Top 10 Grants for Startups in Nigeria

Top 10 Grants for Startups in Nigeria

For entrepreneurs in Nigeria with groundbreaking business ideas and minimal funding, accessing grants can be a game-changer for their business. Grants are important financial support for entrepreneurs, startups and businesses owners.

Grants will helping them to birth their innovative business concepts to life and contribute to the growth of their country’s economy.

In this article, lets look at some grants specifically engineered for startups in Nigeria.

From public initiatives to commercial programs, these grants are providing entrepreneurs with the opportunity to secure funding without the burden of repayment or interest.

1. SMEDAN Grant for Entrepreneurs:

The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) is offering $100,000 grant opportunity for Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria. The grant is designed to support startups and small businesses in Nigeria to get  financial assistance and enabling them to achieve their business goals.


  • Must be a Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
  • Must meet the set criteria by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

To Apply:

  • Visit the official SMEDAN website, navigate to the grant application page.
  • Submit application form with accurate required details
  • Submit accompanying required documents as specified on the application page.
  • Wait for notification about your application status

2. Africa’s Young Entrepreneur Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN):

AYEEN is an annual grant program that empowers Nigerian entrepreneurs, particularly young business owners, by providing funding for their innovative ideas. Alongside financial support, AYEEN offers a mentorship program that equips entrepreneurs with essential business skills.


  • Nigerian citizens residing in the country.
  • At least 18 years old.
  • Have a unique and innovative business idea or an existing successful business.

To Apply:

  • Access the official AYEEN website and locate the application form.
  • Fill out the form with the necessary details.
  • Submit the form and any additional required documents.
  • Follow AYEEN’s social media profiles for updates and further information.
  • Attend the screening procedure as communicated through email.
  • Await the results of the evaluation process.

3. Shell LiveWire:

Shell LiveWire is a grant program targeted at youths in the Niger Delta region aged between 18 and 30. By providing grants and training, this program empowers young entrepreneurs to transform their entrepreneurial ideas into viable businesses.


  • Successful business concept that has been tested.
  • Age between 18 and 30.
  • Completion of an entrepreneur training course.
  • Reside in the Niger Delta region.

To Apply:

  • Visit the Shell LiveWire website and find the application form.
  • Fill out the form with accurate details.
  • Submit the completed form and any additional documents.
  • Stay updated on any communication from the program.

4. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme:

The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers a grant program aimed at African entrepreneurs. This program supports startups and businesses that demonstrate potential for growth and economic impact. Selected entrepreneurs receive funding and participate in a comprehensive entrepreneurship training program.


  • Ability to live and work in an African country.
  • Business must be located within the country.
  • Business concept can be new or an existing venture less than three years old.

To Apply:

  • Create an account on the official Tony Elumelu Foundation website.
  • Fill out the application form provided.
  • Submit the form for review.
  • Await feedback on the status of your application.

5. GroFin Fund:

GroFin Fund focuses on providing grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, particularly in sectors such as energy, education, health, and agriculture. This grant program supports businesses that have a positive societal impact and contribute to the country’s economic growth.


  • Business concept must have a societal impact.
  • Business falls within specific categories such as energy, health, education, etc.
  • Reside in a country where GroFin Fund operates.

To Apply:

  • Visit the GroFin Fund website and access the application process.
  • Follow the guidelines provided on the application page.
  • Submit the required information and documents as stated.
  • Await feedback on your application.

6. YouWin Connect Nigeria:

YouWin Connect Nigeria is a grant program specifically designed to help young Nigerian entrepreneurs launch their businesses. By providing financial support and connecting entrepreneurs with industry professionals, this program offers a comprehensive platform for fostering entrepreneurial success.


  • Nigerian citizen between 18 and 40 years old.
  • Possess a degree from an accredited higher education institution.
  • Reside and operate a business in Nigeria.
  • Not currently employed by the government.

To Apply:

  • Access the YouWin Connect Nigeria website and locate the application form.
  • Fill out the form accurately and provide the necessary details.
  • Submit the form and any additional required documentation.
  • Follow the program’s social media profiles for updates and information on the screening procedure.
  • Attend the screening process and await the results.

7. Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund:

The Lagos State Government established this grant program to provide financial assistance to local entrepreneurs. It aims to stimulate job creation and economic development within the state, focusing on sectors such as hospitality, construction, health, and entertainment.

8. Innovation Prize for Africa:

The Innovation Prize for Africa supports African entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas. This grant program aims to recognize and reward entrepreneurial excellence, promoting economic growth and technological advancement across the continent.

9. African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship:

This grant program is dedicated to supporting female entrepreneurs across African countries. It focuses on empowering women with outstanding entrepreneurial ideas or innovations, ultimately fostering economic development and women’s leadership in Africa.

10. National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit:

The National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit (NYEES) equips young Nigerian entrepreneurs with essential skills and knowledge required for business success. By promoting entrepreneurship among the youth, this program contributes to economic transformation and job creation.

In conclusion, Startup grants play a vital role in fostering entrepreneurship and also driving economic growth in the country. Access to these grants will go a long way to help empowers entrepreneurs, refining their innovative ideas into successful full scale businesses, without the initial headache of financial constraints.

By securing funding through these grants, startups can do more in terms of fueling their growth, create more employment opportunities, and contribute to the overall development of the Nigerian economy.

Aspiring entrepreneurs should participate in the exploration of these grants and also leverage on the support provided to bring help bring traction to their businesses.

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