Getting money to finance a business idea or a business can be very difficult especially in Nigeria. This is where grants comes in. Grants are literally free money.
Grants are the best alternatives to loans. Grants allows you to focus on building and developing your business without the pressure of debts weighing you down.
There are lots of organizations that offers grants to Nigerians, and Africans. In this article, we will focus on organizations that gives grants to Nigerians, and how to apply for these grants.
How to Apply for Grants in Nigeria
Prepare for the Grant: Before you apply for a grant, you must first prepare yourself. Ask yourself questions like Why do I need the grant? What is the Business plan? How will the grant help your business? You need to genuinely answer these questions.
Whatever the grant is for, you need to have a blueprint (Business plan) for it. Your blueprint must wow the givers of the grant, or make them believe that your business or organization will make a great impact if given the grant.
To effectively prepare to apply for a grant, you must have a blueprint that clearly state how your business or organization can help people or solve a problem in the society.
Steps to Applying for grants
- Make Sure You are Eligible for the Grant: You should know that not all grants are for you. You can’t just apply for any grant. Some grants are specifically for people of a particular industry or location. Some grants are only for small businesses, some are research grants, agricultural grants, health grant, e.t.c So you will need to be sure that a grant fits your business idea before applying.
- Have the necessary requirements: Apart from being limited to specific people, business or organizations, some grants may have a couple of requirements you need to meet before you can apply for it.
- Some requirements may be some kind of documents, a number of years doing business, or anything at all. Make sure you have all the requirements on hand before applying.
- Submitting your application: After you have diligently worked through the first 3 processes, the next step is to submit your application.
- Before submitting double check that you did everything correctly, then submit as you are directed (either online, through a mailing address, or physical submitting).
Top Organizations that gives Grants to Nigerians
1.Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Formerly known as William H. Gates Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a philanthropic organization, whose major aim is to improve the quality of life of the world.
The organization is available world wide, and was founded in 2002 by Billionaire Bill Gates and his wife Melinda. It is currently the largest private owned philanthropic organization in the World, with over $50.7 billion in assets.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation regularly gives grants regularly, especially to Organizations in Africa and United States that offers solution to global problems.
The foundation offers grants mostly to the agricultural sector and to Organizations that caters to Humanity purposes.
Visit the foundations website here to check for available grants.
2.Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)
CIPE is a non profit privately owned organization that provides grants to non governmental organizations or businesses. Established in 1983, CIPE was appointed by the U.S congress as the business representative in the bipartisan National Endowment for democracy program.
They offer grants directly to non U.S business or organizations single handedly without government intervention. The major aim of CIPE is to increase the number of businesses based on talent in the developing countries.
CIPE offers grants to Organizations like chambers of commerce, trade associations, employers federation, and privately owned research groups, in all parts of the world.
3.Ford Foundation Grants
Ford Foundation is one of the most popular and oldest philanthropic organizations in the world today. Ford foundation gives grants to Organizations and businesses in the United States, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the middle east.
Since it’s foundation in 1936, Ford Foundation has given out more than $16.3 billion in grants. The foundation is always open to receive new business ideas at anytime.
Ford foundation majorly focus it’s grants on initiatives that can help reduce poverty and injustice, advance human knowledge and promotes democratic values.
To apply or learn more about the Ford Foundation Grants, click here
4.International Monetary Fund (IMF)
IMF is one of the Organizations that gives Grants to Nigerians. The organization offers grants only to non profit organizations, that works to help the most disadvantaged and poorest people, who are socially dependent, earns extremely low income, and other detrimental, harsh and dysfunctional conditions.
International monetary funds gives an average of $10,000 to these organizations.
To know more about how IMF grants works, click IMF grants
5.Africa Enterprise Challenge Funds (AECF)
AECF is a growth and development organization, whose major goal is to stimulate across the private sector in Africa. AECF offers grants to businesses and entrepreneurs across Africa.
The Africa Enterprise Challenge Funds in 2018 was worth over $356 million, they amassed this fund from donations of their international partners like the Australian and Canadian governments.
