Read along with me to get information on the 11 grants for startups if you are an entrepreneur with an established startup or a business strategy that has not yet been realized. 

Despite lacking the necessary funding to get started, do you believe your business concept can help the Nigerian economy grow? If “yes,” then this post has been put together for you as we walk you through several public and commercial initiatives that can provide 11 grants for startups and businesses in Nigeria for those with an interest in business. Also, check out the 9 legit small business loans in Nigeria.

11 grants for startups

What is a Startup Grant?

The term “grant” simply refers to a sum of money that is not refundable and is granted by a government or institution to a company/individual as support (help) for a programme or project that may be for business, education, home upgrades, health purposes, etc. To put it another way, it could be called a donation, an allowance, or an award.

Moreso, startup grants are a sum of money given to Startups or small business beginners with potential to grow in future but lack the funding or have insufficient funds to realize their main concept. 

Read- Ford Foundation Grant 

About Grants for Startups

There are several ways to raise the money required to launch that fantastic business idea, which is something that not many people are aware of. There are also world bank for small businesses in Nigeria.

When faced with no other choice, the majority of Startups turn to loans without adequate assurance that they will be able to pay them back. The best course of action is to choose a grant rather than a loan if you truly want your firm to remain solid. 

You might not be aware of how straightforward it is to obtain grants in Nigeria, which is why this post is being written. Read on.

Check out- 7 Easy Steps on how to raise Capital for your small Business.

11 Grants For Startups in Nigeria 

The list of readily available and reliable business grants in Nigeria is provided below; 

  1. SMEDAN Grant For Entrepreneurs 
  2. Africa’s Young Entrepreneur Empowerment Nigeria(AYEEN)
  3. Shell LiveWire
  4. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme
  5. GroFin Fund
  6. YouWin Connect Nigeria
  7. Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund 
  8. Innovation Prize for Africa
  9. African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  10. National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit
  11. Bank of Industry (BOI)

1. SMEDAN Grant For Entrepreneurs 

Image of SMEDAN Grant For Entrepreneurs as one of the 11 grants for startups

SMEDAN grant is one of the 11 grants for startups in Nigeria. Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria and around Africa now have access to a $100,000 grant opportunity thanks to the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). 

Visit to submit your application for the SMEDAN grant. 

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

Image of Africa's Young Entrepreneur Empowerment Nigeria(AYEEN) as one of the 11 grants for startups

This is a yearly grant programme that aims to empower Nigerians further. It was created to aid young business owners who have innovative ideas for businesses in realizing their dreams by providing them with funds.

In addition to providing financial support, AYEEN also runs a mentorship programme where business success skills are taught. Grants ranging from thousands to millions of dollars might help one financially, depending on the type of enterprise the entrepreneur is starting. 


  • Beneficiaries must be Nigerian citizens who live in the country. 
  • You must be at least 18 years old. 
  • Own a novel company idea or a successful enterprise. 

How to Apply 

  • Check out the official portal of AYEEN via to access the application form. 
  • Complete the online form and be sure to submit it. 
  • Find their social media profiles and follow them to learn more directly. 
  • Submit your business plan via the website itself, or even better, complete the J19 form. 
  • Be sure to submit it once you’ve completed the form.
  • You will receive mail regarding the screening procedure. with time and location specified. 
  • Make sure you attend the screening procedure and then you can wait for your results. 

Read- How to get a Loan for your Small Business.

3. Shell LiveWire 

Image of Shell LiveWire as one of the 11 grants for startups

Shell  Livewire wire is also one of the 11  grants for startups in Nigeria This programme is a grant programme that was introduced on March 27, 2003. It was originally founded to help Niger Delta youths between the ages of 18 and 30 realize their entrepreneurial ideas. 

Since its debut, Shell Livewire has provided grants to 3300 firms and provided training to 6500 adolescents. 


  • You must have a successful business concept that has already been tested
  • should fall between the ages of 18 and 30. 
  • You must have taken an entrepreneur training course. 
  • Must be a native of the Niger Delta 
  • States. 

How to Apply 

  • The application process is relatively simple since all candidates must complete a short form online at

Note: Should you choose to inquire more, more information may be obtained from the site above. 

4. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

Image of Tony Elumelu Foundation as one of the 11 grants for startups

Tony Elumelu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Heirs Holding, launched this grant programme in 2015.

The total amount of enterprises that have benefited from this Grant to date is around 7,500, or $25,000,00. 


  • You must be able to live and work in the country in which you are applying for admission in Africa. 
  • Your company must be located in the nation. 
  • Either you are applying with a brand-new business concept or you already operate a company that hasn’t been around for more than three years. 

How to Apply

  • Set up an account on the official site of the scheme, which is
  • After completing the follow-up form, submit it to get feedback.

5. GroFin Fund 

Image for GroFin Fund as one of the 11 grants for startups

One of the business grants available in Nigeria is called GroFin Fund. It resembles an empowerment programme and a grant-giving programme for those with an interest in business, with a particular focus on the nation’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

According to records, GroFin Fund has helped over 700 businesses, and the maximum grant amount that can be requested is $1,500,000. The grant amount ranges from $100,000 to $1,500,000. 


