Updated on January 17, 2024
Are you searching for a way to get money to kickstart your business or idea in Nigeria? Grants are a great option.
They’re like free money that helps you focus on growing your dream. We’re here to make it simple. We’ve handpicked the available top federal government, and business NGO ongoing grants in Nigeria.
Whether you’re starting out or already established, these grants could be your game-changer. Starting a business often needs cash.
Small business grants are one of the easiest ways to get that cash in Nigeria. But here’s the thing, there aren’t many government grants; mostly, you’ll find government loans.
Grants don’t need repayment, unlike loans. No worrying about terms, interest rates, or payback.
Just meet the requirements, and you’re good to go.
Grants come from big companies, governments, NGOs, and generous individuals. It’s money you don’t have to give back. That’s what makes grants fantastic.
Now, let’s get into the good stuff – the available free grants in Nigeria you can grab.
Free Ongoing Grants in Nigeria
You can get money for your business or ideas from these NGO & business grants in Nigeria:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), formerly known as the William H. Gates Foundation, is a charitable organization dedicated to improving people’s lives across the globe.
It was created in 2000 by the William H. Gates Foundation.
It’s accessible all around the globe, but it’s very popular in Africa. And, as the name implies, it is owned and financed by Bill Gates, a multi-billionaire, and his wife, Melinda Gates.
According to reports, the foundation’s assets were valued at $50.7 billion in 2017, making it the world’s biggest privately held charitable organization.
The foundation makes donations to a variety of organizations regularly.
These awards are available to organizations in Africa and the United States that provide answers to global issues.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grants in Nigeria are mostly humanitarian. Agriculture grants are also available regularly.
Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) Ongoing Grants
The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is a non-profit, private-sector organization that gives money to non-government business groups, like chambers of commerce, employers’ federations, trade associations, and private enterprise-oriented research groups, all over the world.
CIPE doesn’t make money from its grants. Grants are given to non-U.S. businesses on their own, with no help from the government.
As a business group, CIPE was chosen by Congress in 1983 to be a part of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Many of the goals of CIPE Grants in Nigeria include: Helping to build independent businesses, increasing the number of businesspeople in the developing world, and a lot of other things as well.
African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) Ongoing Grants
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund is a development organization whose mission is to help Africa’s private sector flourish.
The fund is accessible to African entrepreneurs and enterprises.
The AECF fund has a value of $356 million as of 2018.
Several foreign partners, notably the Australian and Canadian governments, have contributed to the fund.
The fund is open to businesses all around Africa.
The African Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Fund (AECF) provides grants and low-interest loans to African enterprises and entrepreneurs with the most innovative ideas in agriculture, agribusiness, renewable energy, climate change adaptation, and access to information and financial services.
Competitions are used to raise money for the fund. Entrepreneurs and businesses are encouraged to submit their creative ideas and solutions to get an AECF Grant.
United States African Development Foundation (USADF) Grants
The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is a US government institution that provides financial and technical assistance to African businesses.
The USADF provides grants of up to $250,000 to early-stage agricultural, energy, and youth-led firms that benefit underserved communities in Sub-Saharan Africa for operational support, company development, and market linkage.
You can apply for the USADF Grants in Nigeria.
Ford Foundation Grants in Nigeria
The Ford Foundation is one of the world’s most well-known charitable organizations.
The foundation, which was founded in 1936, provides funding to groups in the United States, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Since its inception, the foundation has distributed nearly $16.3 billion in grants across the globe.
The Ford Foundation focuses on projects that seek to alleviate poverty and inequality, promote democratic principles, and advance human knowledge.
You may always write to the Ford Foundation and offer your thoughts.
You can apply for Ford Foundation Grants in Nigeria.
Rockefeller Foundation Grants in Nigeria
This is another one of the top ongoing grants in Nigeria. The Rockefeller Foundation is a non-profit organization based in New York.
The foundation distributes funds to solve many challenges that our world faces, intending to make the world a better place.
Here are Rockefeller grants in Nigeria.
AXA Research Fund Grants for Nigerians
The AXA Research Fund aims to assist excellent researchers who are dedicated to addressing global social issues in the areas of life and health, data and technology, climate and environment, and economics. The AXA Research Fund is a subsidiary of the AXA Foundation.
As of 2018, the organization has awarded funds totaling €179 million to 563 research projects throughout 35 countries, including Nigeria and South Africa.
Here are AXA Research Fund grants in Nigeria.
African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) Grants for Nigerians
The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a grantmaking foundation that assists local, national, and regional women’s organizations in their efforts to empower African women and advance their rights.
You may apply if your organization or ideas are relevant to women’s empowerment and advancement.
Find out here how to apply for AWDF Grants in Nigeria.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Ongoing Grants in Nigeria
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides funding to non-profit groups that assist the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people to break free from poverty, social dependence, and other harmful and dysfunctional conditions.
The typical grant amount is $10,000.
Here’s all you need to know about IMF Grants in Nigeria.
Ongoing Grants in Nigeria from the World Bank
The Globe Bank offers loans to companies and entrepreneurs all across the world. However, the majority of international grants are made in collaboration with governments.
To be eligible for World Bank funding, you must be informed of the most recent World Bank awards available to your country.
Civil society groups, on the other hand, may still request support from the World Bank.
Ongoing Grants in Nigeria from Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP)
Mr Tony Elumelu, a Nigerian business entrepreneur, established the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) every year via the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF).
The initiative, which began in 2015, aims to provide 10,000 USD in initial capital to African businesses.
Every year, the program chooses 1,000 African entrepreneurs from over 50,000 candidates.
Each application is rigorously scrutinized by industry experts, and winners are chosen based on market viability, clear financial models, and a strong management team.
