In spite of raising billions of dollars in 2021, quite a number of Nigerian entrepreneurs had problems accessing the funding needed to start or scale their businesses, caused my low in number, business loans in Nigeria.
A business’s fuel is the finance it has, and without it, even start-ups with wonderful ideas risk being stifled or failing.
Entrepreneurs and start-ups in Nigeria are facing increasingly difficult times finding pre-seed and seed capital to kick-start and expand their businesses.
Start-Up Digest, realizing the critical importance of funding to the Nigerian entrepreneurial ecosystem, has compiled a list of some places where Nigerian entrepreneurs can get funding for their businesses in 2022.
This is why we have compiled a list of 20 best business loans in Nigeria without regard to order.
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20 Best Business Loans in Nigeria for You in 2022
1. The Agricultural Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) Loan
The Agricultural Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) is a program designed to support the Federal Government’s efforts and policy initiatives to promote agricultural companies and small/medium enterprises (SMEs) as vehicles for long-term economic growth and job creation.
Applicants can borrow up to N10 million without putting up any collateral, with a 5% annual interest rate until February 2022 and a 9% annual interest rate for the remaining years, for a maximum of 5 years. Typically, the moratorium lasts 12 months.
AGSMEIS loan is now available to entrepreneurs in a variety of areas, including agriculture, creative industries, hospitality, and so on.
2. NYSC Business Loan
If you are a current or former member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and you have a running business or a business idea that needs a Federal Government loan to boost or start up, now is your chance to apply for the ongoing NYSC business loan.
The NYSC business loan was launched by the CBN, through Heritage Bank, in collaboration with the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP), to assist graduates in starting a business, becoming self-employed, and creating jobs for others.
3. Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF)
The Federal Government has reopened the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund application process for eligible youths who wish to use the program to improve their lives.
NYIF is a N75 billion loan program established by Nigerian Government to invest in the innovative skills and business ventures of youths in the country.
The loan has a single-digit annual percentage rate (APR) of 5% and a 12-month grace period before repayment. In July 2020, the Federal Executive Council authorized the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund.
4. National Housing Fund (NHF) Loan
The Federal Mortage Bank Of Nigeria (FMBN) has a number of lending and credit facilities available to Nigerians, particularly low- and middle-income earners.
The NHF is one of its most important credit institutions, allowing low-income earners who are unable to purchase a home to own their own home.
5. NPower Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) Loan
The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) is an effort by Nigeria’s Federal Government, through the Bank of Industry (BOI), to break a multi-decade economic challenge.
It is a Nigerian government program to give financial inclusion and microcredit access to Nigerians at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
6. Tertiary Institution Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) Loan Programme
The Tertiary Institution Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES Loan Program) is aimed at Nigerian graduates and undergraduates enrolled at a Nigerian university or polytechnic.
The CBN N500 million undergraduate and graduate loan was developed in partnership with Nigerian universities and polytechnics as part of the TIES, which aims to harness the potential of Nigerian graduate entrepreneurs.
Graduates with less than seven years of experience are eligible to apply for a loan of up to N25 million under the loan program.
7. Tony Elumelu Foundation Fund
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s leading philanthropy has empowered 200,000 entrepreneurs across 54 African countries with seed funds of $5,000 each.
Tony Elumelu Foundation has empowered 9,631 entrepreneurs from across 54 countries of Africa with seed funds of mostly $5,000 each.
A few years ago, Elumelu set aside $100 million for African entrepreneurs. If you are in agriculture, fashion and design, light manufacturing, ICT, and solid minerals, among others, then you may apply for the ongoing Tony Elumelu Fund.
You can be one of the 1,000 lucky entrepreneurs to be shortlisted for 2022 as the application is currently ongoing to close on March 1, 2022.
8. Jack Ma Africa’s Business Heroes
Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) is the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program in Africa to support entrepreneurs.
ABH mission is to showcase and grow local talent who are creating a positive impact in their communities and beyond, and inspire a movement of African entrepreneurship.
The program is open to entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries and will see the top 10 finalists share the $1.5 million grant money yearly.
It is a 10-year programme that will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and provide grant funding, training programs, and broader support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.
It funds an enormous diversity of business with sixteen different sectors including agriculture, beauty & wellness, construction, consulting, education, energy, environmental protection, financial services, F&B, healthcare, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, media & entertainment, retail, and transportation.
So, are you operating in any of those sectors, and then you may apply for Jack Ma Africa’s Business Heroes Programme. The application opens in April and closes in June yearly.
9. Lagos State Employment Trust Fund
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has a capital base of about N11.1 billion and has disbursed loans worth N8 billion to no fewer than 12,000 micro, small and medium scale enterprises.
Its fund is divided into three categories: micro and small businesses. Under the micro, businesses can access up to N500, 000 loans with an interest rate of five percent and a tenor of one year. For the small business category, businesses can get up to N5 million with a tenor of three years.
There are other specific criteria apart from the general ones listed above for accessing the LSETF funds. It includes membership of a business organisation, which will recommend the business for the loan; Lagos State tax receipt for at least six months, and Lagos state residency card. This takes three weeks for processing.
The loan cycle is open all through the year. You simply visit the website or their office at the Lagos state secretariat to apply with relevant documents.
