Now, you don’t have to worry about funding anymore. Use this list of available business grants in Nigeria to expand your business.

Business Grants in Nigeria
Business Grants in Nigeria





Without any of it; your dreams. Your entrepreneurial aspirations will not happen.

Harsh reality. But, true.

So, what do you do to raise capital?

Dip your hands into your savings? Take out a loan? Chase after investors?


you can apply and get grants for your business.

Good news is, in this post, we’ve rounded up 55 funding options for entrepreneurs. From Federal government agricultural grants, privately-funded grants for small businesses to international entrepreneur grants.

No matter your industry, there’s a funding option for your business. All you have to do is pick one, make sure you meet the criteria, apply, and hopefully, you’ll get the funding to start/expand your business.


How to use this list

To make wading through the list easier, we’ve grouped them into categories. Use the table of content to go to the section of the article that interests you.

For each grant, we explained what it is. How much you can potentially win. Then list out the criteria to become eligible. Finally, we shared how you can apply.


List of Available Business Grants in Nigeria for Entrepreneurs [Part 1]

So, if you are ready, here are 55 available grants in Nigeria to kickstart your dream business.

Need Help Applying for Business Grants?

Pay just NGN1,999 to DOWNLOAD our 49-page eBook that shows you 7 top secrets on how to craft winning grant application even if you don’t know anything about applying for grants.

Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

Launched in 2015 by Billionaire Entrepreneur and CEO Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, the grant is a 10 years $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


  • You must have the legal rights to work in the African country you’re applying from.
  • The Business must reside in African and you must be a legal resident of any of 54 African countries.
  • Your business must be an early stage of 0 – 3 years or a business idea.
  • Your business idea must be for profit, focused on one business line, and be the original work of those applying.
  • You must create an account on tefconnect, complete an online entry form to apply for the program.

How to apply:

Visit tefconnect, 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, 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 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 thousands of naira to tens of millions of naira.


  • Must be running a business or has a viable business idea
  • Open to all Nigerian entrepreneurs aged 18 and above.
  • Must reside in Nigeria

How to apply

  • Visit 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.

GroFin Grants for Small and Medium Business

A private development finance institution focused on providing medium-term finance loans and business support for small and medium-sized businesses in the manufacturing, agribusiness, education, healthcare, and key service sectors (energy, water, sanitation)

Since its launch in 2004, GroFin has supported over 700 SMEs, sustaining 89, 740 jobs and is present in 14 countries in the sub-saharan and MENA regions.

Prize Money

Up to $1.5 million US dollar. A minimum of $100k


  • Your business must be in any of the following sectors: healthcare, manufacturing, agribusiness, education, or in these key service sectors – energy, water, waste, recycling, sanitation.
  • Your business must be in any of the countries where their offices are located – Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan or Oman.
  • You need a medium-term loan of 100k to 1.5M US dollars.
  • Your business is making a social impact – creating jobs, benefiting the environment, empowering women.

How to apply

To apply online visit: Apply

Shell LiveWire Funding

Shell LiveWire is a youth social development enterprise program focused on encouraging, training, and providing funding for youths to start a business.

The program is open to youths aged 18-30 from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria who desired to own a business.

Since its launch in March 27, 2003 the initiative has trained 6580 youths while 3373 participants were award grants to launch a business.

Prize Money



  • Must be aged 18-30
  • Has a viable business idea
  • Undergone and graduated from their intensive entrepreneurship course
  • Must be from Niger-Delta – Abia, Imo, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, and Akwa-Ibom.

How to apply

Announcements would be made on national newspapers when open. Or visit here from time to time.

IB Plc Hero’s Foundation KickStart Program

IB Plc Hero’s Foundation KickStart program is a social investment initiative of International Breweries focused on instilling and encouraging entrepreneurial youths to pursue their dreams of launching a business.

The program has a three-way approach of training and boosting youth business capacity. Mentoring and guidance to leverage expertise of experienced professionals and provision of grants.

Prize Money



  • You must be a youth aged 18 – 35 years old
  • Must be a Nigerian residing in the following states: Abia, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, and Benue.

