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22 Verified FG & International Grants for Small Businesses in Nigeria

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Here’s part 1 of the available business grants for Nigerian entrepreneurs. we hope together with this list of grants for small businesses in Nigeria, you will get the funding you need to launch, expand and scale your venture.

Money.

Funding.

Capital.

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?

Or,

you can apply and get grants for your business.

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 to international entrepreneur grants.

Federal Government Grants For Small Businesses in Nigeria

National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit

Federal government grants for entrepreneurs in Nigeria- NYEES

The National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit (NYEES) is a Federal government-led initiative focused on equipping entrepreneurial youths with the necessary skills and mentorships they need to contribute to national development.

Launched in May 2019, as part of the Democracy Day celebration the first edition was held in Abuja. With the second cohort slated to hold in Oct as part of the Independence Day celebration.

Participants undergo entrepreneurship and empowerment seminars, plenary sessions, lectures, open forums, skills acquisition training and pitching of business ideas for start-up grants.

Prize Money

1 million naira cash prize for 10 winners

Eligibility

  • Must be a Nigerian Youth aged 18-35
  • Must reside in Nigeria and your business operational in the country
  • Your business must be in one of the following, Art, Dance, Theater, New Media, ICT, Hands and Craft, Culture, Fashion and Design, Film and Entertainment, and Architecture.
  • Your business idea must contribute to any of the 9 FG’s top priority areas.

How to apply

  • Make a 1-minute video showcasing your innovative idea
  • Upload video on social media
  • Use relevant hashtags: #NYEES2 #NYEES #NYEESCREATIVES
  • Follow and tag @NYEESummit

CBN Creative Industry Financing Initiative

The Central Bank of Nigeria in partnership with the Banker’s committee recently launched Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) aimed at improving access to low-cost sustainable funding for entrepreneurs in the creative/IT sector.

The program, though not a grant, offers one of the lowest interest rates in the country at 9%. And it is open to youths with business ideas in Fashion, IT, Movie and Music.

Target Market

  • Designers – seed funds of N4.0 billion
  • Information Technology – N5.5 billion
  • Student Software development – N1.0 billion
  • Movie Production – N3.0 billion
  • Movie Distribution – N4.0 billion

Prize money

  • The maximum amount an individual beneficiary can access.
  • Fashion – N3 Million payable in 3 years at 9% interest with 36 months moratorium.
  • Student Software development – N3 Million payable in 3 years at 9% interest with 18 months moratorium.
  • Information Technology – N50.0 million payable in 10 years at 9% interest with 36 months moratorium.
  • Movie Production – N50.0 Million payable in 10 years at 9% interest with 24 months of moratorium.
  • Movie Distribution – N500.0 million payable in 10 years at 9% interest with 24 months of moratorium
  • Music – N500.0 million payable in 10 years at 9% interest with 36 months of moratorium

Eligibility

  • Must b a Nigerian with business domiciled in the country.
  • Must have an existing business in the creative industry.
  • Or a tech company engaged in the creative industry
  • Or a student of higher learning engaged in Software development.
  • The business must be in any of the verticals: Fashion, IT, Movie production and distribution and Music.

How to apply

Visit the CBN website here to learn about the application process.

Bank of Industry Youth Entrepreneurship Support Program

The Youth Entrepreneurship Support Program of the Bank of Industry was launched in an effort to help address the alarming rate of unemployment among the Nigerian youth.

The YES-P initiative aims to ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship in the youths by training, mentoring and funding viable business ideas. Participants will undergo an 8-weeks extensive online entrepreneurship and business training.

Prize money

Up to N5.0 million in loan

Eligibility

  • Applicant must be a Nigerian aged 18-35
  • A viable business idea which will be located in Nigeria.
  • Minimum education qualification of OND

How to apply

Registration is online. Visit the registration portal to apply.

I-Startup SouthWest Programme

i-Startup Southwest program is a Federal government social investment initiative under the office of Vice President with the mandate to fast-track the industrialization of the country by providing training, mentorship and non-refundable seed fund to entrepreneurs.

The program is open to tech startups and entrepreneurs using technology to provide solutions to problems in Agriculture,  Manufacturing, ICT and Digital Oil field.

Winners will undergo weeks of intensive Bootcamp training in Lagos, Oyo and Ondo.

Prize money

Up to N2 million

Eligibility

  • Must have a viable business idea, solution or product in Agriculture, Manufacturing, ICT, Digital Oil field, Governance or Health.
  • Business must be for-profit
  • Your state of residence or startup must be located in any of these states within the Southwest region: Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Lagos and Ekiti

How to apply

Visit Premiumhub.com.ng to apply

International Grants for Nigerian Businesses

The US-African Development Foundation

The united states African development foundation - international grants for Nigerian Businesses

The US-African Development Foundation is an independent Federal agency established to provide technical support and seed funds to African-led development initiative.

