Business Grants In Nigeria: How To Successfully Apply In 2022.

Business Grants In Nigeria: How To Successfully Apply
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Business Grants In Nigeria: How To Successfully Apply In 2022.

Starting a business in Nigeria needs capital which could be in form of a business grant and as much as it can get because of so many factors attached to it.

The factors include the rate of the country’s currency, the fact that almost all raw materials needed will have to be imported and so many others.

These are some of the reasons why many businesses aren’t so big or haven’t grown as they should. Because the needed capital for the starting and expansion of business isn’t available and that’s where grants come in.

Grants have been one of the ways to get funds to expand businesses. Some of the other ways to get funds for business establishment and expansion are loans, however, a loan isn’t easy to acquire like a grant.

One of the best ways to get finance for business or ideas is getting a grant.  While a loan is a good alternative, a grant is far better than a loan. It gives you the peace of mind to build and grow your business or idea.

It is like getting “free money.” Many organizations offer grants in Nigeria, Africa, and worldwide. 

That’s why I’ll be discussing business grants in Nigeria<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> which will include the major grants in Nigeria, how to apply for a grant, and the eligibility but before I go on with that, I’ll love to explain what a grant is.

What Is A Grant?

Grants are funding given to individuals or businesses to support their growth without necessarily having to pay back

They are given by Large organizations, governments, Nongovernmental organizations, and wealthy individuals for various purposes but it’s mainly for the growth of a business. Unlike loans, you do not have to pay them back.

Many have mixed the definition of a loan with that of a grant. The difference between them is so wide.

What Is A Loan?

A loan refers to a type of credit vehicle in which a sum of money is lent to another party in exchange for future repayment of the value or principal amount. 

In many cases, the lender also adds interest and/or finance charges to the principal value which the borrower must repay in addition to the principal balance. 

Loans may be for a specific, one-time amount, or they may be available as an open-ended line of credit up to a specified limit. Loans come in many different forms including secured, unsecured, commercial, and personal loans.

What Is The Difference Between A Grant And A Loan?

There are some differences between a grant and a loan that you may want to consider before deciding which one is best for you. Each of them has its advantages. Below are the differences:


A loan requires you to pay back the money with interest when the agreed time comes but a grant is non-repayable. A grant is like a gift.


A loan may require collateral that will be taken over if the loan is not paid back after a set time but a grant does not require collateral or anything because you don’t have to pay it back. 


With a grant, there is no risk since you are not required to pay it back but with a loan, there is a risk. If you don’t pay back in time, there may be trouble. And your ability to get a loan again will be in jeopardy.


A loan gives you more opportunities as there are many banks, micro-finance, different organizations, and individuals offering it. But a grant is limited as there are not many organizations offering it. 

It is mostly given by the government, philanthropists, and international organizations. Also, the people targeting a grant are many so you may not be able to get the information as much as you should.


A loan is quite easy and more available than a grant. You can get a loan at any time and any day. But a grant is not always available. Some are given once a year or twice.

6 Business Grants in Nigeria 

The following is a list of common business grants in Nigeria<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> that your business can benefit from.

  • African Entrepreneurship Award

African Entrepreneurship Award is powered by BMCE Bank of Africa with a focus to provide a platform for mentorship, a network of ready-to-investor Angel investors, and grants for smart business ideas.

You can send in your application for one of the two categories – Innovation & Sports Entrepreneurship and Sports.

Price money

A cash prize of $1million to be shared among finalists.


Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

Launched in 2015 by Billionaire Entrepreneur and CEO of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, the grant is a 10 year $100 million US dollar commitment towards empowering African entrepreneurs.

Since its launch, the foundation has disbursed $25 million worth of grants to 7520 entrepreneurs from Africa making it the largest philanthropic institution on the continent.

Once you’re accepted as a TEF entrepreneur you can take advantage of the premium network of mentors, resources, and support you need to take your business from an idea to reality; to scale up and grow quickly.

So, it’s not just winning the grant; you also get invaluable professionals and experts you can turn to for help when needed.

