Funds hinders business growth. And in Nigeria, it is almost always part of the usual suspects young entrepreneurs list when asked what challenges they face growing their business. However, the country has recently witnessed both the private and public sectors increasingly enlist support for young Nigerian entrepreneurs with special funds and business mentorship programs.
From Mara Mentor, Africa’s largest entrepreneurship network, connecting budding entrepreneurs to business leaders, to the YouWin! Project, the Tony Elumelu $100 million entrepreneurship fund and several others, both individuals and government have committed providing young Nigerians with opportunities to build up their capacity and access funds for their business ideas. In no respective order, this post lists 5 of such entrepreneurship funds specifically set up to support small business owners. So if you are a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, why not try access funds from one of the programs below
Dangote-BOI N5bn Fund for Small Businesses
Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote recently partnered with the Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) to set up a N5 billion small and medium scale enterprises fund to grant low interest loans to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Nigeria. The fund is targeted at development of MSMEs across the nation with loans attracting only a 5 percent interest rate and a focused Bottom of the Pyramid Scheme to deepen access to the fund by entrepreneurs and micro enterprises. According to the Nigerian industrialist, “the funds are expected to impact directly on up to 13,000 registered groups in the country. Each group shall have an average of 20 entrepreneurs, this impacting the lives of up to 250,000 micro-entrepreneurs through job creation, spreading across all six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.”
Since its inception in 2003, Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria has provided 2,748 young people with funding to start and grow their businesses, according to information on its website. This year, fifty young entrepreneurs from Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States were awarded funding of N300, 000 by Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria to enable them to start up, or grow, their own businesses.
Business Fund for Women
Another entrepreneurship support program under Nigeria’s Bank of Industry is the N90 million-Business Development Fund for Women (BUDFOW), which focuses on women in business. Set up on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (FMWASD), it provides soft loans to women entrepreneurs. So if you’re a young female entrepreneur why not access this funding opportunity?
YouWin! [Has stopped now]
The objective of the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN!) Programme is to generate jobs by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youth in Nigeria, its website reads. The program was set up to develop and execute business ideas of young Nigerians that will create jobs. It also provides aspiring youth with a platform to show case their business acumen, skills and aspirations to business leaders, investors and mentors in Nigeria.
Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100m Entrepreneurship Fund
On the 1st of December 2014, Nigerian businessman Tony Elumelu announced the launch of a $100m Pan-African entrepreneurship initiative – The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme – a multi-year programme of training, funding, and mentoring, designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs. “I am determined to ensure that Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs have the platform they need to turn their entrepreneurial aspirations into sustainable businesses that will drive economic growth and job creation across Africa,” says Tony Elumelu. Said to be the first initiative of its kind to be launched by an African philanthropic organisation, the fund is the largest African sourced philanthropic gift, targeting the entrepreneurial space.
The listed funding programs are by no means an exhaustive list of financial support programs in Nigeria’s entrepreneurship space. Programs like Mara Mentor, an online entrepreneurship community that connects young aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners to leading entrepreneurs also helps bridge the gap knowledge and expertise needed to run sustainable businesses. But if you have information about other funding and entrepreneurship support programs, kindly share details in the comment box below.
Source: Ventures Africa