Top 7 Small Business Loans and Grants in Nigeria

The most important aspect of running a business is having adequate funding. The funds are needed for fixed and working capital.
Securing capital is very challenging especially in a country like Nigeria. Bank loans require proper documentation, term interests and security.
Many SMEs starting out find it difficult securing the facilities available in the banking sector. Luckily there are business grants available to enterprising persons. The grants are offered by government, Non profit organizations or the private sector.
What are Grants?
Grants are non refundable funds given to a person, company or organization. They are usually facilitated by the private sector, government, trust, corporation or foundations.
The main beneficiaries of grants are non profit organizations, individuals, businesses and educational institutions. To acquire a grant the recipient needs to apply, present a proposal or compete with other interested parties.
Grants are specific in nature and require full compliance with the nature of the grant. To secure a business grant the individual submits an application or proposal to the grant provider.
This could be in a response to a request or initiative of the founder. Top types of grants are focused on disaster management, development, education and small business startups.
The conditions to acquire a grant differ such as non profit SME or local authorities. The funding could be focus on a project, community development or business related.
Top Grants in Nigeria
GroFin Fund finances small businesses across Africa and the Middle East. They offer patient capital and specialized support for businesses in emerging markets.
They offer patient risk capital integrated solutions, startup and end to end support. Small business organizations benefit from the $100 million funding.
To be eligible your business should be located in Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa. Other countries are Zambia, Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana.
Your business should be profit driven with turnover of less than US$ 15 million with assets less than US$ 6 million. Other requirements are financing request from US$ 100,000 to US$ 1.5 million. The owner of the business should be directly involved in the daily operation of the establishment.
  • Your business is profit driven
  • turnover of less than US$ 15 million
  • assets less than US$ 6 million
  • financing request from US$ 100,000  to US$ 1,5 million
  • the business owner should be directly involved in the daily operations.
Tony Elumelu-Image Source
The Tony Elumelu Foundation launched the program in 2015. They provide 10,000 seed funding for young entrepreneurs across Africa.
They select 1000 entrepreneurs across Africa from over 50,000 applicants. The applicants are judged by industry experts on innovation, financials, and feasibility of their business models.
To be eligible the business model should be profit making. The business should be new or under 5 years in existence. The business should be based in Africa and applicant at least 18 years with legal residence in Africa.
Applications are generally open from 1 January to 1 March so grab your opportunity now.
  • business model should be profit making
  • business should be new or under 5 years in existence
  • business should be based in Africa
  • applicant at least 18 years
  • legal residence in Africa
The diamond bank program is focused on building entrepreneurs today. BET is designed to encourage young entrepreneurs.
Every year the organizers provide intensive business training for 50 budding entrepreneurs. The training period is 6 months and the top 5 are awarded grants to start their businesses.
After 6 editions they have awarded 24 recipients startup funding. They offer the top 5 finalist’s 3 million naira to start the business.
This fund was established by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund of 2016. The main function is to provide Lagos residents jobs and wealth creation opportunities. The function is to reduce unemployment and reward innovation.
Individuals and SMEs can benefit from the 25 Billion funding. The fund offers direct investment to aid skill acquisition and small medium enterprises.
Inaugurated by the governor of Lagos State Akinwunmi Ambode it is committed to support 100,000 MSMEs. This involves the creation of 600,000 indirect jobs and 300,000 direct jobs.
The bank of industry has done brilliantly well in encouraging small and medium sized businesses. They have a youth empowerment program aimed at capacity building and unemployed youths.
The YES program encourages self-employment by providing capacity building and skill acquisition. The program comprises 8 weeks intensive business management training and technical training.
They offer additional 5 days in-class entrepreneurship training. And the business financing is in consonance with the commodity based industrialization strategy of the United Nations economic commission for Africa.
The person must have a good business idea within the 40 identified sectors. To be eligible the applicant must be a Nigerian, age 18 -35.
The person must posses minimum education of OND and present a proof of identity. This could be a national identity card, driver’s license, voter’s card or Nigerian passport. The application process is done online.

 Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs Financial Grants (AYEEN)
African Young Entrepreneurs focuses on inter trade creation across the continent. They focus on innovative and outstanding entrepreneurs in various sectors of industry. 
Winners are awarded prizes and application requirement is simple. The person seeking the grant should be a Nigerian and based in the country.
YouWin is a Federal Government initiative aimed at promoting job creation and entrepreneurship. They educate young entrepreneur on productivity and provide development tools. The drive is to promote economic diversity through transparency and competition. 
 The first edition of YouWin1 focused on job creation through small business funding. The second edition is focused on women not older than 45 years. While the third edition YouWin3 awarded 2500 youths support. 
To be eligible you must be between 18 and 40 years and a graduate from a higher institution. The applicant must be a Nigerian and have good communication skill. The applicant should be willing to attend training sessions and previous win awardees are not eligible. Members of the Nigerian Civil Service are also not eligible.


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