Best 10 Grants For Startups In Nigeria (2021 -2022)

Debt and equity financing are not the only ways to get funds for your startup. A startup can also get a business grant. Businesses can use this fund to finance the investigation of a business concept, provide working capital for business and for other purposes. Also, businesses can use grant funds to supplement existing funds. In this article, I will show you 10 grants for startups in Nigeria.

Grants For Startups In Nigeria

There are a few benefits to getting a business grant. The first is that, unlike loans, you do not have to pay back.

READ MORE: How your business can grow with Great Customer Service

Secondly, you can easily access more grants if you have a previous grant and lastly, it increases your credibility. This is because being awarded a grant lets investors know that your startup has promise. There are four categories of grants for startups in Nigeria:

(i) Federal Government Grants For Startups

1. National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit

The federal government established the National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit through the office of Secretary to the Federation. It was first launched in May 2019 as one of the events for the democracy day celebration.

It is an initiative the government came up with to encourage creativity in the youth. Also, the government did it to create an enabling environment where the youth can showcase their creative abilities, create an avenue for youth to interact with top government officials responsible for youth intervention programs and provide them with soft grants as start-up capital. The grant is open for thousands of Nigerian entrepreneurs but ten outstanding startups will get the prize money (₦1 million) each.

To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 18 and 35, your business must be domiciled in Nigeria and it must be in line with the federal government’s nine top priority areas. Also, 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.

You can apply by making a 1-minute video about your business’s innovative idea,  Upload the video on social media with the hashtags #NYEES2 #NYEES #NYEESCREATIVES and follow and tag @NYEESummit.

2. I-startup Southwest Program

The Office of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs through National Social Investment Programme created incubation programs that will empower startups and contribute towards building sustainable businesses.

The incubation programs which lasts 12 weeks include training and mentor-ship from experienced facilitators and experts from different fields. These startups will then receive equity funding, business advisory services, access to network and pitch to investors. Innovative startups will get the sum of NGN 2 million for their businesses.

To be eligible, you must have a business and reside in the Southwest region (Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Lagos) and your business idea must address the manufacturing, education, ICT, agriculture, health and governance.

You can apply on their website

3. GEM Grant

The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment with the support of the World Bank implemented the Growth and Employment (GEM) project.

The program targets at least six economic sectors (Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Entertainment, Wholesale and Retail, Construction and Real Estate, Hospitality and Tourism, and Meat and Leather) and aims to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The amount awarded is between $50,000 and $250,000.

To be eligible, your business must be operating in Nigeria, the business must be operating in any of the following sectors ICT, Entertainment, Light Manufacturing (Agri-business & Industrial processing), Hospitality & Tourism and Construction and Real estate, or any activities related to one of these sectors and the business must have no more than fifty (50) full-time employees. The business must be a for-profit private sector company, partnership or sole trader.

Unregistered firms or entrepreneurs can be eligible but the will need to show evidence of a business registration at the time of the agreement signature.

You can register by visiting Big Portal.

(ii) International Grants For Startups

4. The United States African Development Foundation

The principal aim of the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) grants is to enable grassroots groups in Africa to generate increased income through productive enterprises. The foundation provides grants up to $250,000 to hard to reach and undeserved community enterprises.

The grant is for several African countries including Nigeria and as far as eligibility, USADF will only consider proposals from 100% African-owned enterprises, associations or cooperatives operating in the specified country sectors.

Applicants must be legally registered in their country, with a with a proven ability to track, manage, and use internal and external resources to achieve growth.

You can visit their website to apply.

5. Africa 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 and race can apply. The grant money is $1 million dollars and ten outstanding entrepreneurs share it. It is open to entrepreneurs in the 54 countries in Nigeria.

Visit their website to apply for the grant.

6. African Women Development Fund

The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a Pan-African grant making organization that supports the realization and fulfillment of African women’s rights through funding of autonomous women’s organizations on the continent.

To be eligible, the organization must be led by a woman and have majority of its staff and board being women. The organization must be duly registered in an African country. The business must have been in existence, for at least 3 years. Also, it must have the needed organizational structures for effective implementation of the project.

Visit their site to apply

(iii) Agricultural Grants For Startups

7. World Agriculture Prize

The World Agriculture Prize is a grant given to individuals with global impact in the field of agriculture including breeding, food production, plant and animal science; food science and technology; nutrition; rural development; water and the environment; natural resource conservation; bio based products, social organization and poverty elimination.

Two winners are chosen, one being from a developing country. The prize money is $100,000. To be eligible, you must establish exceptionally significant and globally impacting achievements in the field of agriculture.

Visit their website to register

8. African Food Prize

The African Food Prize focuses on recognizing extraordinary women, men and institutions whose outstanding contributions to African agriculture are forging new era of sustainable food security and economic opportunity that elevates all Africans.

The grant prize is $100,000 awarded to one winner.

The business must contribute in providing a vital source of income and/ or employment in measurable terms and must have contributed to increased awareness and cooperation among African audiences and organizations to be eligible.

You can apply here

Grants From Foundations

9. Tony Elumelu Foundation

Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation launched the TEF entrepreneurship  program.

The grant is to provide 10,000 aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to benefit from the $100million grant. Businesses are given a non-refundable grant of $5,000 as seed funding.

To be eligible 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 and your business must be an early stage of 0 – 3 years or a business idea. Application opens on the 1st of January every year and lasts till the 31st of mark of that same year.

Visit their website to apply.

10. Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

The Schwab foundation was established to provide business grants to African countries in other to encourage and expand socioeconomic innovations. The foundation is focused on sectors like health, tech, education and agribusiness.

You can apply on their website.

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