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Available Grants for Entrepreneurs in Nigeria 2022

Obtaining a grant is one of the best ways to raise money for projects or business ideas. Loans are indeed an option, but grants are far preferable to loans. It provides you with the patience required to develop and expand your venture or concept. It’s similar to receiving “free cash.”

Almost everyone who launches a new company seeks funding to begin pushing products to market and meeting customers’ needs. Therefore, applying for small business grants is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to raise money for your company in Nigeria

Unfortunately, there aren’t truly very many incentives for small enterprises offered by the federal or state governments of Nigeria. However, there are numerous non-governmental organizations that provide grants in Nigeria, Africa, and around the world.

Grants don’t have to be repaid, unlike company loans, so there’s no concern about term length, interest rates, APR, or refinancing. Simply meet the requirements, and the money is yours. In this article, we provided advice on the best small business grants available (that are ongoing) in Nigeria, which is sponsored by both public and commercial organizations. And can be used for any type of business including agriculture and other entrepreneurial start-up ideas.

What are Grants?

Grants are sums of money given to people or organizations to help them grow without expecting repayment. Large businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations, and wealthy individuals all award grants for a variety of reasons. You do not have to pay anything back, unlike loans.

So, what is the difference between loans and grants? Let’s find out!

Difference Between Grants and Loans

Before choosing which is best for you, you might want to think about the differences between a grant and a loan. Each has advantages but below are the differences:

Payment: A grant is not repaid, whereas a loan must be repaid with interest.

Collateral: Loans may need collateral that will be taken over if they are not repaid within a certain period of time, but grants do not.

Risk: There is none when receiving a grant because repayment is not necessary, but there is a risk when receiving a loan. There could be problems if you don’t pay back on schedule. And you risk losing your future loan eligibility.

Opportunities: Because so many banks, microlenders, organizations, and private individuals make loans, you have more of them. However, a grant has a restricted amount because few organizations offer them. Government, philanthropists, and international organizations provide the majority of it.

Availability: Loans are more readily available. It is available every day and at any moment. However, grants are not always accessible. Some are distributed twice or once a year.

Available & Ongoing Grants in Nigeria for Entrepreneurs

The following organization or individuals offer grants in Nigeria for projects or businesses:

1. AYE Financial Grants

Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (AYE.) is dedicated to developing young businessmen throughout the continent by building platforms that promote intra-trade. We are committed to fostering the next generation of exceptional African business leaders who will reshape the political and economic systems of their own nations.

AYE seeks to provide small business financing across the economy. Winners would receive their awards directly from the sponsors with no involvement from the organizers. However, the firm owners and their operations will be properly observed for a year. The only requirements for the program are that the applicant is a Nigerian and that the firm is situated in one of Nigeria’s 36 states.

To apply or for more information, visit the AYE official website.

2. African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) Grants

The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a grant-making foundation that assists local, national, and regional organizations for women seeking to advance and realize the rights of African women.

So you can apply if your business or ideas support the development and empowerment of women.

Click here to read more about the AWDF funding.

3. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grants

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), formerly the William H. Gates Foundation, was established in 2000 with the intention of enhancing people’s quality of life all over the world. Although it is available everywhere, Africa is where it is most dominant. Additionally, as implied by the name, it is owned and supported by Melinda Gates, the ex-wife of veteran billionaire Bill Gates.

The foundation was apparently the largest privately held philanthropic organization in the world as of 2017, with assets valued at US$50.7 billion.

The foundation frequently awards funding to businesses. These grants can be used by American and African organizations that provide solutions to challenges facing the world.

The funds mostly focus on humanity. Grants for agriculture are frequently provided under this foundation.

Visit the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grants page here to get the most recent list of available funds.

4. GroFin Fund

An innovative development lender, GroFin focuses on funding and assisting small and growing companies (SGBs) in Africa and the Middle East. To help emerging market businesses grow, GroFin combines patient funding with specialist business assistance.

Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) that are blatantly underserved by other funds or lenders are the focus of GroFin. provides start-up and expanding enterprises at the SME base with an innovative integrated solution for patient risk financing and comprehensive business assistance. GroFin has a fund size of more than $100 million dollars to support MSMEs (micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises) in Nigeria.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Your business operates in one of the following countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda.
  • Your business is for profit.
  • Your business has a turnover of less than US$ 15 million and assets of less than US$ 6 million.
  • You require financing between US$ 100,000 and US$ 1.5 million.
  • The business is owner-operated and/or the owner is substantially involved in running the business.

Learn more about GroFin here.

5. Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) grants

A development group called the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund seeks to encourage the expansion of the continent’s private sector. Businesses and entrepreneurs from all over Africa are eligible for the grant.

The AECF fund’s value as of 2018 is $356M. Several international partners, including the governments of Canada and Australia, have donated to the fund.

With a primary focus on agriculture, agribusiness, renewable energy, climate change adaptation, access to information, and financial services, the AECF provides grants and no-interest loans to African enterprises and entrepreneurs with the most creative ideas.

Through competitions, the fund is made accessible. Entrepreneurs and businesses are asked to submit their creative concepts.

Click here for additional information on the AECF grants and to apply.

6. The United States African Development Foundation (USADF)

An independent government organization of the United States called the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) was founded to offer financial and technical support to African businesses. The USADF provides up to $250,000 in grants for operational support, business expansion, and market access to early-stage energy, agribusiness, and youth-led ventures that help underserved areas in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Young people and women in agriculture are the main focus of this grant.

Click here to apply for a USADF grant or to find out more about USADF.

7. Program for Entrepreneurship by Tony Elumelu (TEEP)

One of Nigeria’s business tycoons, Mr Tony Elumelu, created the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) annually through the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). The initiative, which was introduced in 2015, aims to give African entrepreneurs 10,000 USD in initial money. From a pool of more than 50,000 candidates, the program chooses 1,000 entrepreneurs from all over Africa every year.

From a pool of more than 50,000 candidates, the program chooses 1,000 entrepreneurs from all around Africa each year. Each application is rigorously examined by business professionals in the sector, and winners are chosen based on the viability of the market, the accuracy of the financial projections, and the strength of the management team. An application period is open from January 1 until March 1 of each program cycle.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Business must be based in Africa
  • Business must be for profit
  • Business must be 0-3 years old
  • Applicants must be at least 18 and a legal resident or citizen of an African country.

8. Ford Foundation grants.

One of the most well-known philanthropic organizations in the world is The Ford Foundation. The foundations, which were founded in 1936, provide funding to groups throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and the United States.

Since its founding, the foundation has distributed nearly $16.3 billion in grants across the globe.

The Ford Foundation concentrates on programs that advance human knowledge, fight injustice and poverty, and promote democratic principles.

You can always write to the Ford Foundation and share your thoughts with them at any time.

Click here to apply for a grant from the Ford Foundation or to read more about the Ford Foundation awards.

9. The AXA Research Fund Grants

The AXA Research Fund’s goal is to provide funding for exceptional researchers who are dedicated to addressing social issues around life and health, data and technology, the environment and economy, and economics. Grants from the AXA Research Fund are a creation of the AXA Foundation.

In 35 countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, and many other African nations, the organization had provided funds of up to €250 million for 665 research projects as of 2022.

Click here to read more about the grants offered by the AXA Research Fund.

10. Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Grant

A non-profit organization in the private sector called the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) offers grants to non-governmental business associations like chambers of commerce, employers’ federations, trade associations, and private enterprise-focused research teams all over the world. 

Without the involvement of the government, grants are given privately and directly to non-American corporate entities. The National Endowment for Democracy program’s business representative was named by the US Congress in 1983 as CIPE.

The various objectives of CIPE include, among others, assisting in the development of autonomous business groups to broaden the pool of business talent in developing countries such as Africa.

Click here to find out more or to apply for a CIPE award.

11. International Monetary Fund (IMF) Grants

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) awards funding to nonprofit groups that aid the most vulnerable people in escaping social dependence, extreme poverty, and other harmful circumstances.

$10,000 is the average grant award from the International Monetary Fund

Click here to apply or learn more about the IMF grant.

12. World Bank funding

The world bank awards grants to companies and business owners throughout the world. But the majority of global donations are made in collaboration with governments. You should therefore stay current on news about the most recent global bank grants access to your country in order to access the grants from the world bank.

Organizations in civil society can still apply to the World Bank for funding, nevertheless.

13. YouWIN Nigeria

A multimedia initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance is called YouWiN Connect. Through enterprise education for young Nigerians, the initiative seeks to encourage entrepreneurship, the creation of jobs, and wealth. The use of appropriate SME development tools will increase the productivity of Nigerian businessmen and women.

Young Nigerians are promoting these businesses in niche markets that support the government’s goals of diversifying the economy and fostering competition and transparency.

The goal of the first round, dubbed YouWin 1, was to educate ambitious young entrepreneurs about how their business proposals may help create jobs. The target audience for the second edition (YouWin 2), a mono-gender version, was women under the age of 45. More than 1,200 adolescents were honoured. The third edition (YouWin 3) included a record number of prize recipients and was multi-gender (over 2500 Youths).

