As a Nigerian entrepreneur who wants to start a business, places to get business grants in Nigeria can help you in the long run in terms of providing you with the adequate finances to fund your business.
If you don’t already know, the best way to get finance for an business ideas is getting a grant. Although, a loan can be a good alternative means for financing a business, grants are way better than loan because it gives you the complete freedom and peace of mind to grow your business. Intact, some call it “free money”.
Like with other countries all over the world, there are various places to get business grants in Nigeria through federal-government programs, private grant schemes, and international grant providers.
What is a Business Grant?
Business grants are financial funding (money, in almost all cases) given to entrepreneur or business owners to support the growth of their businesses without having to pay back.
The good thing about grant is that it is given by governments, big organizations, philanthropists for various purposes, and unlike loans, you don’t have to worry about paying back.
What are the differences between grants and a loans?
The only similarity between grants and loans is that both provide funding capital for businesses. However, there are various differences between these two which you need to consider before concluding on the most suitable one for your business.
Below are the differences between a grant and a loan.
• Payment: A loan is the money provided to you which in return you pay interest but a grant is non-refundable. It is like a gift.
• Collateral: Upon the signing of a loan deal, a collateral that will be taken if the loan is not repaid within the agreed duration is noted on the agreement contract but a grant does not require a collateral.
• Risk: While there are no risks attached to grants, taking loan can be very risky especially when you default and it may also stop you from getting subsequent loans.
• Opportunities: There are lots of opportunities for acquiring loans because many banks, micro-finance organizarions and individuals are offering it. Grant on the other hand is limited because only the government and few local and international organizations as well as philanthropists gives it to businesses.
• Availability: A loan is always readily available whenever you need it but that’s not the case for grants. Grants are only available once or twice in a year.
How to Apply for Grants
Even though this article contains the best places to get business grants in Nigeria, it is also crucial you understand how to apply for a grant and some of the criteria required for getting grants.
I’m sure you are already carried away by the term “free-money”, however, that does not mean you should apply for every grants you see. Below are some of the factors to consider on how to apply for grants.
You don’t just wake up one day and sign a grant contract just like that. You have to be very prepares when you want to apply for a grant.
Some of the questions that you should ask yourself to prepare to apply for grants includes, Why do you need the business grant? What’s the grant meant for, is it for business or otherwise? Do you have an outlined business plan? How will the grant help grow the business or idea? You need to have a thoughtful response to all these questions.
Whenever you seek for grants for a business or idea (which normally will be the case), it is paramount you have a detailed and well-structured business plan or blueprint. Grants are only given to serious individuals or businesses whom the grant provider deems fit to make a big impact. So, you need to be well prepared to convince the potential grant provider why you’re the right candidate to benefit from their grants.
Even though there are many places to get grants in Nigeria, majority of these grants has their own respective eligibility criteria which you must meet before being considered or else you maybe wasting your time.
Some grants are specific to locations, so be sure you fit into the location. Some are limited by scope
There are a variety of grants out there; business grants, agricultural grants, research grants, health grants, and lots more. Be sure whichever one you go for fits into your business or idea.
Most grants have stipulated requirements which you need to meet before you can access. Example of such requirements includes, years in business, certain documents required and some other important factors in particular. Endeavour to check all requirements before you apply and get the ones you don’t possess
Submit your application
Once you meet all the criteria to apply for whichever grant you’re going for it is time to submit your application.
Go to the portal to submit your application or if it requires submit via email or visiting their office, then do so.
Best Places to Get Business Grants in Nigeria
There are numerous places to reach out for grants for your business or ideas, but we will be highlighting the 5 best places to get business grants in Nigeria.
1. Africa’s Young Entrepreneur Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN)
AYEEN is a reputable empowerment and funding scheme that was launched to guide, mentor and provide funding for entrepreneur with smart business ideas in Nigeria.
As a very popular grant provider in Nigeria, over 25,000 applications from Nigerians from all over the 36 states participate in the AYEEN grant program.
Unlike other places to get grants in Nigeria, the AYEEN program offers a unique through you can get funding for your business or ideas or accepted into the mentorship program where you are exposed to networking, learning, and mastering of key business skills which are essential to starting, running, developing your business or ideas.
Funding amount varies from applicants and can range from a couple of thousands of naira up to tens of millions of naira.
• Must have a running business or a good building idea that is worth investing in.
• Open to all entrepreneurs in Nigeria within the aga of 18 and above.
• Must be living in Nigeria.
