Top 10 Business Grants For Entrepreneurs in Nigeria; Requirements and Applications

Are you among the many looking for legit Business Grants For Entrepreneurs in Nigeria to help you kick-start their businesses? One of the major problems faced by entrepreneurs is the lack of funds or capital. If you have a viable business idea, there are many small business grants in Nigeria you can take advantage of.

You don’t have to worry about capital as long as you have a good business idea. All you need to do is to create a good business plan, look for verified grants, and apply for them.

Unlike Loans, when your business plan gets selected, you won’t need to repay the money. Business grants are one of the best sources of funding for entrepreneurs because of this reason. You don’t need to worry about the interest rate or repayment duration after winning any business grants.

It’s more like free money given to winners and entrepreneurs whose business gets selected. Even though it is not repayable, some of these small business grants will offer you mentoring as well as training. This is to prevent mismanagement of the fund and ensure you use it for the intended action. Below are the top small business grants in Nigeria you can benefit from.

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Top 10 Business Grants For Entrepreneurs in Nigeria; Requirements and Applications

1. Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program

This is a yearly program that offers support and small business grants in Nigeria to entrepreneurs. This is done under the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Both program and foundation are owned by a popular Nigerian business mogul, Tony Elumelu. He launched the program in 2015 to give back to society by giving entrepreneurs hope through grants.

Over thousands of applications are received across Africa and only 1000 applications are selected. Most of these applications are sought out by different sectors’ experts. The selected winners are given $10,000 grants to expand their businesses after the assessment.

Requirements and How To Apply

Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program opens on the 1st of January every year and closes in March. Below are some criteria you must meet before you can be chosen;

  • You must be living in Africa and be a citizen of Africa
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Your business must be for profit-making
  • Your business must be recently launched within 0 to 3 years.
  • You can apply for grants by visiting their OFFICIAL WEBSITE

2. Bank of Industry’s Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES)

Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) is also one of the small business grants in Nigeria you can benefit from. The Bank of Industry (BOI) launched the program to reduce the unemployment rate as well as empowering youths with skills and knowledge.

The selected applicants undergo 8 weeks of intensive training with nothing less than 5 days a week of classes. Upon completion of the training, tests are conducted and the top participants are rewarded with grants to promote their business ideas.

Requirements and How To Apply

Below are some of the requirements you need to meet to be eligible for BOI’s Youth Entrepreneurship Support grants. The Applicant must be;

  • A Nigerian with recognized proof of identity either an international passport or national ID card or voters card
  • Have a viable business plan for a business idea within the 40 approved clusters
  • At least an Ordinary National Diploma certificate holder(OND)
  • You can apply for Bank of Industry’s Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) via their online Portal

3. Diamond Bank BET

This is also one of the small business grants in Nigeria that can fund your business ideas. It’s similar to the BOI’s Youth Entrepreneurship Support in terms of application selection.

For the Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) grants, only the 50 best applications are selected and they are required to undergo 6 months of training. It’s upon the completion of the program that the top 5 entrepreneurs are rewarded with grants to fund their businesses.

4. Africa’s Young Entrepreneur Empowerment Nigeria Grants (AYEEN)

If you are selected as one of the beneficiaries of AYEEN Grants, after being rewarded, you will also be monitored for a year.

Africa Youth Entrepreneur grants have helped in investing in youth growth across the continent by giving out seeds for viable business ideas. They are part of those shaping Africa’s economy by encouraging new entrepreneurs. With viable business ideas, as long as you are a citizen of Nigeria or live in any of the 36 States, you are eligible for the grants.

5. Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund (LSETF)

LSETF is a local business grant in Nigeria that is organized and managed by the Lagos state government. It’s mainly targeted at people living in Lagos State.

The grants aim to reduce unemployment as well as train youth with entrepreneurship skills. Since its inception in 2016, it has been providing financial support for business owners.

6. GroFinFund

GroFinFund also offers small business grants to entrepreneurs in Nigeria and outside. They give support and grants to any small and growing business as long as you meet their requirements.

The independent organization can give over $100 million in a year depending on the number of candidates selected.

Requirements and How To Apply

To be eligible for GoFrinFund, your business must meet the following criteria;

  • Should operate in at least one of the following African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Egypt.
  • Should be for-profit and should be run by the owner
  • Have less than $6 million with a $15 million turnover
  • Requires Funds between $100,000 to $1.5 million.

7. Shell Livewire Funding

This is another local grant that is mainly for small businesses, especially those living in the Delta regions of the country. Shell Livewire Funding do not only award grants to small businesses, but they also train and empower entrepreneurs with skills and knowledge.

Shell Livewire Funding was first launched in 2003. Since then, Over 6,500 applicants have been recorded, with over 3,300 beneficiaries. You can visit to learn further about their grants.

8. YouWin Connect Nigeria

YouWin Connect is a project of the federal ministry of finance that was established to create jobs and wealth. Apart from giving out funds to small businesses, there is a platform dedicated to connecting young entrepreneurs with different industry experts. YouWin Connect Grants are given after winning a competition to the winner.

Requirements and How To Apply

Below are some of the requirements you need to meet before applying for YouWin Connect Grants. Applicant must be;

  • A graduate of a higher institution
  • Between the age of 18 to 40 and a Nigerian
  • Ability to communicate effectively in the English language
  • Willingness to attend all mentoring and training and mentoring activities organized
  • Employees of any federal Civil Service and previous YouWiN beneficiaries are not eligible to apply.

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9. National Youth Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit

This is also one of the top small business grants in Nigeria for small business owners and talented youth. The program support and empower youth with skills and funds.

The first edition was recently launched in 2019 was a lot of training, workshops, and other intellectual activities. Out of all the selected applicants, only the top 10 participants are awarded over 10 million grants

10. African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This program offers support for female entrepreneurship as well as small business grants in Nigeria to female entrepreneurs.

They provide grants to fund different businesses owned by females whether non-profitable organizations or private organizations. They help to contribute to Africa’s economy by supporting females generally.

Requirements and How To Apply

To be eligible for African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship grants, you must have

  • A registered business in any African countries
  • Successful female entrepreneurs
  • You can visit to apply.

Applying for Small Business Grants in Nigeria

When you are applying for any business grants, ensure you understand the criteria as well as what is needed by the organization. Write a good business plan for your business or better still hire the service of an expert before applying.

Have you applied for any of the above-mentioned small business grants? Share your experience with others via the comments section below.