The application period for each program cycle runs from January 1 to March 1 every year.
To be eligible, you must:
- The company must be between the ages of 0 and 3 years old.
- Applicants must be at least 18 years old and lawful residents or citizens of Africa.
Bank Of Industry (BOI) Grants in Nigeria
The Bank of Industry (BOI) has established a youth empowerment initiative for young and bright entrepreneurs interested in entering different areas of the Nigerian economy.
The BOI’s Young Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Program aims to alleviate Nigeria’s alarming youth unemployment problem by strengthening youth ability and supporting their entrepreneurial ideas.
The YES program aims to provide young people with the skills and information they need to become self-employed and manage their enterprises. The YES Program consists of the following components:
Eight (8) weeks of rigorous online Entrepreneurship and Business Management training with the option to assess and monitor participants’ learning.
Entrepreneurship and business management training for five (5) days in a classroom setting.
Technical skills training in collaboration with the country’s numerous technical training and vocational colleges.
BOI is funding the enterprises via its SME Cluster project, which is in line with the Commodity-based Industrialisation Strategy of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
- Nigerian nationality is required to apply.
- Must have a viable company concept that operates or will operate in one of the 40 specified clusters in Nigeria.
- You must be between the ages of 18 and 35. (It is necessary to provide evidence of identification in the form of an international passport, a driver’s license, a national ID card, or a voter’s card).
- A minimum educational degree of Ordinary National Diploma is required (OND).
- The applicant must be capable of completing the application procedure entirely online.
Apply Here for the BOI Grant in Nigeria
Grants from GroFin For Nigerians
GroFin is a forerunner in the development finance industry, specializing in funding and helping small and developing companies (SGBs) in Africa and the Middle East.
GroFin helps developing market businesses flourish by combining patient finance and skilled business assistance.
GroFin focuses on SGBs that are neglected by other funds or financiers. Delivers a one-of-a-kind complete solution for patient risk capital and end-to-end business assistance to SME start-ups and growth.
GroFin has a fund of more than $100 million to invest in Nigerian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Here are the requirements for a GroFin Grant:
- Be from Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda.
- Your company’s annual revenue is less than $15 million, and its assets are less than $6 million.
- You’ll need between $100,000 and $1.5 million in funding.
- The company is controlled by the owner and/or the owner is heavily engaged in the day-to-day operations.
Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund (LSETF) Grants in Nigeria
The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) was formed by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law 2016 to give financial assistance to Lagos State people in the areas of job development, wealth generation, and unemployment reduction.
Gender Equality Partnerships Grants by British Council
The Going Global Partnerships Programme by the British Council is inviting applications to Gender Equality Partnerships Grants in a bid to support higher education institutions and sector bodies to progress gender equality by building on the potential of the sector to influence wider society.
This Gender equality Grant aims to help progress gender equality within higher and further education institutions
The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation Grants Program
The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation Grants Program seeks to protect natural resources, improve the production and distribution of food, and promote public health in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.
The deadline for this grant is 01 July 2023.
The Conservation, Food & Health Foundation does not provide general operating support. It favors research, training, and technical assistance projects.
The average grant given by this foundation is approximately $20,000. Grants exceeding $30,000 are rarely awarded.
WSA Global Award Grant
WSA (World Summit Awards) is inviting any company, organisation or individual in any UN and UNESCO member state to nominate their best local digital solutions for the Global Award.
WSA selects and promotes local digital innovation by improving society. It is a non-monetary award system with a focus on sustainable knowledge transfer through a worldwide network.
Winners benefit not from a one-time financial reward, but a lifelong partnership and integration.
The WSA grant is open to these categories:
- Government & Citizen Engagement
- Health and well-being
- Learning & Education and Environment
- Culture & Heritage
- Smart Settlements & Urbanization
- Business & Commerce and Inclusion & Empowerment.
Difference between Grants and Loan
You should understand the differences between a grant and a loan before deciding which choice is best for you. Each one has its own set of benefits. The following are the distinctions:
A loan compels you to return the money plus interest, but a gift is not repayable. A grant is similar to a gift.
A loan may need collateral that will be taken over if the loan is not paid back within a certain amount of time, whereas a grant does not.
Risk There might be problems if you don’t pay back on time. And your capacity to get a loan in the future will be jeopardized.
Opportunities, however, since few organizations give grants, are restricted. The primary sources of financing are governments, donors, and international organizations.
A loan has greater availability. It is available at any time and on any day. However, a grant may not always be available. Some are only administered once or twice a year.
How to Apply for Grants in Nigeria
Because a grant is a gift that cannot be refunded, you should not apply for every grant you come across. Here are some things to think about:
When it comes to applying for a grant, you must be prepared. What is the purpose of the grant? Is it for a business, a concept, or something else?
What is the strategy? What will the funding mean for your company or idea? You must be aware of all of them.
If it’s for a company or a concept, you’ll need a business plan or a blueprint.
Grants are only provided to people or companies that the grantor feels will have a significant effect. So get ready. You aim to persuade the donor that you are deserving of the donation.
You must be sure that you are qualified before applying, otherwise, you will be wasting your time.
Some awards are only available in certain areas.
As a result, double-check that it covers your area. Some are constrained by their scope.
Small company awards, agricultural grants, health grants, research grants, and so on are all available.
Make sure it’s a good match for your company or concept.
Before you can obtain certain funds, you may need to meet specific requirements.
Years of experience in the industry, the requirement for certain documentation, or anything else.
Make sure you meet all of the criteria. And go out and acquire the ones you don’t have.
4. Send your Application in
It’s time to submit your application if you’ve completed all of the processes indicated above.
Go to the website and submit, or if mailing or visiting the office is required, do so.