  • The company concept must have a societal impact. 
  • Businesses that come under the following categories are given grants to receive assistance: trash recycling, energy, health, education, water, sanitation, and agriculture. 
  • The applicant must reside in any nation where GroFin Fund does business.

How to Apply

Visit to apply, and adhere to the guidelines of the application process

6. YouWin Connect Nigeria 

Image of YouWin Connect Nigeria as one of the 11 grants for startups

Are you an entrepreneur who lacks the funds to launch that fantastic business idea you have in your mind? YouWin Connect Nigeria is the application you should select since it was designed with this objective in mind. 

The programme is highly active in helping young Nigerians launch their businesses and will also put you in touch with professionals in your chosen sector who can assist you in positively grooming yourself to achieve optimum success in the stated business. 

Every time they conduct a programme akin to a competition, the winners receive rewards after the competition. 


  • Must be a Nigerian between the ages of 18 and 40.
  • Have a degree from an accredited higher education institution.
  • Must be based in Nigeria with businesses there as well. 
  • Ensure that you are not employed by the government before applying (Civil servant). 

How to Apply 

  • You can access the application form at
  • Applicants must adhere to the guidelines and enter the necessary data. 

7. Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund 

Image of Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund as one of the 11 grants for startups

The Lagos State Government is the one responsible for developing this grant programme, and its main purpose is to provide locals with financial assistance so they can grow or launch their own enterprises. It is only intended for Lagosians (those residing in Lagos). 

The initiative, which has successfully eliminated poverty directly and indiscriminately, is without a doubt a platform that will create job opportunities in the State.


  • Must reside in Lagos State; • Must be between the ages of 18 and 35. 
  • The core of the business idea should fall under one of the following categories: hospitality/tourism, construction, health, or entertainment. 

How to Apply 

  • Interested candidates are to start up the registration process via

8. Innovation Prize for Africa 

Image of Innovation Prize for Africa as one of the 11 grants for startups

All Africans with a profitable business concept are welcome to use this grant platform. 


  • You must be African. 
  • Should base entirely in an African nation; 
  • You are expected to have an analytical attitude. 

How to Apply 

Visit to register if you are interested as an entrepreneur.

9. African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship 

Image of African Women Innovation & Entrepreneurship as one of the 11 grants for startups

This award programme is somewhat restricted to female entrepreneurs and covers African countries as well. 

The initiative is being developed to promote female leaders who can aid in the development of Africans in general, particularly women with outstanding entrepreneurial innovations or ideas. 


  • The business owner must be a woman. 
  • Expected to have some achievements on record; • Should have a business formed and registered in one of the African countries. 

How to Apply 

10. National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit 

Image of National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit as one of the 11 grants for startups

The FGN has been working to provide young people in Nigeria with the best skills possible to create a distinctive workforce. This prompted the development of the current programme, which provides young entrepreneurs with the essential training to help them develop the necessary abilities to turn around the nation’s economy. 


  • The business concept or idea must support one of the Federal Government’s top nine (9) areas and the applicant must be a citizen of the country and have an existing firm. 
  • Should fall between the ages of 18 and 35. 
  • The company’s focus must be on one of the following areas: news; media, theater, dance, art, fashion and design, ICT, and culture.

How to Apply 

  • Be sure to post a brief video (no more than one minute) on social media outlining your business concept. 
  • Make sure to tag the NYEE summit before publishing the recorded video on any social media sites. 
  • Be sure to include the hashtags #NYEESCREATIVES and #NYEES as well. 

You have successfully applied for the grant using the aforementioned steps; all that is left to do is wait to hear whether you are eligible.

11. Bank of Industry (BOI) 

Image of Bank of Industry as one of the 11 grants for startups

The Nigerian Federal Government employs BOI to support SME businesses across the whole country. 

Even though the money awarded to qualified candidates takes the form of soft loans, this will help the applicants’ businesses flourish. 


  • Only entrepreneurs with legally established businesses may apply. 
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 35. 
  • The applicant must submit a well-written business plan that demonstrates how profitable the idea is. 

How to Apply 

  • Offline applications are being submitted. To apply, all you have to do is stop by a BOI branch near you.

How to Apply for Startup Grant

Many business-minded individuals are abandoning their original business plans or ideas due to lack of funding or insufficient funding. We have already examined grants granted for startups purposes in this post.

To apply, follow the method below:

  1. Carry out a deep research about the grant for startups and all it involves
  2. Then login to their application link
  3. Read through the eligibility and see if you qualify 
  4. Fill the form and supply other needed information
  5. Submit all other required documents.
  6. Wait for approval 
  7. Get your funding 


We are happy to inform you that, although there are many grant platforms available, the top 11 we have selected are the ones that will help entrepreneurs most in implementing their business ideas. 

It would be good if you, as a business owner who has been hindered by a lack of funding to launch your dream venture, could begin applying the possibilities. 

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Hi, I am Chidimma, the Chief Editor of StartupSpot. I hold a bachelor's degree in Business Education (with a major in Accounting) from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria and online certifications in Digital Marketing by SEMRUSH Academy. Startupspot was therefore born (in 2021) out of my passion to reach startups, small businesses and a greater audience to educate them about startups, the challenges facing startups and how to manage their finances. I also wish to educate people (especially women) to attain financial independence. I hope you find the contents useful, and should you need further help, I hope you ‌reach me.