There is a lot to gain by leveraging the following startup funding platforms in Nigeria. Some of these include:
- Capital funding
- PR and exposure
- And lots more
Your business model and level of expertise also play a significant role in determining which of the above-listed options your business qualifies for.
Top 10 Startup Funding Platforms in Nigeria
Capital used to launch a business, either borrowed or earned money, is called startup funding.
This can come from various sources and be used for any idea of income that can help start-up your business. Thus, the top 10 startup funding platforms in Nigeria:
- Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)
- Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund (LSETF)
- African Women Development Fund (AFDF)
- Diamond Bank BET Programme
- CBN Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI)
- Bank of Industry (BOI)
- YouWIN Connect Nigeria
- Shell LiveWire Funding
- AYEEN Financial Grants
- GroFin Fund
1. Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)
The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) is undeniably one of the best things that’d happen for both you and your business in Nigeria.
The program that runs yearly was started by one of the top-tier business tycoons in Nigeria, Mr.Tony Elumelu via his Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).
The major aim of the program is to provide up to $10,000 in seed funding for young entrepreneurs across Africa.
Every year, about 1,000 new entrepreneurs are selected across Africa from a list of over 50,000 applicants.
Each applicants’ request is carefully screened by top business experts in the industry. Winners are then selected based on the market feasibility of their project, team capability, and clear financial models.
Each program cycle commences from January 1st until March 1st.
- Your business must be African-based
- Your business must be a for-profit business
- Your business must be nothing more than three (3) years
- You must be at least 18 years of age, and be a legal resident or a citizen of an African country.
2. Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund (LSETF)
The program was established by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law in 2016 with the main purpose of providing financial support to Lagosians as it relates to wealth creation, job recruitment, and generally just helping to tackle unemployment.
Being recognized as one of the startup funding platforms in Nigeria, the LSETF helps to serve as an instrument to inspire the creative and innovative capability of all Lagos residents and help to reduce unemployment within the province of the state.
Being one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria, the LSETF has the directive to directly invest ₦25Billion in helping residents of Lagos grow and scale their Micro Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) or get high-income skills to improve their chances of getting a better job.
3. African Women Development Fund (AFDF)
The African Women Development Fund is an initiative aimed at empowering African women in businesses.
It provides support to women in cash and other needed resourceful materials.
Currently, they have about 1,160 women organizations from 42 countries in their network.
Serving as one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria for women, the African Women Development Fund offers grant opportunities to institutions that handle issues relating to the body and health rights, leadership, ladies’ monetary security, investment, and equity businesses that concern women entrepreneurs.
4. Diamond Bank BET Programme
This is also one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria.
The Diamond Bank BET (Building Entrepreneurs Today) Programme is one that is designed to provide assistance to budding entrepreneurs.
About 50 young entrepreneurs are selected every year from the program’s pool. The selected applicants then have to undergo six (6) months of intensive training in business and entrepreneurship.
The program has currently witnessed more than 6 editions with over 25 winners and 150 business supports.
The sixth (6th) edition of the Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) program awarded up to three million naira (₦3,000,000) in grant funding to the top 5 finalists.
5. CBN Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI)
The Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Banker’s committee launched the Creative Industry Financing Initiative with the aim of improving how easy entrepreneurs can have access to low-cost sustainable funding in the creative and IT sector.
Though not considered a grant program, CIFI is still considered one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria.
The program offers one of the lowest interest rates on funding in the country (roughly about 9%).
The program offers funding opportunities for youths with business ideas in fashion, music, IT, and movies.
- Designers can raise up to ₦4billion in seed funds
- Young entrepreneurs in the Information Technology industry can get up to ₦5.5billion in funding
- Student software developers can raise up to ₦1billion to startup their software firms
- Movie producers can raise up to ₦3billion to start working on their movie idea
- Movie distributors can raise up to ₦4billion
- You must be a Nigerian whose business operates within the country
- You own an already existing business in the creative industry
- Or you must own a tech company that is engaged in the creative industry
- Or you must be a student of higher learning that is steadily involved in software development
Note, while serving as one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria, CIFI is only focused on any of the following verticals: fashion, music, IT, movie production, and distribution.
6. Bank of Industry (BOI)
This is also one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria.
The Bank of Industry (BOI)’s youth empowerment program now makes it possible for young and talented entrepreneurs with a dream of venturing into one of the many sectors in the Nigerian economy to get all the support they need to get started.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) program by BOI is aimed at tackling the problem of youth employment within the country.
