Below are the private and government grants available in Nigeria right now in 2020.
We have recently published about the bank of industry loan which focus on agricultural investments only. You should check it out.
Ideas and money always need to go hand in hand, but sadly, people sometimes develop wonderful ideas and are at loss on how to capitalize on it.
This brings about the issue of grants; a financial aid given to a person or an organization to carry out a specific task and is not repayable.
On the contrary, a loan is an amount of money given to a person or an organization to be repaid at a specific time-whether or not the purpose is specified.
It is common to see people mix up loans and grants, but grants are non-repayable, while loans are; and what many refer to as grants are actually, low interest-loans.
This article will be focused on grants and not loans.
Hence, readers should not be surprised if the first names that come to mind whenever the word ‘grant’ is mentioned don’t make the list; that’s because they’re soft loans.
In Nigeria, there are various organizations; governmental and non-governmental that give grants. Let’s take a look at some.
Grants in Nigeria 2020
- Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program
- Diamond Bank BET Program
- Shell Lifewire
- International Breweries Foundation
1.) YouWIN Connect Business
One of the most successful government grant programs in Nigeria, is the YouWIN program.
This is an annual business idea competition for Nigerians between ages 18 and 45, educated beyond secondary school (OND and above) with business ideas to be instituted within Nigeria
- Those who make the above criteria should register on their online portal
- With the details obtained from the above, login and complete a business application, then wait, during informed as to whenever the shortlist is released
- The shortlisted candidates are then to proceed and undergo an online training, at the end of which successful candidates will be selected to undergo a masterclass training in specific sectors (hub).
- At the end of this training, participants are certified and required to submit a business plan.
- Successful businesses are then funded for a year, and given other forms of support.
2.) Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP)
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) in its bid support thousands of entrepreneurs and create millions of jobs within the continent carries out this annual program, since 2015.
It is open to African Entrepreneurs (all 54 countries), with business ideas or businesses less than three years old, with the potential to create jobs.
- Go to the application portal; www.tefconnect.com to apply, open January 1st to March 31st.
- Successful applicants are invited for a business training and mentorship, and some of those are shortlisted
- Shortlisted candidates prepare and submit their business plan and the best of those enter a Pan-African Pitching competition
- The overall best are then entitled to $5,000 grants.
3.) Diamond Bank BET Program
The Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) program organized by Diamond Bank that started in 2010 (currently in its 9th season).
It is open to all ages, gender, and whether the business is a startup or has been in existence.
The BET program is committed to training and funding entrepreneurs, up to the tune of 3 million naira.
- Fill the online application form; personal and business at; www.diamondbet.com.ng
- Make a one-minute video of the business idea and send
- Wait for an invitation
4.) AYEEN Financial Grants
African Youth Entrepreneurs Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN) is an NGO committed to supporting startup and existing businesses with great ideas.
The main focus of AYEEN are the small business enterprises.
- Apply using the online registration form
- Then follow all the AYEEN 2019 social media accounts; Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Then applicants can then submit a business plan or apply for the J19 form which they are to fill and submit
- They will now wait for an email that will give them instructions on the screening process, date and venue
- Successful applicants are notified
5.) Shell LiveWire Funding
The Shell LiveWire program is an entrepreneurship program concerned with training, funding and supporting young entrepreneurs.
This program is however limited to youths from the Niger Delta region of the country (namely; Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo and Rivers states) between the ages of 18 to 30 years.
- Interested applicants who fit the above mentioned criteria are advised to keep informed on newspapers and the website;
- www.shellnigeria.com/liveWIRE. This is also an annual program.
6.) GEM Grant
The Growth and Employment (GEM) project is funded by the World Bank and the UK’s Department for International Development in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry.
This, unlike the rest of the above mentioned grants, are for existing businesses and not startups.
There are different types of grants available on the GEM project, including;
- Equity Grants
- Matching Grants
- Performance Grants among others
- The process differs with the type of Grants to be applied for and the easiest way to is to visit their online portal: www.bigportal.org.ng
7.) IB PLC Hero’s Foundation KickStart Program
The program is organized by the International Breweries and has been available for about three years now.
Like the others, it is committed to supporting young entrepreneurs in some African countries – Nigeria is one of those.
The program is aimed at both startups and existing businesses (less than 3 years) that seek to expand their businesses.
Their focus is on agriculture, recycling, manufacturing, healthcare, education etc. Application criteria include;
- Aged 18 to 35 years
- Able to communicate in English
- Resident and have their business within Nigeria
The program has over the years moved from regional to becoming National and successful applicants may win a grant as much as 3 million naira.
- Interested entrepreneurs who fulfill the above criteria may go on to the online registration platform on; www.internationalbreweriesfoundation.org to register.
Before Applying for a Grants
The unemployment rate in Nigeria is quite high and due to that fact, there are lots of young Nigerians who are looking towards entrepreneurship leading to the competitiveness of all of the programs.
To increase one’s chances of being successful when they apply for grants, here are a few things to consider;
1.) Develop a sustainable business plan: This is the first and most important step when applying for any grant.
The best business plan is one that is novel (i.e. innovative), sustainable and creates employment
2.) Learn how to write grant applications: A lot of good business ideas end up unsuccessful because of how the grant proposals are written.
If one has problems of this nature, there are various programs open to tutor entrepreneurs on how to write grants, some are even tailored to specific grant programs like to Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program.
3.) Research: on the grant you’re applying for, to know if you fit into the eligibility, and the scope of the grant.
Other Option to Fund a Business
Since not all grant applications are successful, it is important to mention other viable options that are close enough to get a grant
- Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Program: This is under the Bank of Industry; while the process of application is similar in many ways to obtaining a grant, it is actually as soft loan as recipients are required to pay back in a span of three years
- GroFin Fund: This is another soft loan than supports small and medium business enterprises
- Lagos State Entrepreneurship trust fund: They also give loans, but as the name implies, it is limited to residents of Lagos state.
- Others: Such as agricultural loans with both government and non-governmental organizations etc.
These are groups of people; entrepreneurs, investors that actually come together to fund a business.
This is easier because the group is actually driven by a common aim, and the idea is actually developed based on the collective interest of the group
There also lots of investors out there to pitch one’s ideas to; and no necessarily wait for any grant programs, loans etc.
Why you Should Apply for Grants
There are actually lots of reasons to apply for grants, some of which we are familiar with;
1.) Funding: This is the primary reason why everyone applies for grants, for funds to either start or support their growing business.
2.) Business networking: This is one of the added advantage of getting grants, the business becomes popular among the general public, and upon that gains a better reputation.
3.) Training: Many grant programs like the TEEP and the YouWIN programs include training into the selection process, such that even if applicants don’t win at the end of the day, they acquire some skills in entrepreneurship.
4.) Idea development: Before applying for a grant, most entrepreneurs have an idea, but as they undergo the selection process, they are exposed to different ways on which their ideas can be developed.
In conclusion, applying for grants in Nigeria over the years has evolved from simply writing a grant application letter to a body to the very competitive system we have today.
Despite that, with great business ideas, entrepreneurs are most likely to benefit from one or more grant programs within Nigeria and some other international grants available to Nigerians.