to work in the African country you’re applying from.
- The Business must reside in Africa, and you must be a legal resident of any of the 54 African countries.
- Your business must be in an early stage of 0 – 3 years or a business idea.
- Your business idea must be for profit, focused on one business line, and be the original work of those applying.
- You must create an account on tefconnect, and complete an online entry form to apply for the program.
How to apply:
Visit tefconnect, the largest platform for African entrepreneurs. Complete the form and submit your application.
2. Africa’s Young Entrepreneur Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN)
One of the foremost entrepreneurial empowerment and funding platforms launched to mentor, guide, and provide funding for smart business ideas in Nigeria.
The AYEEN program annually attracts over 25,000 applications from young Nigerian entrepreneurs across 36 states.
However, its unique model means you can get funding for your business idea or be accepted into the mentorship program where you network, learn, and master key business skills essential to starting, running, and expanding your business.
Varying amounts of funding as deemed fit by the panelists. It can range from a couple of hundred thousand nairas to tens of millions.
- Must be running a business or has a viable business idea
- Open to all Nigerian entrepreneurs aged 18 and above.
- Must reside in Nigeria
How to apply
- Visit AYEEN website
- See the big bright button at the top right-hand side with “AYEEN 2019 Register Now”
- Click on it.
- On the new page, complete the form.
3. GroFin Grants for Small and Medium Business
A private development finance institution focused on providing medium-term finance loans and business support for small and medium-sized businesses in the manufacturing, agribusiness, education, healthcare, and key service sectors (energy, water, sanitation)
Since its launch in 2004, GroFin has supported over 700 SMEs, sustaining 89 740 jobs, and is present in 14 countries in the sub-Saharan and MENA regions.
Up to $1.5 million US dollars. A minimum of $100k
- Your business must be in any of the following sectors: healthcare, manufacturing, agribusiness, education, or in these key service sectors – energy, water, waste, recycling, and sanitation.
- Your business must be in any country where their offices are located – Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, or Oman.
- You need a medium-term loan of 100k to 1.5M US dollars.
- Your business is making a social impact – creating jobs, benefiting the environment, and empowering women.
How to apply
To apply online, visit: Apply
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4. Shell LiveWire Funding
Shell LiveWire is a youth social development enterprise program focused on encouraging, training, and providing funding for youths to start a business.
The program is open to youths aged 18-30 from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria who desires to own a business.
Since its launch on March 27, 2003, the initiative has trained 6580 youths while 3373 participants were awarded grants to launch a business.
- Must be aged 18-30
- Has a viable business idea
- Undergone and graduated from their intensive entrepreneurship course
- Must be from Niger Delta – Abia, Imo, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, and Akwa-Ibom.
How to apply
Announcements would be made in national newspapers when open. Or visit here from time to time.
5. IB Plc Hero’s Foundation KickStart Program
IB Plc Hero’s Foundation KickStart program is a social investment initiative of International Breweries focused on instilling and encouraging entrepreneurial youths to pursue their dreams of launching a business.
The program has a three-way approach to training and boosting youth business capacity. Mentoring and guidance to leverage the expertise of experienced professionals and provision of grants.
- You must be a youth aged 18 – 35 years old
- Must be a Nigerian residing in the following states: Abia, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, and Benue.
How to apply
Visit: KickStart and download the PDF application form.
6. GEM Grant
GEM grant is a funding partnership between the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment and the World Bank, which focuses on supporting manufacturing, entertainment, information and technology, tourism and hospitality, and agro-allied businesses.
