business loans and grants in nigeria

Top 10+ Business Grants & Loans For Small Businesses In Nigeria

Do you need cash for startup or you want to boost your current business with more funds for bigger opportunities? One of the quickest and easiest ways to achieve that is through grants and loans. While business grants and loans for small businesses in Nigeria aren’t that many, there are leading options you can easily qualify for.

Loans require you to repay within a stipulated time either with or without interests. But Grants are different. When you receive a grant, you do not have to repay it. Hence you do not worry about interest rates, repayment plans, refinancing, or APR. Simply qualify and receive the cash for your plans.

Some Nigerian government agencies, private organizations, and wealthy individuals organize grants and loans for the benefit of Nigerian SMEs. So, if this feels like something you have always wanted, here are the top 10+ business grants and loans for small businesses in Nigeria.


1. Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)

The Tony Elumelu Foundation has been at the forefront of impacting entrepreneurship in Africa. They have a key focus of supporting private individuals across the continent to do better in their endeavors. This move is expected to aid job creation, drive up economic growth, and significantly reduce poverty within the area.

The founder of the establishment, Tony O. Elumelu is a philanthropist and investor in Africa who believes that the role of the private sector is the very key to the development of Africa. The foundation is functional in every country in Africa. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme was launched in 2015 with a $100 million commitment by its founder to help at least 10,000 entrepreneurs in Africa rise over a period of 10 years.

The organization peers up with giant institutions such as the African Development Bank, United Bank for Africa Plc, United Nations Development Programme, GIZ, and the International Committee of the Red Cross to make the intended impact in the continent. So far, over 9,000 young entrepreneurs around several countries in Africa have been mentored, trained, and benefited from the programme.

For you to become eligible, you must be at least 18 years old and be legally resident or be a citizen of Africa. Your business must also be located in Africa, about 0-3 years old, and must be a profit-making venture.

2. The Bank of Industry (BOI)

The Bank Of Industry (BOI) is an organization that is poised to offer financial assistance to both new (startup) and already functioning businesses within the country. It is the largest, oldest, and virtually Nigeria’s most successful financial institution. The organization was created from the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) Limited which was incorporated in 1964.

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BOI has a share capital which has been increased from N50 Billion after reconstruction from NIDB in 2001 to N250 billion to help put the company in a position to be able to subdue the rising economic issues in the country. The bank has consistently transformed over the years into a profitable, efficient, and focused institution perfectly positioned to attain providing the Nigerian economy with adequate financing in the long term.

To be eligible for the loan opportunities provided by BOI, you must be a Nigerian between the ages of 18 and 35. You must also be able to provide proof of identity (National ID, International passport, Voter’s card, or Driver’s license).

In addition, you should have a viable business idea that is functional or will become functional in Nigeria. You must at least possess an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and must be capable of completing the application procedure online.

3. Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (A.Y.E.)

AYEEN focuses on making successful entrepreneurs across a wide range of sectors through diverse channels. They harness motivational forums, conferences, and workshops to offer pragmatic guides on developing, improving, and managing businesses.

The organization positions itself to raise prosperous Africans who will in turn shape the economies and the political landscape of their resident country. Selected applicants are taken through a process of learning, socializing, and financing with businesses being monitored for 12 months. Applicants of this program only have to be Nigerians with proposed businesses positioned within the country.

4. YouWIN Connect

YouWIN Connect is a programme instituted by the Federal Ministry of Finance that is focused on promoting wealth, job creation, and entrepreneurial skills in Nigeria through an enterprise learning platform for Nigerian youths.

Required SME development tools are made available by this organization, to help Nigerian entrepreneurs boost their productivity. The first YouWIN edition came up with a plan to support the funding of youths’ entrepreneurial ambition and also sensitize them on job creation. The second edition focused mainly on women below 45 years old and has rewarded more than 1,200 female youths. The third edition had over 2500 youths as beneficiaries.

To apply for this programme, you must fall between the age of 18 to 40 years and must be a graduate of a recognized higher institution. You should also be a Nigerian living in Nigeria and running a proposed business that is fully based in Nigeria.

You must also be fluent in speaking and writing in the English language and must not be a Civil servant. You must be available for all mentoring and training programmes put up by the organization. And if you had been previously awarded, you are not eligible to apply again.

