Start-up funding has been a major impediment to aspiring entrepreneurs in their quest to see their dreams of owning or starting a business a reality.

Some platforms of funding that are available for Nigerian entrepreneurs which we believe will help young entrepreneurs who have their businesses duly registered to approach either of these financiers to boost their business capacities.

A criterion demanded by many of these financiers is that applicants should have a bankable business plan. They must be able to identify a robust financial flow chart and their operational chart which will determine the input and output procedures for the business.

The Bank of Industry fund

The Bank of Industry (BoI) is one key agency that is helping to grow local businesses through its several platforms. Along with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), BoI has the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF) for corps members.

Applicants submit their business plans which are then reviewed by experts and selected. Successful applicants are trained for four weeks and then given from N500,000 to N2 million to start up their businesses.

The Cottage Agro Processing (CAP) Fund for small and medium processors of agriculture produce. The BoI also introduced the Nolly Fund for people in the Nollywood film industry. A successful tale of that is the film, ‘Three Musketeers’ released in 2016 whose funding was drawn from the platform.

The Fashion Fund is for designers and fabric dealers in the fashion and style value chain.

Tony Elumelu Fund

Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has $100m for 10,000 African entrepreneurs available in seven to eight years. Its scope cuts across entrepreneurs in agriculture, fashion and design, light manufacturing, ICT, and solid minerals. It is a yearly funding plan that opens in January. This year, 1,000 entrepreneurs were shortlisted across Africa.

Shell LiveWire

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) also has some funds for young entrepreneurs. Shell provides support, access to training, guidance, and business mentorship to young entrepreneurs and potential ones between ages 18 and 35. Although the programme’s scope is more in the Niger Delta region, people from other region can access it.

SMEDAN

Although the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) is not a funding agency, it is crucial for pruning business plans, grooming entrepreneurs and helping Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) expand. The Director-General, Dr. Dikko Radda in a recent interview with the Daily Trust said, a potential entrepreneur can walk into SMEDAN’s business clinic in Abuja and have his business plan fine-tuned by professionals without charge.

“This is what we do at SMEDAN. We have two offices dedicated for business clinic and it is meant for any entrepreneur in whatever area of operation,” he said.

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