5 Programmes in Nigeria that gives financial support to businesses and startups.
Out of many identified problems facing businesses and startups in Nigeria, finance arguably seems to be the greatest challenge. Many of the SMEs have to deal with the problem of raising sufficient start-up capital and how to attract credit facilities from financial organizations like banks. Even where these facilities are available, small scale enterprises still have to provide collateral securities normally demanded by most lending institutions. These are in addition to the high-interest rate charged on loans given by these lending institutions. Without any doubt, the problem of finance is a major one particular to the establishment and survival of small and medium scale enterprises.
Finance and funding is a major aspect of starting or setting up a business because money is needed to buy materials, pay suppliers, purchase equipment, pay staff, and lots more. In Nigeria, funding is a major problem especially if an entrepreneur does not have enough money to kick start the business.
Many banks boast of having loans and funding opportunities for business, but the truth is that many of these banks usually place high-interest rates on loans they want to give their customers which are almost always not favorable to startups. Another problem is that the payback period is usually short which will make it almost difficult for the business to pay back within the stipulated time.
So, in this article, we shall be looking at 5 programmes in Nigeria that give financial support to businesses and startups and make it easy for them to get access to funding.
- Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) is a yearly programme launched by one of Nigeria’s business tycoon Mr. Tony Elumelu via Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). The program launched in 2015 is aimed at providing 10,000 USD seed funding for entrepreneurs across Africa. Every year, the programme selects 1,000 entrepreneurs across Africa from a pull of over 50,000 applicants.
Every year, the programme selects 1,000 entrepreneurs across Africa from a pull of over 50,000 applicants. Each application is carefully reviewed by business experts in the industry and winners are selected based on market feasibility, clear financial models, and a capable team to run the business. Each program cycle begins with an application process opened from January 1st until March 1st – this
Eligibility criteria for the TEF applications are as follows:
- Business must be based in Africa
- Business must be for profit.
- Business must be 0-3 years’ old
- Applicants must be at least 18 and a legal resident or citizen of an African country.
- Shell Livewire
This is a social investment platform that helps young entrepreneurs in Nigeria make their dream of starting their own businesses a reality. They aim at encouraging more young people to see entrepreneurship as a promising career path. Shell Livewire doesn’t just give funds; they train, guide, and support their beneficiaries. The platform monitors and gives business mentorship to both existing prospective businesses, with the ages of the applicants ranging between 18 years and 35 years. The Shell Live Wire programme is open to only the people of the Niger Delta region. Part of its mission is to discourage violence and militancy, in addition to encouraging youths to start up their own businesses. It is a youth enterprise development programme proudly supported and funded by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC).
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Startup Nigeria Incubation Program
The Startup Nigeria Incubation Program is business empowerment and funding opportunity which has been helpful to many Nigerian businesses. The incubation program for Nigerian startups is a 3 months intensive training program aimed at supporting highly innovative startup ideas across Nigeria. The incubation involves startup seed funding, cutting edge mentorship, and top-level training on business growth and sustainability.
The Startup Nigeria program is specifically designed to move companies from ideas to viable products/services. The Startup Nigeria Program usually targets Nigerian startups in the North-Western states (Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto Zamfara States), North Central states (Niger, Kwara, FCT, Benue, Kogi, Plateau, Nasarawa States), and South-Eastern states (Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi States) in Nigeria. The Startup Nigeria Program promises to provide owners of businesses in this zone the needed grounds to excel with a specially designed work plan to help idea and early-stage entrepreneurs find their footing and grow in Nigeria’s socio-economic terrain.
Part of the benefits of the Startup Nigeria Program include:
- Training: The startup Program is designed to help companies quickly validate their core hypothesis, build products and services users love, and gain traction.
- Mentorship: The program provides beneficiaries with the opportunity to meet with mentors to accelerate business growth and help entrepreneurs succeed faster.
- Seed funding: At the end of the Startups Program, the participants receive investment to help move their ideas forward and they also get support on future fundraising. The fund will be disbursed based on the financial involvement of your Idea.
The timeline for the programme follows a very interesting progression from inception all through to the final stage. The typical stages are as follows:
- Virtual Training
- Pitch Interviews
- Pitch Bootcamp
- Demo Day
- Post Program Support
Finally, the application for the programme is usually online and never offline, so do not fall for scammers. The official website and application portal for the programme is https://startupnigeria.ng/
- Bank Of Industry (BOI) Funding Schemes
Bank of Industry is one institution that offers hope for entrepreneurs when it comes to business funding. The Bank was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria with the mandate of providing financial assistance (Loan) for the establishment of large, medium, and small projects as well as the expansion, diversification, and modernization of existing enterprises; and rehabilitation of existing ones in the country. BOI’s management has been applauded many times for their uniqueness in helping businesses and entrepreneurs in Nigeria. They have different funding schemes, for different categories of people.
Their Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund is aimed at members of the National Youth Service Corps. Interested candidates submit their business ideas and there is a selection process. The amount is given stands between N500,000 and N2 million. They have other business funding programs that aim at boosting businesses and growth rates. Some other funds they give out are the Cottage Agro-Processing (CAP) Fund, Nolly Fund (for investors in the Nollywood industry), etc. Bank Of Industry only finances enterprises or companies and not individual persons or groups. The company/enterprise must be duly registered and you will be required to provide the registration number for a Limited Liability Company or business name for an enterprise before you can proceed with your application.
- Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund (LSETF).
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) was established by The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016 to provide financial support to residents of Lagos State, for jobs, wealth creation and to tackle unemployment. The Fund started with an initial capital of N25Billion contributed over four years by the Lagos State Government, with the aim to raise additional funding from various sources including donor partners, development agencies, corporate organizations, and individuals. LSETF focuses on promoting entrepreneurship by improving access to finance, strengthening the institutional capacity of MSMEs, and formulating policies designed to improve the business environment in Lagos State. In addition, the Fund also helps to develop programs that are designed to train and place unemployed Lagos residents in jobs; while also focusing on programs designed to drive innovation within the Lagos ecosystem. The Fund has the mandate to directly invest ₦25Billion in helping Lagos residents grow and scale their Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (“MSMEs”) or acquire skills to get better jobs. The LSETF financially supported an average of 100,000 MSMEs in 2019, created 300,000 direct and 600,000 indirect jobs – as part of the direct efforts and activities of the institution.
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