Minimum of $50,000 – $250, 000
- The lead institution is an academic institution, research institution, industrial center, business membership organization, or non-governmental organization, in partnership with at least 3 of any of the following: a for-profit private sector company(s), partnership(s), or sole trader(s);
- The lead institution must be operating in Nigeria;
- The total GEM funding requested must be at least $50,000 and no more than $250,000;
- The lead institution and its partners must together provide matching cash or cash equivalent funds of at least 50 percent of the total project budget;
- GEM funding must be requested for utilization on eligible costs or activities
- The institution must satisfy the requirements on Environmental and Social Compliance
- Other eligibility criteria will be added depending on the call for proposals
- The GEM funding requested must be utilized within 15 months; and
- The proposed idea must result in increased sales for the business, increased value
- added per worker and creation of new jobs
How to apply
Currently not accepting applications. Check
Related Post: 6 Unknown Alternative Funding Options for Small Business
7. African Entrepreneurship Award
African Entrepreneurship Award is powered by BMCE bank of Africa with a focus on providing a platform for mentorship, a network of ready-to-investor Angel investors, and grants to smart business ideas.
You can send in your application for one of the two categories – Innovation & Sports Entrepreneurship and Sports.
A cash prize of $ 1 million is to be shared among finalists.
- You must be a citizen of an African country and at least 18 years.
- Your business idea must apply to the African setting and include a technological component.
- Your business idea must be for a profit with a social impact.
How to apply
Currently not accepting applications yet.
8. Innovation Prize for Africa
Innovation Prize for Africa is a platform with a mission to galvanize the innovative spirit of the African people to proffer solutions to their everyday challenges.
The Award is aimed at encouraging innovation-driven solutions to the myriad of challenges in Africa by Africans.
So, give this prize a shot if you have an idea or solution that can solve Africa’s problems.
First prize – $1000,000
Second prize – $25,000
Third prize – $25,000
Recognition prize – $5000
- You’re a citizen of one of Africa’s 54 countries.
- African diasporans are also eligible if they show they hold an African country’s passport.
- The innovation is fully developed and not just an idea.
- All mandatory fields are completed.
How to apply
9. African Women Development Fund
A pan-African female-only grant-making organization that strives to support women’s rights and women-led organizations on the continent.
The fund provides grants to organizations tackling the issues of body and health rights, women’s economic security and justice, leadership, participation, and peace.
Unspecified. However, since inception, the fund has given out $41.8 million US dollars.
- Must be led by a woman and have the majority of its staff and board being women
- Must be duly registered in an African country
- Must have been in existence for at least 3 years
- Must have the needed organisational structures for effective implementation of the project
- Must have an appreciable financial management system to properly account for funds received
- Must be capable of reporting back on the outcomes of the project
- Must complete the necessary application forms
How to apply
Visit here and follow the application guideline.
10. Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award
Are you a social impact entrepreneur tackling one of the planet’s sustainability challenges?
Do you need support and funding to scale? Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award might be just the right opportunity you need to take your business to the next level.
The program seeks to recognize and support young innovators providing solutions to some of the world’s challenges. Since its inception, the initiative has reached over 3700 young entrepreneurs, with 37 winners receiving funding and support.
Winner – 50,000 Euros
A residential Accelerator Programme run by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, followed by a year of mentoring support tailored to their needs.
We’re looking for initiatives relating to one or more of the three categories we’re focusing on:
- Improve people’s health and well-being
- Improve the health of the planet
- Contribute to a fairer and more socially inclusive world
Whether it’s with an initiative, product or service, if you’ve gone beyond the idea stage and started to make an impact, we want to hear from you.
- Anyone around the world, excluding Russians aged between 18 and 35.
How to apply
You’ll need to complete your profile and describe your project to submit your application.
11. African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship (AWIE)
AWIE is the number one female entrepreneurship platform that promotes, supports, and provides grants to brave, innovative female entrepreneurs across the African continent. The program seeks to accelerate the growth of female-led organizations for inclusive African economic growth.
Every year the program recognises women in private and non-profit organizations doing exploits across industries for their economic contribution to African growth and social impact.
- Nominations should only be made relating to achievements made by a female entrepreneur and national (or permanent resident) of an African country with a registered business and operation in one or more African countries.
- Nominees can be nominated or self-nominated.
- A woman entrepreneur can be nominated for more than one category, but different nomination forms must be completed.
- You may be asked to support or verify the evidence you supply as part of the nominations you make.
- Five nominees will be shortlisted for each category and invited to the AWIEF Awards ceremony in October of the same year.
