14 SOURCES OF BUSINESS FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENTREPRENEURS IN NIGERIA

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Where can I find small business funding and how can I obtain the fund? This is the question on every entrepreneurs mind.

People are beginning to put action behind their business ideas. But just as it’s always been, funding limits a lot of people. Therefore, finding the right source of business funding or small business grant becomes a priority.

Business funding is one of the biggest issues entrepreneurs face as lack of funding has killed so many growing businesses.

The world is growing so fast now, and more people are beginning to appreciate the efforts of entrepreneurs. A starved business idea may be the solution to a long unresolved social and economic issue.

Every business idea has the potential to secure funding but oftentimes, we have information gap.

Business Funding Opportunities For Entrepreneurs In Nigeria.

1) TEF entrepreneurship Program (http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org)

This foundation was launched in 2015 and is the largest African philanthropic initiative. It is devoted to entrepreneurs across the continent.  According to its website, the foundation has a 10-year $100 million commitment, to identify and empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs. Through the initiative, the foundation hopes to create a million job, and add about $10 billion in revenues to the economy of Africa.

It funds 1000 entrepreneurs from all over Africa every year and this number increased this year. As a foundation which is  committed to transforming the economy of Africa, it support and promote entrepreneurs and leaders across the continent. “As an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it feels like to yearn for a lifeline, to hope for a ‘big break’, to look forward to enjoying some luck,” said the founder, Tony O. Elumelu. 2) African Development Foundation (http://www.usadf.gov/)

The U.S. African Development Foundation supports African entrepreneurs by providing seed capital for their businesses. The foundation gives technical support to agriculture, energy and youth-led enterprises.

In addition to giving out seeds and funds, they train and monitor progress and growth of businesses. They assist in different phases of the project and offer mentorship platforms for the entrepreneurs.

3) Bank Of Industry Funding Projects

Bank of Industry is one of the few places entrepreneurs can turn to for business funding. Its management has been applauded many times for their uniqueness in helping businesses and entrepreneurs in Nigeria. They have different fund 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 given stands between N500,000 and N2 million.

They have other business funding programmes that aim at boosting businesses and growth rates. Some other funds they give out are Cottage Agro Processing (CAP) Fund, Nolly Fund (for investors in the Nollywood industry), etc.

4) 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 don’t just give funds; they train, guide and support their beneficiaries. The platform monitor and give business mentorship to both already-existing entrepreneurs and potential ones, between the ages of 18 and 35.

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).

5) GroFinFUND

This is a development financier body that supports and finances growing businesses across Africa and the Middle East. Launched in 2015, the organisation currently operates in 9 African countries and have investors like Shell Foundation, KFW, Dutch Good Growth, Norfund and Grofin as their sponsors.

It has committed about $500 million to fund small and medium businesses (MSMEs) across Nigeria. Grofin operates through five platforms: Aspire Small Business Fund, Growth Africa Fund, Aspire Growth Fund, Small Growing Business Fund, and Aspire Nigeria Fund.

Aspire Small Business Fund gives out a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $1.5 million to support various businesses in Nigeria. Also, Aspire Growth Fund gives between $100,000 and $3 million to entrepreneurs to nurture the growth of the business. They give out funds most times for a period of six years.

6) The Next Titans Show (http://thenexttitan.com/)

This is a business funding competition for entrepreneurs. It is a scout for ambitious entrepreneurs that have entrepreneurial intelligence and unbeatable business ideas.

The competition also evaluates commercial insight and business savviness of participants and chooses a winner from them. The grand prize is N5,0000,000 and a brand-new car as a support for the intended business.

7) Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (https://lsetf.ng/)

The scheme was founded by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund in 2016. Its primary aim is to support residents of the state, create more job opportunities and encourage innovation and creativity.

The fund is mandated to invest N25 billion to empower residents to grow their businesses. Some of the fund is directed to training youths to acquire skills so as to get good jobs. They are doing a lot through Lagos innovates which ReDahlia Workspaces is a partner hub.

8) Loftyinc Capital Management (http://loftyinccapital.vc/)

On the organisation’s website, a co-founder of the initiative, Idris Bello wrote about how they aim to support entrepreneurs. “We are excited to announce a new $25 million Afropreneurs Fund II. It will focus on early stage Africa-facing enterprises that leverage technologies to create social impact and tackle big problems.

The key goal of the Afropreneur Funds is to leverage these investments for social impact. Also contribute as much to social change and impact, as to the bottom-line – lifting millions out of poverty, illiteracy, sickness and unemployment,” according to him.

9) The Government Enterprise And Empowerment Programme (GEEP)

In the 2017 budget signed some few weeks back, the government set aside N112.2 billion for enterprise empowerment. The scheme is established to provide interest-free loans to business owners and artisans in the country.  Beneficiaries of the scheme will get between 10,000- and 100,000-naira loans with a one-time 5%-administrative fee.

About 200,000 Nigerians benefited from the scheme in 2016. GEEP, in addition to four other social investment plans are ways the federal government aims at helping Nigerians finance their businesses.

10) Business Development Fund For Women (BUDFOW) (http://boi.ng)

BUDFOW is a project of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (FMWASD) but managed by the Bank of Industries.

The fund programme empower vibrant and ambitious women; to encourage young women to be innovative enough to compete in the entrepreneurial world.

Since inception, N165 million has been disbursed. The interests and returns from those given out are what is being used to sustain the fund. It is not only for startups; it also empowers those that want to expand their businesses. Such businesses must be registered to enjoy this benefit.

11) Youwin! (https://www.youwin.org.ng/)

This is a business plan competition organised and run by the Federal Government to encourage entrepreneurs. It is one of the government initiatives to help grow small and medium businesses and create more jobs. 1,200 people enjoy this benefit per year.

Access to this grant is by application on the organisation’s website. The submitted business plans are reviewed by a panel, who will select winners based on how solid their plans are.

12) Dangote-Boi N5-Billion Fund For Small Businesses (http://www.boi.ng/dangotefoundationboi-matching-fund/)

This is a partnership between Dangote and Bank of Industries. The purpose of the foundation is to set up enterprises and support entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

One of its crucial aims is to also create at least a million direct jobs. The initial fund was N5 billion, but the plan is to grow it to about N20 billion. It empowers at least 250,000 lives directly annually.

13) African Women’s Development Fund (http://awdf.org)

This programme is designed basically to empower women and promote equality in Africa. It gives support to women in cash and other needed resourceful materials. Currently, they have 1,160 women organisations from 42 countries in their network.

Apart from the individual opportunity, they also give special funding to the organisations in their network. This is meant to train, support and amplify the voice of women and make them financially independent.

14) Banks Also Gives Business Funding

Banks have initiatives that fund entrepreneurs. Go through their websites to know what type of programs they have in place for business owners.

Diamond bank have BET (Building Entrepreneurs Today) in collaboration with Enterprise Development Center of Lagos Business School.

BET funds 5 entrepreneurs per annum with N3 Million each. The selection process is rigorous and starts around July of every year.