The grant is open to individuals and organizations making an impact in their local community.

Prize money

The foundation provides grants up to $250,000 to hard to reach and underserved community enterprises.

Eligibility

Depends on the grant you’re applying for. Visit their website for more eligibility criteria.

How to apply

Visit their website for more information

Omidyar Network

The Omidyar Network is a global impact investing and grant funding organization founded by Billionaire Pierre Omidyar of eBay.

Omidyar is committed to addressing the most critical economic, technological, and societal issues of our time.

Prize money

Depends on a needs basis.

Eligibility and how to apply

Visit website.

International Financial Corporation

The International Financial Corporation IFC a sister organization to the World Bank is the biggest global investment institution with a focus on the private sector in developing countries.

IFC offers a wide range of financial services to the private sector in developing countries.

Prize money

The amount accessible depends on a per-project basis.

Eligibility

  • Must reside in a developing country that’s a member of IFC
  • Must be in the private sector
  • Be technically sound;
  • Have good prospects of being profitable;
  • Benefit the local economy; and
  • Be environmentally and socially sound, satisfying our environmental and social standards as well as those of the host country.

How to apply

IFC does not offer its services to small, medium individual entrepreneurs. To access financing you’ll have to go through their financial institution partners.

However, companies an entrepreneurs seeking to establish a new venture or expand an existing enterprise can approach IFC directly by submitting an investment proposal.

Africa Netpreneur Prize

International grants for small businesses in Nigeria. Federal government grants for small businesses in Nigeria - African Netpreneur Prize

The Africa Netprenenur Prize is Jack Ma, Alibaba Group founder’s flagship entrepreneur initiative in Africa led by the Jack Ma Foundation.

The Grant seeks to spotlight and celebrate African entrepreneurs across the continent. Entrepreneurs regardless of gender, age an race are encouraged to apply.

Prize money

$1 million gran prize shared among 10 winners

Eligibility

Open to entrepreneurs in any of the 54 African countries

How to apply

Visit website to know when the application opens

Takeda Young Entrepreneurship Award

The Takeda Young Entrepreneurship Award is an entrepreneurial program of the Takeda Foundation that promotes innovation among the youths who leverages technology to profer real-life solutions to their community needs.

The Takeda Foundation believes that the challenging activities of young individuals trying to address real technological and social needs will lead to the creation of solutions that enhance the well-being of people throughout the world, which aligns with the Foundation’s mission.

Prize money

1 million yen to the best entrepreneur. 200,000 yen each to the top 5 runners-up.

Eligibility

  • Open to individuals from around the world.
  • Must be under 40 years by April 1.
  • Must have a creative and innovative idea that’s solving real-world problems

How to apply

  • Step 1: Create a profile on the website.
  • Step 2: Download an complete the application form
  • Step3: Mail your completed form to the address you’ll receive when you complete Step 1.
  • To learn more about downloading and filling the form, visit the website here.

Govlab by CCHub

CcHub GovLab idea Pitch - available grants for entrepreneurs Nigeria

Are you a social entrepreneur passionate about democratic governance? Do you have a solution that leverages technology to drive citizen participation in governance?

The GovLab by CcHub aims to help you scale your idea to make more impact in your community.

Prize money

  • The top 3 winners will qualify for the CcHUB Pre-Incubation programme (Lagos-based) where they will receive:
  • Access to $5000 seed funding (milestones).
  • Mentorship to support projects through rapid prototyping and piloting.
  • Physical resources such as office space, high-speed internet, meeting rooms & other facilities.
  • Access of up to $10,000 Amazon web service credit.

Eligibility

The GovLab Idea Pitch is an open call for innovative thinkers with ideas that:

  1. Promote citizen participation in law and policy making
  2. Bridge gaps in the elections process
  3. Drive student participation in University governance

How to apply

  • Submit either a new idea or the business plan for an existing business (that must not have been in operation for over 1 year).
  • Have a team. Teams must consist of a minimum of 3 members.
  • Be able to travel to Lagos.

Visit award website here

D-Prize Challenge

D-Prize Challenge mission is simple: Move existing, already-proven poverty alleviation solutions into the hands of those that need it.

Are you a social entrepreneur with an innovative idea that can help distribute life-saving solutions to the people living in extreme poverty?

The world has already invented products and services to end poverty, yet the best are not being distributed at mass-scale. Can you design a business or NGO that solves one of the Distribution Challenges below?