This they get done by unlocking the full potential of youths and funding their business ideas.
The program consists of:
- An eight (8) week intensive training on entrepreneurship and business management that is aimed at testing participants’ understanding and tracking their progress as they grow.
- A five (5) day in-class training on entrepreneurship and business management
- Training on different technical skills in collaboration with different technical training and vocational institutes within the country.
- Business financing and funding by BOI under its SME Cluster initiative and in consonance with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s commodity-based Industrialization Strategy.
- You must be a Nigerian
- You must show a viable business idea within the 40 identified clusters being operated or that will operate in the country (Nigeria)
- You must fall between the age limits of 18 and 35 years of age
- You must show proof of your identity, either with your International Passport/Driver License/National ID/Voters Card)
- You must have a minimum of an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) educational qualification
- You must be able to carry out the entire application process online
7. YouWIN Connect Nigeria
YouWIN Connect Nigeria is a multimedia program of the Federal Ministry of Finance. It is also one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria.
The program is focused on promoting entrepreneurship, job, and wealth creation via enterprise education for young Nigerians.
It goes to enhance the productivity of young Nigerian entrepreneurs by leveraging all the relevant SME development tools.
These ventures are promoted by young entrepreneurs in Nigeria in specific sectors that correspond with the government’s goal of diversifying the economy and promoting competition and transparency.
The first edition of the program, YouWIN!1, was introduced to sensitize aspiring young entrepreneurial Nigerian youths on job creation by funding their business plans.
The second edition of the program, YouWIN!2, was more like a mono-gender version. It was more focused on women below the age of 45 years.
That edition of the program awarded over 1200 youths within the country.
The third edition of the program, YouWIN!3 was more poly-gender than the last. It recorded a total number of over 2500 youth awardees.
As one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria, YouWIN Connect Nigeria has rewarded over 5000 youths within the county.
- You must be a graduate of a higher institution
- You must be a citizen of Nigeria and must be currently residing in the country
- Your age must fall between 18 and 40 for you to qualify for the program
- Your business must be based in Nigeria
- You must be able to communicate effectively, both in your ability to speak and write in the English language
- You must be willing to attend all their training and mentoring exercises
- You must not currently be employed in any of the Nigerian Civil Service industries
8. Shell LiveWire Funding
This is one of the few startup funding platforms in Nigeria that is supported by Shell Petroleum Development Company.
The program offers grant opportunities to young Nigerian entrepreneurs. The program is also streamlined towards empowering, training, and providing subsidized aid to youths so they can easily get started with developing their business ideas.
However, a training program is only conducted for successful applicants so as to guide them properly on how to effectively utilize their grants in successfully growing their business.
- Your age must fall between 18 and 30
- Your business idea must be in line with the company’s plan of developing Nigerian’s oil and gas sector
- You must be from the Niger-Delta region, or any oil-producing state within the country. This includes Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, and Rivers.
9. Ayeen Financial Grants
The Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (A.Y.E) program is focused on empowering young entrepreneurs across Africa by developing platforms that help to facilitate intra-trading activities in the continent.
It is definitely one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria.
The program is committed to developing the next generation of young African entrepreneurs that will shape the economies and political landscapes of their home countries.
AYEEN is looking to fund small businesses in many sectors of the economy. Successful applicants are awarded their respective prizes without having to give out a specific stake of their company to organizers.
Although, you and your business activities will be duly monitored for a total period of one year.
The only major eligibility requirement for this program is that you must be a Nigerian whose business must be sited in any one of the 36 states of the country.
10. GroFin Fund
GroFin is a pioneering development financier that specializes in the financing and support of small and growing businesses (SGBs) across Africa and the Middle East.
The company combines patient capital and specialized business assistance to grow emerging market enterprises within the continent.
Its main focus is on Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) that are largely underserved by other funds or financiers.
GroFin serves as one of the best startup funding platforms in Nigeria because it delivers unique integrated solutions for patient risk capital and end-to-end business assistance to startups and growing businesses at the SME base.
The company has a fund size of over $100million to fund micro, small, and medium businesses (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
- You must own a business that operates in any one of the following countries: Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.
- You must operate a for-profit business
- Your business must show a turnover of less than $15million and assets that are less than $6million
- You must only request funds between the range of $100,000 and $1.5million
- You must be the one that currently owns your business, and you must be substantially involved in the daily operation of the business.