How to apply

Visit: KickStart and download the PDF application form.

GEM Grant

GEM grant is a funding partnership between the Federal ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment and the World Bank with a focus to support businesses in the manufacturing, entertainment, information and technology, tourism and hospitality, and agro-allied businesses.

Prize 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 utilization on 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

How to apply

Currently not accepting applications. Check

African Entrepreneurship Award

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

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

Prize money

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


  • You must be a citizen of an African country and at least 18 years.
  • Your business idea must be applicable to the African setting and must include a technological component.
  • Your business idea must be for a profit with a social impact.

How to apply

Currently not accepting applications yet.

Innovation Prize for Africa

Innovation Prize for Africa is a platform with a mission to galvanize the innovative spirit of the African people to proffer solutions to their everyday challenges.

The Award is aimed at encouraging an innovation-driven solutions to the myriad of challenges in African by Africans.

So, if you have a idea or solution you think can solve Africa’s problems – give this prize a shot.

Prize money

First prize – $1000,000

Second prize – $25,000

Third prize – $25,000

Recognition prize – $5000


  • You’re a citizen of one of Africa’s 54 countries.
  • African diasporans are also eligible as long as they show they hold of the African country’s passport.
  • The innovation is fully developed and not just an idea.
  • All mandatory fields are completed.

How to apply

Apply here

African Women Development Fund

A pan-African female-only grant making organization that strives to support women rights and women-led organizations on the continent.

The fund provides grants to organizations tackling the issues of body and health rights, women’s economic security and justice, and Leadership, participation, and peace.

Prize money

Unspecified. however, since inception the fund has given out $41.8 million US dollars.


  • Must be led by a woman and have majority of its staff and board being women
  • Must be duly registered in an African country
  • Must have been in existence for at least 3 years
  • Must have the needed organisational structures for effective implementation of the project
  • Must have an appreciable financial management system to properly account for funds received
  • Must be capable of reporting back on the outcomes of the project
  • Must complete the necessary application forms

How to apply

Visit here and follow the application guideline.

Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award

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

Do you need support an funding to scale? 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 providing solutions to some of the world’s challenges. Since it’s inception, the initiative has reached over 3700 young entrepreneurs with 37 winners receiving funding and support.

Prize 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.

African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship (AWIE)

AWIE is the number one female entrepreneurship platform that promotes, supports and provides grants to brave, innovate female entrepreneurs across the African continent. The program seeks to accelerate the growth of female-led organizations for an African inclusive economic growth.

Every year the program recognises women in private and non-profit organizations doing exploits across industries, for their economic contribution to the African growth, and social impact.

Prize money

Not specified.


  • Nominations should only be made relating to achievements made by a female entrepreneur and national (or permanent resident) of an African country, with a registered business and operation in one or more African countries.
  • Nominees can be nominated or self-nominated.
  • A woman entrepreneur can be nominated for more than one category but different nomination forms must be completed.
  • You may be asked to support or verify the evidence you supply as part of the nominations you make.
  • Five nominees will be shortlisted for each category and invited to the AWIEF Awards ceremony in October of the same year.

How to apply

Nominate a female entrepreneur here

Latest, On-going Business Grants 2020

Latest, On-going Business Grants 2020

Africa Cocoa Fund to Support Cocoa Famers 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 with the objective to support cocoa farmers in West and Central Africa.

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

Prize Money

$5 million total prize money, with $500,000 to be 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

See, the link below to learn more about each category.

How to Apply

Application is open till 2020 September, 30.

Fill the Application Form to apply.

To ask questions, please contact:

ESP Launches Zero-Interest Loan Program to Support African SMEs in a COVID-19 Economy

ESP launches interest-free loan to support entrepreneurs in Africa

The African Resilience Initiative for Entrepreneurs (ARIE) is an interest-free loan program to help 300 entrepreneurs across 7 African countries.

The initiative was launched by Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESP) in partnership with the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and collaboration with Ecobank.

ARIE aims to provide technical and financial assistance entrepreneurs with 70% of the beneficiaries awarded to female-owned businesses.