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5. GroFin Fund

GroFin specializes in impacting and financing Micro, Small, and Medium Businesses (MSMEs) through the provision of business loans and entrepreneurial support. They offer entrepreneurs guidance and professional advice to help them grow their businesses, putting all required factors into consideration.

The organization believes that the lives of people can be improved when the SME sector is well attended to for sustainable jobs. They work to fill in for entrepreneurs in 14 countries in Africa and the Middle East through support and financing.

GroFin’s headquarters is situated in Mauritius and has the support of 34 international finance institutions, private funders, and development organizations with a capital commitment of about $535 million to support SME funding.

To be eligible, your business has to be for profit, and must also be located in Nigeria (Lagos and Port Harcourt), Senegal, Egypt, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Iraq, Oman, Jordan, and Mauritius.

Besides, you as the owner of the business must be well involved in your business and should require funding between $100,000 and $1.5 million.

6. The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF)

The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) kicked off in 2016 to support residents of Lagos State with required financing for wealth and job creation to help combat poverty and unemployment within the state.

The organization is funded through an initial capital of N25 Billion from the government and added funds provided from multiple sources which include corporate organizations, donor partners, development agencies, and private individuals.

Their main goal is to give stability to entrepreneurs within the state through financing and formulating policies that would help to improve the business environment within the state. The fund is also targeted at putting up programmes that are designed to equip and provide jobs for unemployed graduates.

You can apply here.

7. Shell LiveWIRE

Shell LiveWIRE is Shell’s programme to boost local economies around the world through the promotion of entrepreneurship systems. They provide support annually to thousands of people through meaningful employment and innovations to help them access the required skills, resources, knowledge, and networks to help individuals make a success of their business ideas.

In 1982, the first programme kicked off as a response to Scotland’s 18% youth unemployment rate and has continuously expanded to other parts of the world with similar issues. In 2018, they recorded 2,686 trained youth entrepreneurs, created 1,374 local jobs, and supported 1,384 businesses.

8. African Women’s Development Funds (AWDF)

The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is an organization that provides grants to support and fulfill the ambitions of African women through the funding of organizations pioneered by women around Africa.

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The organization was established in 2000 and has since awarded over 1,300 women’s organizations with $41.7 million in about 46 African countries, including the Middle East. Their sole focus is on strengthening women and supporting their businesses.

Apply for the programme here.

9. QuickCheck

QuickCheck helps you to get quick cash from anywhere and at any time. You do not have to get stuck in a long queue with bulky documents at any bank to get quick cash. The platform helps you process a loan in just minutes from the comfort of your home with the help of your smartphone and the QuickCheck app.

The online lending platform can be accessed by small businesses and private individuals for financial credit. You can get loans of up to N30,000 for up to 30 days, without any collateral.

Go to your app store to download the app.

10. OneFI

OneFi was previously known as One Credit. It provides credit-worthy private individuals and businesses with loans that range between N40,000 and N2 Million. They are on a mission to democratize access to funds through technology and data.

Applying for loans through this platform is completely online without documents or delayed procedures. The loan repayment period permitted on the platform is between 3 to 12 months.

11. Nirsal Microfinance Bank Loan

Nirsal microfinance bank is currently the most used and biggest loan provider in Nigeria. It targets both small and large businesses

Households, microenterprises, and medium enterprises can apply for Nirsal loans without the need to provide any collateral. You can apply through their website or visit any of the offices in Nigeria to get a loan for your business. As an individual, you can borrow up to NGN3 million. Registered businesses have access to NGN25 million which will be determined by cash flow and size of the business.

Loan offers available on the Nirsal Microfinance Banks are
Agric Small Medium Enterprise Scheme (AGSMEIS) Loan, Anchor Borrowers’ Program (ABP),

Visit the Nirsal Bank website to apply for the loan.


The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) has various ways by which it helps business owners and entrepreneurs to thrive. Apart from providing tips, training, and teaching on businesses, small businesses can also access business grants and loans from SMEDAN.

Micro enterprises can get up to N5 million or NGN 50,000 in grants. To get a loan, you only require minimal or no collateral at all. However, you will need to provide your bank verification number (BVN), valid ID card plus a few other documents.

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  1. Sammy August 17, 2022

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