Over time, we have consistently heard a lot of entrepreneurs come up with great business ideas. Unfortunately, most of them lack the funding required to commence their ideas. This is perhaps the biggest problem facing entrepreneurship and Nigerian entrepreneurs are not left out. As if it isn’t enough, other seemingly minute setbacks such as unfavourable government policies, non-availability of required infrastructure and electricity challenges are hurdles that have made many upcoming businesses succumb to defeat.
In a highly challenging environment such as Nigeria, the cruciality of funding to entrepreneurs is far beyond the edge. If this challenge is not met timely, many business owners and startups end up throwing in the towel, even before ever commencing their ventures.
Recently, several organisations have been rising to fill in this gap, and probably provide succor to dying business. This, they do by providing finance, sometimes loans and mostly grants to scalable businesses. Although, there are speculations that this move might have been first inspired by foreign counterparts, what matters most is that these Nigerian organisations are contributing their quota towards reducing or completely obliterating the mortality rate of businesses due to funding challenges.
Like the saying goes, information is power. This is why we have decided to aggregate some organizations in Nigeria that give funding to local entrepreneurs.
Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN )
Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN) is an organisation that empowers Nigerian entrepreneurs with the financial support, mentorship and resources needed to scale their businesses. AYEEN invests in small businesses starting from the idea stage.
Financial support: AYEEN funds businesses with capital ranges from ₦ 500,000 – ₦ 1,000,000 depending on the needs of the business.
Application process: Firstly, aspiring business owners are to fill an online form. Then, they are required to submit a business proposal or fill a provided equivalent called J18 Form. After the filling and submission of the form, applicants will receive emails with detailed instruction of screening process. After which successful applicants would be notified upon screening completion.
Application for 2017 batch is on-going. If you have a scalable business idea or intend to improve on an existing one, you may visit the website to apply.
Note: AYE is not limited to Nigeria. It supports entrepreneurs in Africa as a whole. You may visit the general page.
Lagos Angel Network (LAN)
The Lagos Angel Network (LAN) is a group of devoted investors willing to provide seed funding, mentorship and necessary business supports to startup entrepreneurs. Especially those at the infant or early stage.
These Angels connect to high-growth entrepreneurs using global platforms such as VC4A (Ventures Capital for Africa). They also manage investment processes for early-stage investors. The Network aims to contribute to the creation of jobs and facilitate entrepreneurship and economic development. Mostly in the southwestern region of Nigeria.
Financial support: Annual membership and corporate sponsorships between ₦ 500,000 and ₦ 5,000,000 in addition to coaching, network access and more.
Application process: LAN organises pitch events, where pre-screened business ideas are presented to the network by entrepreneurs. The pitch events create a forum where its members are exposed to promising early-stage investment opportunities. The event creates a forum for a face-to-face discussion between entrepreneurs and the investors. You can register your company with them here.
Note: Upon provision of support, “Business Angels” expect to earn a healthy return on their investments while supporting the development of the Nigerian economy by strengthening start-ups and helping new small business owners grow.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is a yearly support program for entrepreneurs founded by Tony O. Elumelu with the vision of Identifying and investing in 10,000 African startups and African entrepreneurs.
The platform exists to give necessary supports needed to groom businesses. These range from business skills training, mentoring, to seed capital funding. Indirectly, Tony Elumelu aims at creating businesses that can generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in revenues across Africa over 10 years.
Financial support: The TEEP supports 1000 African entrepreneurs with funding worth $5000 in grants, plus a change to borrowing another $5000 if needed.
Application process: The TEEP is a yearly program, the 2017 batch has ended already. Hence, you could visit their website (hyperlink) to get details about the next application process.
The Next Titian
The Next Titan is an entrepreneurial platform tailored towards the expression of ideal business insights. The platform is a yearly program powered by Heritage Bank to support Nigerian entrepreneurs.
This year, the program is holding its fourth season. Ambitious entrepreneurs seeking to demonstrate their business acumen, commercial insight and ideas could apply on the platform. Successful applicants have to go on a 14 weeks series of trials and business targets to reach. This is a show aired on popular TV channels.
Financial support: The successful contestant of the show is supported with the sum of ₦ 5,000,000 and an SUV car.
Application process: After regional auditions in Abuja, PH and Lagos, and the subsequent Top 50 Boot camp, the 16 finalists, who will live together for 10 weeks in the same house, will battle one another over 10 tough business tasks, and the 16 candidates will be gradually eliminated until one winner remains.
To apply for the Next Titan, you may visit their website.
Considerations before funding
It is pertinent to note though that these funds are usually accessed on the premise of the aspiring business owner’s capacity to present viable business plans for their enterprise.
As a business owner, it is expedient for you to be clear on where you are now, and where want to be in the near future. Also, you must be able to describe the marketplace for your products. Most importantly, your solutions or products/services must be actionable.