  • GIRLS’ EDUCATION
  • AGRICULTURE
  • ENERGY
  • GLOBAL HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
  • GOVERNANCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
  • CUSTOM

Prize money

Winners will receive up to $20,000 to launch

Eligibility

D-Prize Challenge is open to all aspiring entrepreneurs from any part of the world, age, race and gender.

How to apply

Visit the award website to learn more about the challenge and the application process. D-Prize Challenge

Development Innovation Ventures Grant

development innovation ventures grant - international grants for nigerian businesses

Do you have an idea you believe will solve one of the world’s development challenges? Or perhaps, you have a solution that’s impacting people’s lives but now seeking funding to scale?

USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is an open innovation program that tests and scales creative solutions to any global development challenge. The program invests in vigorously tested innovative solutions with proven impact on development.

Open innovation inspires new solutions to the critical challenges affecting millions of people around the world. It also means that game-changing ideas and solutions come from anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

That is why DIV is open year-round, reviews applications on a rolling basis, and funds innovations in any sector and in any country where USAID operates.

https://www.usaid.gov/div

Prize money

  • Stage 1: Proof of Concept (Up to $200,000)
  • Stage 2: Testing and Positioning for Scale ($200,000 to $1,500,000)
  • Stage 3: Scaling ($1,500,000 to $5,000,000)
  • Evidence Grants (Up to $1,500,000)

Eligibility

  • Anyone in the country where USAID operates with innovative solutions can apply.
  • The solution must demonstrate rigorous evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and a viable pathway to scale and sustainability.

How to apply

Visit their website to learn about their application process

Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge

The Argidius Foundation and ANDE launched the Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge in 2012, as the first of its kind competition designed to support scalable models to provide finance for small and growing businesses that require $20,000 – $250,000 in early-stage capital. 

The goal of the challenge is to accelerate the development of solutions in a number of emerging markets, ideally establishing models that could be replicated. 

Prize money

$20,000 – $250,000 in early-stage capital

Eligibility

  • The Challenge is open to all organizations or teams of organizations working to help SGBs secure sufficient finance (debt or equity) to grow.
  • Organizations could be non-profit or for-profit, including financial institutions
  • Must have significant expertise in offering or enabling financial solutions in emerging markets. 

How to apply

For information on the application process, visit.

African Diaspora Marketplace

The African Diaspora Marketplace encourages sustainable economic growth and employment by supporting US-based African diaspora entrepreneurs with innovating and high-impact ideas for start-up and established businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.

The business plan challenge is backed by the USAID and was the first diaspora entrepreneurship project to be placed on the IdEA platform.

Prize money

up to $50,000

and technical assistance grant of $10,000-$20,000.

Eligibility and how to apply

Visit website to learn more about the eligibility criteria an application process.

Total StartUpper of the Year Challenge

Total StartUpper Challenge - free grants for small businesses

Total StartUpper Challenge is a community social responsibility initiative launched in all the countries where the organization is operational.

The program aims to support good ideas and projects that help address a widespread problem affecting local communities. It could be about providing educational opportunities, reducing child mortality, improving public health, developing access to electricity in rural areas, improving road safety on the roads or building houses with eco-friendly material.

Prize money

Not stated. However, winners undergo intensive coaching sessions.

Eligibility and how to apply

Visit the website to learn more about the eligibility criteria and the application process. Total StartUppper. 

Seedstars World

World's biggest startup competition - grants for entrepreneurs in Africa

Seedstars World is a Switzerland based startup competition that takes place in emerging markets. 100+ competitions are held across over 75 countries where startups are trained, identified and the best seed-stage startup selected from each country and awarded with an opportunity to compete in a Regional Event to get qualified to join the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland.

At the Global summit in Switzerland, a grand winner is selected.

Prize money

Win up to $1 million in seed fund.

Eligibility and how to apply

Visit their website to learn more about the eligibility criteria and application process.

The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition

Youth citizen entrepreneurship award - grants for businesses in Nigeria

Are you a social entrepreneur with an innovative idea or solution that’s going to impact your community? Does your project align with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?

If you answered yes to these questions, then the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is for you. The global program is open to entrepreneurs especially young people age 15-35 with innovative ideas which champion the 17 SDGs and related goals.

Prize money

  • Grand Prize winners and the People’s Choice Prize winners will receive a virtual Gold Badge and a Certificate.
  • Second Prize winners will receive a virtual Silver Badge and a Certificate.
  • Third Prize winners will receive a virtual Bronze Badge and a Certificate.
  • Finalists not chosen as prize winners will receive an Honorable Mention Badge.
  • Entrepreneurship Campus Prize winners will receive a Certificate Campus Prize Winner Badge.