How to apply
Nominate a female entrepreneur here
Related Post: 8 Common Small Business Funding Mistakes You Must Avoid
12. YouWIN Connect Nigeria
YouWin is an acronym for Youth Enterprise With Innovation In Nigeria and is one of the social reinvestment programs initiated by the government.
The Youth Enterprise With Innovation In Nigeria initiative is a Federal Ministry of Finance multimedia program established under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The program aims to promote entrepreneurship, job creation, and wealth via enterprise education for young Nigerians and funding for business owners nationwide.
YouWIN Connect provides a forum for young entrepreneurs to connect with industry experts to nurture their ideas, enhance job creation, and ensure business growth.
Also, participants receive business grants for winning the YouWin organized competition.
What sets YouWin apart from other programs is that it focuses on aiding individuals ages 18 to 45 to develop business plans or expand existing businesses.
The application process involves filling out an application form which includes several sections such as personal and company information. The application will be carried out in two stages – the YouWIN team will return very quickly to the pre-selected candidates after stage one.
- Must be between ages 18 and 45
- Must be a Nigerian by birth
- Your business must be located in Nigeria
- Must have a solid business plan with the potential to create job opportunities for Nigerians.
How to Apply
- Visit: https://apply.youwin.org.ng/registerp.php
- Sign up and confirm your registration via email
- Sign in and complete registration by filling in the required information.
- Click submit.
Between one to ten million.
13. Youth Empowerment Nigeria (YEN)
As the name suggests, YEN is a youth-run initiative that helps Nigerian youths engage in productive activities.
Youth Empowerment Nigeria (YEN) is a non-profit organization established to empower youths in numerous areas of life, such as capacity building, skill acquisition, loans, entrepreneurship, and management skills.
The YEN initiative aims to tackle job scarcity, leadership, and social work issues, through skill acquisition, loans, and especially grant opportunities which you can benefit from for free.
If you fall within 16 and 21 and need more financial backing to kickstart your business, we recommend applying for YEN grants.
We’ll show you how.
- Two recent passport photographs
- Photocopy of your national Identity card
- Photocopy of a utility bill
- You must submit a business proposal or summary to the YEN office or send it via email to smescheme@youthempowermentnigeria.
- Must be between ages 16 and 21
- Must be a Nigerian citizen
How to Apply
- Visit the YEN website or office near you
- Complete and submit your application form
- Once you qualify, you’ll receive information on your appointment date for your business proposal defense.
- If successful, you’ll receive grant funds within ten days after the appointment.
14. Africa’s Business Heroes Funds
Africa’s Business Heroes Funds is a philanthropic program by the Jack Ma Foundation that supports African entrepreneurs who positively impact their communities and beyond.
The program provides grant funding, training, mentoring, and networking opportunities to ten African entrepreneurs yearly who compete in a TV show and a pitch competition.
Africa’s Business Heroes Funds is open to entrepreneurs from all African countries, all sectors, and all ages who operate businesses formally registered and headquartered in an African country and that have a three-year track record.
The program aims to showcase and inspire a movement of African entrepreneurship and solve Africa’s most pressing problems.
How to Apply
- Fill out and submit the application form from the ABH website (you’ll be asked to provide personal and business information like your motivation to join the program)
- If your application meets the eligibility criteria, you will be invited to take an online business assessment test that evaluates your business skills and knowledge.
- After passing the business assessment test, you will be asked to submit a video pitch of your business. The video pitch should be 15 minutes at maximum and cover your business model, social impact, competitive advantage, and growth potential. The video pitch should be in English or French with English subtitles.
- Lastly comes the personal pitch. If selected as one of the top 50 applicants, you will be invited to pitch your business to a panel of judges. The judges will choose the top 10 finalists competing in the grand finale.
According to the Africa’s Business Heroes website, the eligibility criteria for the program are:
- You must be the founder or a co-founder of your business.
- Only Africans or direct descendants of an African citizen can apply
- You must have a registered company that primarily operates in an African country.
- Your business must have market traction and at least three years of revenue.