AECF majorly offers their grants in the form of competitions. They invite Entrepreneurs and business owners to present their ideas , innovations and solutions.
In addition to their grants, they also offer non interest loans to African entrepreneurs and businesses with the best ideas, majorly in the Agriculture, agribusiness, renewable energy, financial services, information and adaption to climate change sectors.
For more information about the AECF grants, click AECF grants
6.Africa Women’s Development Fund (AWDF)
AWDF is a foundation that gives Grants to Organizations or ideas that empowers African women (at both local, national, and regional levels), and promotes the realization of their rights as women.
Your organization is only eligible for the Africa Women’s Development Fund grants, if it supports the promotion and empowerment of African women.
To apply or learn about how AWDF grants works, visit AWDF grants
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The World Bank is not left. World Bank offers grants to entrepreneurs and businesses from all over the world. However, most grants offered by world Bank in a specific place is in partnership with the government of that country.
To access world Bank grants, you need to be updated with news concerning the latest world Bank grants available to your country.
Apart from giving grants to businesses and entrepreneurs, world Bank gives funding’s to Civil society organizations.
To learn more about World Bank grants, click here
8.United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF)
USADF is an independent federal agency owned by the U.S, established majorly to provide technical and financial aid to African enterprises.
The United States Africa Development Foundation offers grants up to $250,000 to enterprises that offers operational assistance, enterprise expansion, and market linkage services in the agriculture, energy and youth led organizations industry, that will benefits under served communities in Sub Saharan Africa.
USADF grants majorly focuses on women and youths in the agricultural sector.
Learn more about the USADF grants and application process here
9.AXA Research Funds
The AXA research funds is a subsidiary of the AXA Foundation. AXA research funds is set up to primarily support outstanding research organizations that are committed to contributing meaningfully to global societal challenges that are related to Life, health, data, technology, climate, economics, and environment.
The organization has offered over €179 million in grants to 563 research projects in over 35 countries of the world including African countries like Nigeria, South Africa and many others as of 2018.
For guidelines on how to apply for the AXA research funds, visit AXA research funds
Rockefeller foundation is a private owned foundation, with their headquarters in New York City U.S. Their focus is primarily to make the world a better place. To achieve this aim, they offer grants to Organizations that solves different problems facing the world.
To apply for the Rockefeller foundation grants, visit their website Rockefeller foundation
Apart from these major foundations that offers grants, other organizations to source for grants as a Nigeria entrepreneur and business owner are:
- Africa’s Young Entrepreneur Empowerment Nigeria (AYEEN) : This organizations doesn’t just fund business ideas, but they also offer mentorship to young Nigerian entrepreneurs. Their grants ranges from Thousands of naira to millions of naira depending on the business idea.
- Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program: This entrepreneurship program is sponsored by Tony Elumelu the CEO of Heirs holding. Apart from giving grants, the program also mentors successful applicants business wise.
- Shell Livewire: This program offers grants to youths to start their business. This program is only open to youths of the Niger Delta region between the ages of 18 – 30.
- GroFin Fund: GroFin Fund is an empowerment program, that provides business support to small and medium businesses in Nigeria.
- Bank of Industry (BOI): BOI is a federal government initiative, that offers financial support to businesses in Nigeria in forms of loans and grants. They offer various kinds of grants and loans to entrepreneurs.
- YouWin connect Nigeria: This program provides startup funds for Nigerian entrepreneurs who lack funds to start their business. They awards grants based on competitions. Apart from giving grants, they also create avenues for entrepreneurs to learn from industry experts.
Other foundations that offers grants free grants to young entrepreneurs in Nigeria are:
- Lagos State Entrepreneurs Trust Fund
- Kick start
- Innovation Price for Africa
- National Youth Entrepreneurship Empowerment Summit
- Global Innovation Funds
- Diamond Bank Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) program
- Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award
- I-Startup Southwest program
- Africa Netprenuer Price
Wrapping up, Apart from these grants listed above, there are numerous grants available to entrepreneurs in Nigeria. But this ones listed here tops the list.
They are the best options to start up your business without worrying about debts. Select the one you best fit into the requirements and apply for it today.
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