10. Nirsal Microfinance Bank Non-Interest Window Loan For COVID-19 TCF
The Non-Interest Window Loan For COVID-19 TCF was recently initiated by President Mohammadu Buhari led administration through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in corporation with Nirsal Microfinance Bank in order to extend support to businesses and households that have been impacted negatively by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Nirsal Microfinance Bank Non-Interest Window Loan offers a financing limit of N2,500,000 worth of equipment for MSME’s and N1,000,000 for households.
All Credit Facilities which the Non-interest Banking Window of the Targeted Credit Facility TCF are for the purchase of Equipment/Goods ONLY.
11. Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS Loan)
Agriculture has long been the focus of the government, which is why they receive lots of funding. Therefore, this loan also applies to the agricultural sector and aims to engage a good number of youths in agricultural production.
Furthermore, it hopes to reduce the rate of unemployment and encourage economic diversification. This loan is only available to youths of age 18 to 35.
12. CBN Healthcare Research and Development Grants
This loan is for SMEs on the front line of research and development in the country.
Therefore, it provides funding for candidates to access funds that is used for different purposes, including new and improved drugs, diagnostics of infectious diseases, and vaccines. Also, it is accessible to institutions, pharmaceutical companies, companies, etc.
13. YouWIN Connect Nigeria
YouWiN! Connect is a multimedia programme of the Federal Ministry of Finance. The programme aims to promote entrepreneurship, job creation and wealth via enterprise education for young Nigerians. Nigerian entrepreneurs will enhance their productivity through relevant SME development tools. These ventures are promoted by young Nigerians in target sectors that align with the government’s objective of diversifying the economy and promoting competition and transparency
The first edition, tagged YouWin!1, was initiated to sensitize aspiring entrepreneurial Youth on job creation by funding their business plans. The second edition (YouWin!2) was a Mono-gender version, with Women below the age of 45 years as the target participants. It rewarded over 1200 youths. The third edition (YouWin!3) was Poly-gender, with a record number of awardees (over 2500 Youth).
14. Bank Of Industry (BOI)
The Bank of Industry (BOI) recently launched a youth empowerment program for young and talented entrepreneurs looking to venture into various sectors of Nigeria’s economy.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme is BOI’s effort at addressing the worrisome phenomenon of youth unemployment in Nigeria by building the capacity of the youths and funding their business ideas.
The YES programme is aimed at equipping young people with the requisite skills and knowledge to be self-employed by starting and managing their own businesses.
15. GroFin Fund
GroFin is a pioneering development financier specializing in financing and supporting small and growing businesses (SGBs) across Africa and the Middle East.
GroFin combines patient capital and specialized business support to grow emerging market enterprises.
GroFin Focus on Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) that are grossly underserved by other funds or financiers.
Delivers a unique integrated solution for patient risk capital and end-to-end business support to start-up and growing businesses at the SME base.
GroFin has fund size of US $100+ Million to funding Nigerian micro, small and medium business (MSMEs) across the country.
16. Diamond Bank BET Programme
The Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) is a programme designed to support budding entrepreneurs.
Every year, 50 entrepreneurs are selected from the pool of the numerous applications received and these entrepreneurs undergo a six (6) months intensive entrepreneurial/business training.
Attend the end of the training period, the Top Five (5) Entrepreneurs are awarded financial grants as seed capital for taking their business to the next level.
The BET Program has witnessed 6 editions with over 25 winners and over 150 business supports. The sixth edition of the program awarded Three Million Naira (N3,000,000) grants to the top 5 finalists to take their businesses to the next level.
17. AYEEN Financial Grants
Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs (A.Y.E) is committed to empowering young entrepreneurs across Africa by creating platforms that facilitate intra-trade on the continent.
We are dedicated to developing the next generation of outstanding African entrepreneurs, who will shape the economies and political landscapes of their home countries.
AYEEN is looking to finance small business in various sectors of the economy. Winners would be awarded their respective prizes without any stake for the organizers.
Although, the business owners and businesses will be duly monitored for a period of one year.
The only criteria for the program are that the applicant must be a Nigerian and the business must be located in any of the 36 states of the country.
18. The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), was established by The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016 to provide financial support to residents of Lagos State, for job, wealth creation and to tackle unemployment.
LSETF serves as an instrument to inspire the creative and innovative energies of all Lagos residents and reduce unemployment across the State.
The Fund has the mandate to directly invest ₦25Billion in helping Lagos residents grow and scale their Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (“MSMEs”) or acquire skills to get better jobs.
As the brainchild of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, LSETF is committed to financially support a target of 100,000 MSMEs by 2019, creating 300,000 direct and 600,000 indirect jobs as a result.
The mission is well underway with a total of 705 beneficiaries who have received support to date.
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19. Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) grants
In order to create high-wage rural jobs, support the launch of new businesses in the industry, and help out in low-income areas, the US Department of Agriculture has launched the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) grant program. Grants begin at $500,000 and go up to $2 million for projects that support rural economies, as explained on their site.
20. The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP)
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in line with its developmental functions as enshrined in Section 31 of the CBN Act 2007, established the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to create economic linkages between smallholder farmers (SHFs) and reputable companies (anchors) involved in the production and processing of key agricultural commodities.
The core of the Programme is to provide loans (in-kind and cash) to smallholder farmers to boost agricultural production, create jobs, reduce food import bills towards conservation of the foreign reserve.
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If you are so concerned about the best business loans in Nigeria, we would advise you to go for one of the business loans we have listed above.