- Your business must be profit-based and have a social impact.
15. Women in Africa (WIA) JAMII Femmes Grant
The WIA54 program is a Women in Africa (WIA) initiative aims to support ten thousand African women entrepreneurs by 2030 through training, mentoring, communication, and access to finance.
The goal is to contribute to creating 100 thousand jobs and to generating ten billion dollars in revenue for the African economy by 2030.
Also, the WIA 54 program includes a pitch competition where participants can compete for funding and other resources to support their businesses and initiatives.
Business must be owned or operated by an African woman
How to Apply
Visit https://wia-initiative.com/fr/wia54-2/ and follow the instructions
Up to ten thousand dollars
16. Black Founders Fund Africa
The Black Founders Fund Africa is a Google for Startups initiative that provides African Black-founded startups with access to funding.
The fund aims to help Black founders in Africa overcome the challenges of accessing capital and networks and to support their growth and impact.
The fund provides up to 100 thousand dollars in equity-free cash, 200 thousand dollars in Google Cloud Credits, and access to the best of Google—people, products, and practices.
Black Founders Fund Africa is primarily for startups with self-identifying black leaders or companies directly supporting the Black community.
Up to 100 thousand dollars worth of capital
- A startup headquartered in Africa or has a legal presence on the continent
- Your startup must have a technology-based product or service in the early or growth phase
- Business must create jobs, has growth potential to raise more funding, and thereby make an impact
- The startup must directly support the Black community with at least one Black C-level founding member
- The startup must possess compatibility with Google products
How to Apply
Visit https://goo.gle/ApplyforBFFAfrica, for comprehensive information on the eligibility requirements and instructions on completing the application process.
17. UNICEF Innovation Fund
The UNICEF Innovation Fund is a financial vehicle that invests in early-stage, open-source, emerging technology solutions that have the potential to impact children and the world on a global scale.
The fund provides up to 100 thousand dollars in equity-free funding, product and technology assistance, business growth support, and access to a network of experts and partners.
The fund focuses on solutions clustered around 100 billion dollars in industries in frontier technology spaces, such as blockchain, drones, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, extended reality, etc.
Also, the fund aims to build successful digital solutions into global digital public goods, ensuring fair, equitable, and open access to these human development tools for human development.
The fund is part of the UNICEF Office of Innovation, which also runs the UNICEF Venture Fund that makes early-stage investments in technologies for children developed by UNICEF country offices or companies in UNICEF program countries.
How to Apply
To apply for the UNICEF Innovation Fund, you need to follow these steps:
- Submit an online application: You need to fill out an online application form on the fund website and provide information and supporting documents about your startup, your solution, your team, your market, your impact, and your funding needs.
- Wait for the selection process: If your application meets the eligibility criteria, you will be contacted by the fund team to conduct a due diligence process. This process will verify your information, financial statements, legal documents, and references.
The fund team will also assess your solution’s technical feasibility, scalability, sustainability, and potential impact. Finally, the fund team will select the most promising startups to receive funding and support from the fund.
- Must be a registered private company
- Your business must be registered in a UNICEF program country
- Your business model must aim to provide a solution that will potentially impact the lives of the most vulnerable children positively
- Generating publicly exposed real-time data that is measurable
18. United States African Development Funds
USADF promotes economic development in Africa by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that benefit low-income communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
The organization provides funding, technical assistance, and capacity-building support to local organizations to create jobs, improve incomes, increase food security, and enhance access to social services.
USADF collaborates closely with local partners and has a history of engaging with marginalized communities in hard-to-reach areas.
You can apply for a USADF grant if you meet the eligibility requirements.
Up to 250 thousand dollars
To apply for a USADF grant, you must be an African-owned and African-led enterprise that improves the lives and livelihoods of people in underserved communities in Africa.
How to Apply
To apply, visit the USADF website and complete the provided online registration form.
19. Africa Cocoa Fund to Support Cocoa Famers in West & Central Africa
The Africa Cocoa Fund (ACF) is an initiative of the Rainforest Alliance Organization to support cocoa farmers in West and Central Africa.