Prize Money

Non-refundable seed funding of $5000

How to apply:

Visit interconnect, the largest platform for African entrepreneurs. Complete the form and submit your application.

  • Africa’s Young Entrepreneur Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN)

One of the foremost entrepreneurial empowerment and funding platforms launched to mentor, guide, and provide funding for smart business ideas in Nigeria.

The AYEEN program attracts over 25,000 applications from young Nigerian entrepreneurs cut across the 36 states annually.

However, its unique model means you can get funding for your business idea or be accepted into the mentorship program where you network, learn, and master key business skills essential to starting, running and expanding your business.

Prize Money

Varying amount of funding as deemed fit by the panelists. Can range from a couple of hundred thousand nairas to tens of millions of naira.

  • Open to all Nigerian entrepreneurs aged 18 and above.
  • Must reside in Nigeria
How to apply
  • Visit the AYEEN website
  • See the big bright button at the top right-hand side with “AYEEN 2019 Register Now”
  • Click on it.
  • On the new page, complete the form.
  • Submit.
  • GEM Grant

GEM grant is a funding partnership between the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, and the World Bank. 

Their focus is to support businesses in manufacturing, entertainment, information and technology, tourism and hospitality, and agro-allied businesses.

Price money

Minimum of $50,000 – $250, 000

  • The lead institution is an academic institution, research institution, industrial center, business membership organization, or non-governmental organization, in partnership with at least 3 of any of the following: a for-profit private sector company(s), partnership(s), or sole trader(s);
  • The lead institution must be operating in Nigeria;
  • The total GEM funding requested must be at least $50,000 and no more than $250,000; 
  • The lead institution and its partners must together provide matching cash or cash equivalent funds of at least 50 percent of the total project budget;
  • GEM funding must be requested for the utilization of eligible costs or activities
  • The institution must satisfy the requirements on Environmental and Social compliance
  • Other eligibility criteria will be added depending on the call for proposals
  • The GEM funding requested must be utilized within 15 months; and
  • The proposed idea must result in increased sales for the business, increased value
  • Added per worker and creation of new jobs

Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award

Are you a social impact entrepreneur tackling one of the planet’s sustainability challenges?

Do you need support to scale? The Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award might be just the right opportunity you need to take your business to the next level.

The program seeks to recognize and support young innovators by providing solutions to some of the world’s challenges. 

Since its inception, the initiative has reached over 3700 young entrepreneurs with 37 winners receiving funding and support.

Price money

Winner – 50,000 Euros

A residential Accelerator Programme run by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, followed by a year of mentoring support completely tailored to their needs.


We’re looking for initiatives relating to one or more of the three categories we’re focusing on:

  • Improve people’s health and well-being
  • Improve the health of the planet
  • Contribute to a fairer and more socially inclusive world
  • Whether it’s with an initiative, product, or service, if you’ve gone beyond the idea stage and started to make an impact, we want to hear from you.
  • Anyone around the world excluding Russia aged between 18 and 35.
How to apply

To submit your application, you’ll need to complete your profile and describe your project.

Africa Cocoa Fund to Support Cocoa Farmers in West & Central Africa

Africa cocoa fund to support farmers in Nigeria. The Africa Cocoa Fund (ACF) is an initiative of the Rainforest Alliance Organization to support cocoa farmers in West and Central Africa.

The fund is a 3-year program that aims to create a measurable, long-lasting positive impact by building the capacity of certified cocoa farmers who most need assistance to implement sustainable agriculture.

Prize Money

$5 million total prize money, with $500,000 distributed among farmers in 2020. There will be additional calls for application in 2021 and 2022.


Eligible farmers fall into two categories:

  • Category A – Primary focus
  • Category B – Secondary focus
How to Apply

Fill out the Application Form to apply.

To ask questions, please contact: [email protected]


The grants explained above are some of the available business grants in Nigeria<span< a=””> style=”font-weight: 400;”> that business owners can make use of. However, there are some things you should put in place if you need the grant and you want to win it.</span<>

Preparing for the grants before they start at all can be considered the wisest thing to do because we have so many businesses out there that have been preparing for a grant for years.

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