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Access to capital is frequently a major obstacle for aspiring entrepreneurs in Nigeria in realizing their startup goals. Even though traditional funding sources are probably well-known, there are lesser-known business grants that can give start-ups the resources and financial support they require. In this article, we’ll look at a few of the lesser-known business grants that are available in Nigeria specifically, as well as the organizations that provide them. We want to equip Nigerian business owners with the knowledge they need to find and secure funding for their cutting-edge ventures by bringing to light these opportunities.

  1. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme: For Nigerian startups, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Program is a game-changer. The program, which was started by philanthropist and businessman Tony Elumelu, offers selected entrepreneurs $5,000 in seed money as well as business training, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The TEF hopes to empower 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa with this program within ten years, promoting economic development and job creation.
  2. YouWiN! Connect Nigeria: The Federal Government of Nigeria has launched an initiative called YouWiN! Connect to assist young businesspeople. The program provides startup businesses in a variety of sectors with grants of up to N10 million. YouWiN! Connect aims to empower and scale startups that have the potential to generate employment and promote economic growth by offering training, capacity building, and access to capital.
  3. GroFin Fund: GroFin Fund, a development finance institution, provides finance and support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. The organization offers tailored financing solutions to startups and existing businesses in key sectors, including healthcare, education, agriculture, and manufacturing.
  4. Bank of Industry (BOI) Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme: Young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 are the target audience for the BOI YES Program. It offers them both financial and non-financial assistance so they can launch or grow their businesses. The Bank of Industry wants to empower young people through this program and promote economic innovation in Nigeria.
  5. Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF): LSETF is a special fund set up by the Lagos State government to provide financial support to small businesses and startups in the state. It offers accessible and affordable credit to entrepreneurs, facilitating the growth of startups and boosting job creation in Lagos.
  6. Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS): The AGSMEIS is an initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) aimed at promoting agribusiness and supporting SMEs. It provides funding for startups and existing businesses in agriculture and other sectors, contributing to the development of the Nigerian economy.
  7. N-Power Impact Series Competition: The Nigerian government’s social intervention program N-Power organizes the Impact Series Competition, which promotes creative startup solutions. Grants are given to chosen entrepreneurs so they can expand their businesses and successfully tackle societal issues.
  8. The Foundation for Youth Development (FYD) Grants: The FYD, a nonprofit organization, supports youth-driven initiatives that create a positive impact on communities. They offer grants and support for innovative startups led by young entrepreneurs.


It can be difficult to navigate the Nigerian startup funding landscape, but hidden gems, or lesser-known business grants, offer hope to aspiring entrepreneurs. By offering financial and non-financial support to startups across Nigeria, organizations like the Tony Elumelu Foundation, YouWiN! Connect Nigeria, GroFin Fund, Bank of Industry, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, AGSMEIS, N-Power, and the Foundation for Youth Development are having a significant impact.

Nigerian business owners can create the conditions for the success of their ventures by utilizing the potential of these underutilized assets and utilizing the resources provided by these organizations. The landscape of entrepreneurship in Nigeria is poised to flourish as these initiatives continue to support startups and encourage economic growth, ushering in a better and more progressive future for the country.

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