Eligibility

  • Must be 15-35 years at the time of application
  • Must have an innovative idea or project which champion the SDGs
  • Must be able to submit an entry in English

How to apply

Learn more about the application process here

Anzisha Prize

Anzisha prize grant for small businesses in Africa

Anzisha Prize is the foremost and largest program for African’s youngest entrepreneurs. The program is a partnership between African LEaership Academy and the MasterCard Foundation that seeks to solve the problem of unemployment in African through encouraging her youngest population to embrace entrepreneurship.

The Anzisha Entrepreneurship Prize seeks to reward African’s young entrepreneurs who have developed and implemented innovative projects or started businesses that are impacting their local communities.

Prize money

  • $100,000 shared between the selected Grand Prize winners

Other prizes include:

  • Access to $2000 worth of Entrepreneurship and Leadership curriculum
  • Access to $2,500 worth of consulting and mentorship programs
  • Access to Global Speaking events and networking opportunities.

Eligibility

  • Must be 18-22 years old
  • Must be an African residing in any of the African countries.
  • Your business must be in Africa with products/services for the African market
  • Your business must be fully operational ( no big ideas or business plan).
  • Participants who apply on behind of a business must be owners or founding partners of the business.

How to apply

Visit website for application guideline

Innovation Prize for Africa

The Innovation Prize for Africa is open to all African entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and academicians with solutions to Africa’s many challenges.

The Prize aims to encourage prosperity on the continent by investing home-grown innovations, strengthen the African innovation ecosystem and demonstrate that African ingenuity cut across the continent.

Prize money

  • $185,000 grand prize share among winners as follows:
  • Overall winner – $100,000
  • Second prize winner – $25,000
  • Highest Social impact winner – $25,000
  • $5000 recognition prizes for 7 other winners

Eligibility

  • Innovations must be by Africans for Africa
  • Complete the application form. Ensure all required fields are accurately filled.
  • Attach a letter of support or endorsement from an institution or authority with knowledge of the innovation.

How to apply

Apply here

Facebook Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa

The Internet.org Innovation Challenge supports Internet.org’s vision of a connected world by recognizing those who are working on internet-based solutions that will promote the standard of living and economic health of communities in Africa.

The Challenge is open to African developers working on apps, websites and services for learning and economic empowerment.

Prize money

$150,000

Other rewards include:

  • Package of tools an services worth $60,000 from Facebook’s FBstart program
  • Two other developers from each category will be awarded an impact prize of $50,000

Eligibility

Challenge is open to all African developers.

Apps must solve either of the following real-world problems in Learning or economic empowerment.

How to apply

Please, review the Facebook Internet.org Innovation Challenge regulations before applying. You can request for the rules by emailing: challengerules@internet.org

Send a signed copy of the rules to Africa_enterchallenge@internet.org

Apply using this link.

Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge

Are you a media entrepreneur with innovative ideas on how to publish and monetise news content from your audience?

The Google News Initiative is a global effort by the giant search engine to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

As part of this program, the GNI will fund a set of projects from around the world that meet specified criteria, with the intent of producing learning and thought leadership to share with the wider industry.

Prize money

Google will fund selected projects up to $150,000.

Eligibility

GNI Innovation Challenge is open to organizations of every size, including freelancers and sole traders, that aim to produce innovative, original journalism.

How to apply

Learn more here

Zayed Future Energy Prize

Rewarding innovation for a sustainable future - grants for innovative entrepreneurs in Nigeria

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, an evolution of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is the UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability and a tribute to the legacy of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Established in 2008, this annual award recognises and rewards the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions across five distinct categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.

Prize money

Total prize fund is $3 million distributed among the 5 distinct categories.

Eligibility

The award is open to anyone except (a) board members and employees of Masdar; and  (b) anyone who has been involved in organising, promoting or judging the Prize.

How to apply

Follow the links below to apply to the appropriate categories.

Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

The Africa Prize for engineering innovation - grants for businesses Nigeria

The Royal Academy of Engineering African Prize aims to encourage ambitious and talented sub-Saharan African engineers from all disciplines to apply their skills to develop scalable solutions to local challenges, highlighting the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.

Successful entrants will receive crucial commercialization support an 8-months training an mentoring.

Prize money

Winner – £25,000

Three runners-up – £10,000 each

Eligibility and how to apply

Visit the website to learn about the eligibility criteria and the application process.

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Sam Steve is a strategic content marketer and founder of Emira Digital Publishing. He helps clients grow their online presence by writing primarily about digital marketing, SME growth hacking strategies, and productivity. Connect with Sam on social media:

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