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicants must be a graduate of a higher institution.
  • Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 40.
  • Applicants must be Nigerians and residents in Nigeria.
  • Applicants businesses must be residents of Nigeria.
  • Applicants must be able to communicate effectively – speaking and writing – in English.
  • Applicants must be willing to attend all training and mentoring exercises organised by the programme.
  • Applicants must not be an employee of the Nigerian Civil Service.
  • Previous YouWiN awardees are not eligible to apply.

Click here to learn more about YouWiN Connect.

14. Bank of Industry (BOI)

Young and skilled entrepreneurs wishing to enter different sectors of Nigeria’s economy can now take advantage of a program for youth empowerment that was just introduced by the Bank of Industry (BOI). By enhancing young capacity and supporting their company ideas, BOI’s Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme seeks to solve the alarming situation of youth unemployment in Nigeria.

The YES initiative is aimed at educating young people with the required skills and knowledge to be self-employed by starting and operating their own enterprises. 

Programme comprises:

  1. Eight weeks of intensive online Entrepreneurship and Business Management training which has the ability to test participants’ understanding and track their progress.
  2. Five days of in-class Entrepreneurship and Business Management training.
  3. Technical skills training in partnership with the various technical training and vocational institutes in the country.
  4. Financing the businesses by BOI under its SME Cluster initiative in consonance with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Commodity-based Industrialisation Strategy.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The applicant must be a Nigerian.
  • Must have a viable business idea within the 40 identified clusters that are operated, or will operate in Nigeria.
  • Must be within the age limits of 18 and 35. (proof of identity: International passport/Drivers License/National ID/Voters card required).
  • Must possess a minimum educational qualification of Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
  • Applicants must be able to carry out the application process online.

Learn more about the Bank of Industry (BOI).

15. The Rockefeller Foundation Grants

Private foundation The Rockefeller Foundation has its main office in New York City. The foundation distributes grants with the goal of resolving various issues our planet faces such as climate changes, global pandemics, etc, in order to improve it.

Click here for more information on the Rockefeller Foundation Grant.

16. Diamond Bank BET Programme

A program called Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) is intended to help aspiring business owners. Each year, 50 entrepreneurs are chosen from among the many applications that are submitted, and they then go through an intensive six-month training program in business and entrepreneurship. The top five entrepreneurs get money grants at the conclusion of the training term to serve as seed capital for expanding their businesses.

There have been six iterations of the BET Program, with more than 25 winners and more than 150 company sponsors. The top 5 finalists in the sixth iteration of the program received awards totalling Three Million Naira (N3,000,000) to help them expand their businesses.

17. Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund (LSETF)

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016 established the LSETF in order to give the people of Lagos State financial assistance for jobs, wealth building, and unemployment relief. The LSETF is a tool that encourages all Lagos people to be creative and innovative while lowering unemployment rates throughout the State. The Fund’s mandate calls for it to invest 25 billion directly in Lagos residents’ efforts to expand their MSMEs or develop the skills they need to find better employment.

As the governor’s idea, the LSETF is dedicated to providing financial support to 100,000 MSMEs by 2019, which will result in the creation of 300,000 direct jobs and 600,000 indirect jobs. With support already provided to 705 people, the mission is well underway.

How to Apply for Grant Applications in Nigeria

It does not follow that you should apply for every grant you come across just because it is a gift and not refundable. You should take into account the following:

Prepare and Ask Yourself Why You Need the Grant

When you wish to submit a grant application, you must be ready. Why do you require the funding? Is it for a project, a business, or what? What’s the strategy? How will the grant benefit your venture or concept? You must be aware of all of these. You must have a business plan or a blueprint if it is for a business or a concept. Grants are only granted to people or organizations that the giver thinks will have a significant impact on society. So get ready. Your objective is to persuade the donor that you deserve the grant.

Check Eligibility

You must be certain that you are eligible before applying, or you risk wasting your time. Some grants have geographical restrictions. Make sure that it includes your location. Some are scope-bound. Grants for small businesses, agriculture, health, and research, among other things, are available.

Review Requirement

There may be requirements before you can obtain some grants. Years in business, the requirement for specific documentation, or anything else. Verify that you have met all requirements before moving on to the application process.

Submit Application

When you have completed all of the aforementioned stages, you are ready to submit your application. Visit the website to submit, or if mailing or visiting the office is required, follow those instructions.

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Oladoyin Falana

Oladoyin Falana, a graduate of OAU, is an SEO Specialist, and IT business developer. He is the owner and content editor of, a platform that focuses on providing information on career, recruitment updates, exams, and admission updates, including general (How-to) information.
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