How to apply
• Visit the official AYEEN website
• Check for the big bright apply button at the website menu navigation with “AYEEN Register Now”
• Click on it to proceed.
• On the next page, fill out the application form and submit.
2. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme
Started in the year 201t by Tony Elumelu, a Billionaire entrepreneur and the CEO of Heirs Holdings.
The Tony Elumelu grant is a 10 years $100 commitment towards empowering Nigerians and other African entrepreneurs.
Since the inception of the business grant, the foundation has since disbursed over $25 million worth of grants to 7520 entrepreneurs from Africa, making it the biggest philanthropic contributions ever in the whole of Africa.
If you’re are selected to be a part of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme which is one of the best places to get business grants in Nigeria and all of Africa, you can gain access to premium network of mentorships, resources, and support you need to take your business from ideas to reality, and also to scale up and grow rapidly.
The good part apart this grant program is not just winning the grant, you’re also connected with professions and business experts which you can also turn to for advice and help when needed.
The funding is Non-refundable seed of $5,000
• You must reside and have the legal rights to work in the African country you’re applying from.
• The Business must strictly be located in any of the 54 countries in Aftica.
• Your business or idea must be at the early stage of about 0 – 3 years since establishing.
• Your business or idea must be able to yield profits, focused solely on a particular business line.
• You must register an account on the grant official platform at tefconnect, before submitting your online application.
How to apply:
Visit tefconnect official website via https://tefconnect.com/ which is the largest platform for African entrepreneurs and fill out and submit your applicarion.
3. Shell LiveWire Funding
Shell has been of great help to Nigerians for so many years now. Even though it is one of the places to get business grants in Nigeria, their scholarship programs is one of the best out there for Nigeiran students.
The Shell LiveWire has been a go to place for entrepreneurs looking for where to get grants in Nigeria. It is a youth social development enterprise program focused on training, developing, and providing monetary aids or funding for youths to start a business.
However, the program is only available to youths between the age of 18 – 30 from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria who desire to start up or run their own business.
Established in 2003, the Shell LiveWire program has developed over 6,580 youths while 3,373 has been awarded grants to run their businesses.
The amount of funding given to qualified applicants is not soecific but varies depending on the business requirements and other factors.
• Must be a Nigeria within the age of 18-30 years.
• Has a good business initiative that should amount to profits.
• Undergone and graduated from the program’s intensive entrepreneurship course.
• Must be from a Niger-Delta region such as Delta, Abia, Imo, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa-Ibom.
How to apply
The date for the application is made available on national newspapers or you can check their official portal from time to time for updates.
4. Innovation Prize for Africa
Looking for more places to get business grants in Nigeria? The Innovation Prize for Africa is a platform with a the sole goal to enhance the innovative spirit of young Africans to proffer solutions to their everyday endeavours.
The grant award is focused on encouraging an innovation-driven solutions to the numerous challenges faced by Africans.
Do you think your business idea can make an impact in African and not just Nigeria? If so, then you can give this opportunity a shot.
First prize grant worth– $1000,000
Second prize grant worth – $25,000
Third prize grant worth – $25,000
Recognition prize grant worth – $5000
• You’re must be a citizen from one of the Africa’s 54 countries.
• Foreigners with permanent residence in Africa are also eligible for the grant.
• The innovation must be fully developed and shouldn’t be just an idea
• All the mandatory fields on the application portal are required.
How to apply
5. African Women Development Fund
Female entrepreneurs are not left behind also on our list of the best places to get business grants in Nigeria.
This grant is sponsored by a pan-African female-only grant making organization that aims at supporting women rights and women-led organizations in Africa.
The funding from this grant is for organziations tackling issues related to body and health rights, women’s justice, security, participation, leadership, and peace.
Not specific, however, since the establishment of the program it has given out over $41.8 million US dollars.
• The intending business must be led by a woman and have majority of its workers as women.
• The business must be duly registered in an African country
• The business ought to have been in existence for at least 3 years
• Must possess the required organizational structures to effe timely implement the project.
• Must have an well-structured financial management system that can properly accounts for funds.
• Must completely fill out the application form.
How to apply
Visit their website to follow the application and guidance.
For every new businesses, adequate funds can help fasten the growth of the business which is why it is good to look out for grants if you don’t have adequate funds to run your start up.
Above, we outlined five of the best places to get business grants in Nigeria. In as much as there are lots of available grants providers out there, this article narrowed the list to the most promising amongst them for Nigerians.