Prize Money

Beneficiaries can expect to receive technical support and networking opportunities and up to $150,000 per firm.


  • Must be a firm registered in any of these 7 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda.
  • The company must be in any of these ssectors: Manufacturing, Agri-business, energy and renewables and Essential services.

How to Apply

Application is open till the 25th of September, 2020

Application Form

For more information contact:

Agricultural Youth Summit Grant 2020

Agricultural youth summit grant

Leventis Foundation Nigeria in collaboration with African Union, Economic, Social and Cultural Council, Nigeria (AU-ECOSOCC, Nigeria) is awarding a grant to two youth-led agribusiness as part of the 2020 Agricultural Youth Summit.

Prize money



  • Youth-led agribusiness
  • Must be a Nigerian with business located in the country.
  • Follow Leventis Foundation on all social media platform.

How to Apply

Application is closed. 5th August, 2020

Application Form

Nigeria Impact Startup Relief Facility nisif

Nigeria Impact Startup Relief Facility (NISRF) is an emergency fund launched by a consortium of funding partners to help existing post-MVP stage high-growth startups weather the impact of covid-19.

Prize Money

  • $5000 – $20,000 equity-free grants.
  • Beneficiaries gain access to high-powered business mentors
  • Business continuity solutions.


  • Must be operating in Nigeria
  • Your startup should be tackling urgent social problem.
  • Must be post-MVP, revenue-generating and registered with CAC
  • Have a solid financial health pre-covid (USD 60K ARR – 12 months period minimum).
  • Have received seed funding in the past
  • Your business should be scalable
  • Must be in any of the following industries: Agriculture, Critical infrastructure, Financial services, Health care, education, and initiatives that target the informal sector.

How to Apply

Apply Here

IGINITE 2020: Funding Opportunity for Women in Agribusiness

Launched in 2015, Guzakuza strives to empower female agripreneurs through workshops, advisory services and grant opportunities.

Ignite is an agri-business accelerator focused on African young women in Agriculture. The initiative aims to provide, technical know-how, market access and mentorship to female agripreneurs.

Prize Money

£9,000.00 to support 100 young females in agribusiness.


  • Must be a female in agribusiness
  • Must be African woman living on the continent or in diaspora
  • Must be ready to give full-commitment to the program
  • Must be proficient in English

How to Apply

Apply Here

Have more questions? Contact

Greenhouse Lab: The First Female-Focused Tech Accelerator in Nigeria

Greenhouse Lab is a GreenHouse Capital backed 3-months accelerator focused on female-led tech startups solving some of African’s biggest problems.

Prize Money

  • Access to a global network of investors, corporate partners and mentorship
  • Access to products and resources from GreenHouse Capital.
  • Opportunity to work out of Vibranium Valley, Lagos.
  • Receive up to $100,000 funding.


  • Must be early-stage startup with at least one female member on the founding member team.
  • Must be solving a critical problem in Africa.
  • Must be scalable
  • Team must consist of at least two members with one technical member
  • Must have developed a MVP

How to Apply

Apply Here

Global Youth Empowerment Fund Grant

Global youth empowerment fund

The Global Youth Empowerment Fund is an initiative of JCI and the SDG Action Campaign that is focused on providing funding, training and mentorship to youth-led projects and social enterprises.

The program aims to empower youths from around the globe who are impacting their communities by investing in grassroots, community projects that advances the Global Goals for Sustainability.

Prize Money

Not available


  • Youth-led projects advancing global goals for sustainability
  • Focused on impacting communities and the grassroots.

How to Apply

Apply Here

Final thoughts on available business grants in Nigeria to expand your business

The list above is the first part of the series of available funding options for small and medium-sized businesses.

We hope this the grant options above helps you pursue your entrepreneurship dreams.

Do you know of any grants we didn’t mention but you’d like us to include? Are you a beneficiary of any of the grants above? We’d like to hear from you in the comments.

Here’s the link to the second part of the post: 22 Verified FG & International Grants for Small business in Nigeria


More articles from Smart Entrepreneur Blog here


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