13 Funding Windows for Nigerian SMEs (1/2)

Funding for Nigerian SME

A constant question from ALL entrepreneurs is “How can I get money for business?”. In Nigeria, one of the cheapest ways to get funds for your business is to apply for small business grants and affordable SME-targeted loans. The loans are often single-digit interest rate loans or significantly discounted compared to interest rates offered by high street banks. Grants unlike business loans, not repayable and are in effect free money but often come with certain requirements or conditions. For example, you may receive them in tranches based on performance or some pre-specified condition.

But not many business owners or start-ups are aware of such available funding opportunities and how to access them. Below we have summarised a total of thirteen different sources of finance any qualifying business or entrepreneur can access.

We hope that you will find them useful.

1. Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)

The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme provides $10,000 USD seed funding for entrepreneurs across Africa. To be eligible, business must be:

2. Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES)

The Programme equips young people with the requisite skills and knowledge to be self-employed by starting and managing their own businesses. You access, undergo:

  • 8-week intensive online Entrepreneurship and Business Management training.
  • 5-day in-class Entrepreneurship and Business Management training.
  • Technical skill training with BOI partnering technical and vocational institutes.
  • This is upon certification to:
  • Be a Nigerian.
  • Have a viable business idea within the 40 identified clusters.
  • Be within the age limits of 18 and 35 years.
  • Possess a minimum educational qualification of the Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
  • Do an application process online via: https://www.opportunitiesforafricans.com, https://www.fundsforngos.org

3. GroFin Fund

With a fund size of over US $100 million dedicated to funding micro, small and medium MSMEs across the country, GroFin combines patient capital and specialised business support to grow emerging market enterprises.

To be eligible, your business must:

  • Operate in Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.
  •  Be for profit.
  •  Have a turnover under US$ 15 million and below US$ 6 million.
  • Would only require financing of between US$ 100,000 and US$ 1.5 million.
  • Be owner-operated or  involved in the running of the business.
  • Apply via: www.grofin.com/language/en/apply/

4.  AYEEN Financial Grants

AYEEN finances small businesses in the various sectors of the economy, requiring that applicants are:

5. Lagos State Employment/ Entrepreneurs Trust Fund (LSETF).

The Fund is investing ₦25billion to help Lagos residents grow and scale their Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (“MSMEs”) or acquire skills to get better jobs.  To qualify:

  • Register and download the form by clicking on the url – http://lsetf.ng
  • Download form, fill and take to the nearest local government to submit or
  • Submit attached with a copy of your
  • LASRRA Id Card and
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) at the LSETF Office – 16, Billingsway, Oregun, Lagos

6. Bank of Industry SME Funds

The Bank of Industry (BoI) SME Funds are meant to address the problem of non-access to finance by SMEs.  To access the fund, you must:

  • Submit a proposal, an application letter and complete BoI’s questionnaire.
  • Have a registered company with proof of the Certificate of Incorporation, Certified True Copy of Memorandum and Articles of Association, form CAC 2.5(CO2) and forum CAC 2.3 (CO7) of the company.
  • Present audited accounts in the case of existing businesses of the last 3 years
  • Present a feasibility study
  • Present land and building documents with an unexpired tenure of 25 years minimum
  •  Present Statutory Certificate of Occupancy, approved building plan, bill of quantities or contractors estimate\valuation report on building as applicable as well as a satisfactory tenancy agreement long enough to cover the tenure of BoI’s facility in respect of a suitable rented property.
  • Present Proforma invoice for such items as machinery and equipment from source indicated in the feasibility report; enumerate price and source of raw materials
  • Present Company Tax clearance certificate
  • Provide names of at least two directors for the last three years with eight recent passport photographs of each director, their international passport or driver’s licence and that of the company secretary.

To apply, visit  https://smpreneurs.com/04/access-bank-industry-loan-boi-nigeria/

7. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF)

Prospective beneficiaries include micro entrepreneurs, seeking loans of less than N500, 000), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), wanting to loan N500, 000-N50million). To access the funds you:

  • Prepare a business plan or statement, indicating how much you want
  • Apply through a Microfinance Bank, NGO/Microfinance Institutions, Financial Cooperatives or finance companies.
  • Approach any Deposit Money Bank, Bank of Industry (BOI) or the  Bank of Agriculture
  • Get more details at https://www.cbn.gov.ng/MSME/

In order not to bore you, this edition is in two, sections (1 & 2). Seven funding opportunities and their requirements are being explained in this part of the edition while others will be explained in the second part of this edition. 


Anu Ogunlowo

Anu Ogunlowo, Content Marketer| Copy writer at ikOOba Technologies. Former SEO analyst at Konga, online shopping mall. Gained customer intelligence as a customer service agent and moved to a chosen career path. She is an expert and ever-improving digital marketer, content strategist, SEO and Social media analyst.

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