Home Money Financial Literacy Funding Opportunities You Probably Didn’t Know About in Nigeria 
Financial Literacy - May 8, 2022

Funding Opportunities You Probably Didn’t Know About in Nigeria 

Accessing funding opportunities has been a huge setback for entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Despite raising billions of dollars in 2021, many Nigerian entrepreneurs with unique ideas were still unable to get the funding they needed to launch or develop their businesses.

Finance is the engine that drives every business, and without it, even the most brilliant ideas risk failing or stagnating.

Pre-seed and seed funding opportunities for startups and expansion are becoming increasingly difficult, especially in Nigeria.

As a result, understanding the essential relevance of money to the Nigerian entrepreneurial ecosystem, several funding opportunities have been uncovered for firms in 2022.

Having a business is the most common condition for receiving this funding. Because concepts are untested and untried, these companies rarely fund them.

Following that, you’ll need a bankable and feasible company strategy. More importantly, the startup should know where it wants to be soon and be able to characterise the market in which it operates. 

Entrepreneurs should also keep good records to precisely track their revenue and expenses.

Here are some of the funding opportunities you didn’t know about in Nigeria.


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1. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Fund

Africa’s outstanding philanthropy, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has provided $5,000 seed grants to 200,000 entrepreneurs in 54 African countries.

Elumelu set aside $100 million for African entrepreneurs a few years ago. You can apply for the continuing Tony Elumelu Fund if you work in agriculture, fashion and design, light manufacturing, ICT, or solid minerals, among other fields. 

You may be one of the 1,000 entrepreneurs picked if you apply.

2. Jack Ma Africa’s Business Heroes

The Jack Ma Foundation’s primary philanthropy program in Africa is to support entrepreneurs in Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH). 

The goal is to highlight and develop local talent who positively affect their communities and beyond, inspiring an African entrepreneurship movement.

The competition is available to entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, with the top 10 finalists each receiving a $1.5 million prize.

It is a ten-year program that will recognise 100 African entrepreneurs and provide grant cash, training programs, and other support to the African entrepreneurial ecosystem.

It supports several businesses in sixteen different industries, including agriculture, beauty & wellness, construction, consultancy, education, energy, environmental protection, financial services, F&B, healthcare, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, media & entertainment, retail, and transportation.

If you work in any of those fields, you may be eligible to apply for Jack Ma Africa’s Business Heroes Program. Every year, the application opens in April and closes in June.

3. Lagos State Employment Trust Fund

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has a capital base of around N11.1 billion and has given loans totalling N8 billion to over 12,000 micro, small, and medium-sized businesses.

Its fund is split into three categories, micro, small, and medium-sized firms. Businesses can get up to N500, 000 in microloans with a 5% interest rate and a one-year repayment period. Small businesses can borrow up to N5 million over three years.

Aside from the broad conditions given above, there are more specifiy criteria for accessing the LSETF funds.

It comprises membership in a business organisation that will put a recommendation on the business for the loan and a six-month Lagos State tax receipt, and a Lagos state residency card. Processing can take up to three weeks.

The lending cycle runs all year round. You can apply online or in-person at the Lagos State Secretariat.

4. Incubators and Accelerator hubs

A startup incubator is a firm, university, or other entity that invests resources in emerging companies when they are most vulnerable, such as laboratories, office space, consulting capital, and marketing.

An accelerator helps an existing business grow faster. Accelerators focus on growing a company, whereas incubators are more likely to focus on innovation.

Today, various accelerator and incubator centres around Nigeria assist in business scaling through training and provide capital to help speed growth and innovation. 

Many foreign companies also provide assistance to entrepreneurs. You can apply by conducting an online search and completing their application forms.

5. Angel Investor

Angel networks might be helpful for those seeking N10 million to N100 million. You’ll need to network to discover angels who understand your sector and share your enthusiasm.

6. Partnerships

A large corporation may have a strategic interest in funding and developing your product. Ensure to be on the lookout for larger organisations that can become your partners. 


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