The fund is a 3-year program that aims to create measurable, long-lasting positive impact by building the capacity of certified cocoa farmers who most need assistance to implement sustainable agriculture.
$5 million total prize money, with $500,000 to be distributed among farmers in 2020. There will be additional calls for application in 2021 and 2022.
Eligible farmers fall into two categories:
- Category A – Primary focus
- Category B – Secondary focus
See the link below to learn more about each category.
How to Apply
Application is open till 2020 September, 30.
Fill out the Application Form to apply.
To ask questions, please contact: email@example.com
20. ESP Launches Zero-Interest Loan Program to Support African SMEs in a COVID-19 Economy
The African Resilience Initiative for Entrepreneurs (ARIE) is an interest-free loan program to help 300 entrepreneurs across 7 African countries.
The initiative was launched by Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP) in partnership with the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and in collaboration with Ecobank.
ARIE aims to provide technical and financial assistance to entrepreneurs, with 70% of the beneficiaries awarded to female-owned businesses.
Beneficiaries can expect to receive technical support and networking opportunities and up to $150,000 per firm.
- Must be a firm registered in any of these 7 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda.
- The company must be in any of these sectors: Manufacturing, Agri-business, energy and renewables, and Essential services.
How to Apply
Application is open till the 25th of September, 2020
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
21. Agricultural Youth Summit Grant
Leventis Foundation Nigeria, in collaboration with African Union, Economic, Social and Cultural Council, Nigeria (AU-ECOSOCC, Nigeria), is awarding a grant to two youth-led agribusinesses as part of the 2020 Agricultural Youth Summit.
- Youth-led agribusiness
- Must be a Nigerian with a business located in the country.
- Follow Leventis Foundation on all social media platforms.
How to Apply
The application is closed. 5th August 2020
22. Nigeria Impact Startup Relief Facility nisif
Nigeria Impact Startup Relief Facility (NISRF) is an emergency fund launched by a consortium of funding partners to help existing post-MVP stage high-growth startups weather the impact of covid-19.
- $5000 – $20,000 equity-free grants.
- Beneficiaries gain access to high-powered business mentors
- Business continuity solutions.
- Must be operating in Nigeria
- Your startup should be tackling urgent social problems.
- Must be post-MVP, revenue-generating, and registered with CAC
- Have solid financial health pre-covid (USD 60K ARR – 12 months minimum).
- Have received seed funding in the past
- Your business should be scalable
- Must be in any of the following industries: Agriculture, Critical infrastructure, Financial services, Health care, education, and initiatives that target the informal sector.
How to Apply
23. Greenhouse Lab: The First Female-Focused Tech Accelerator in Nigeria
Greenhouse Lab is a GreenHouse Capital-backed 3-month accelerator focused on female-led tech startups solving some of Africa’s biggest problems.
- Access to a global network of investors, corporate partners, and mentorship
- Access to products and resources from GreenHouse Capital.
- Opportunity to work out of Vibranium Valley, Lagos.
- Receive up to $100,000 funding.
- Must be an early-stage startup with at least one female member on the founding member team.
- Must be solving a critical problem in Africa.
- Must be scalable
- Team must consist of at least two members, with one technical member
- Must have developed an MVP
How to Apply
24. Global Youth Empowerment Fund Grant
The Global Youth Empowerment Fund is an initiative of JCI, and the SDG Action Campaign focused on providing funding, training, and mentorship to youth-led projects and social enterprises.
The program aims to empower youths from around the globe who are impacting their communities by investing in grassroots community projects that advances the Global Goals for Sustainability.
- Youth-led projects advancing global goals for sustainability
- Focused on impacting communities and the grassroots.
How to Apply
Final thoughts on available business grants in Nigeria
The list above is the first part of the available funding options for small and medium-sized businesses.
We hope the grant options above help you pursue your entrepreneurship dreams.
Do you know of any grants we didn’t mention but that you’d like us to include? Are you a beneficiary of any of the grants above? We’d like to hear from you in the comments.
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