Opportunities abound for Nigerian startups this year
The Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) has announced a grant scheme in collaboration with Heritage Bank. It plans to award over 1,000 Nigerians from a N500 million-naira seed fund. NYPF is a non-governmental, global peer-to-peer network of Nigerian professionals. It is a forum that connects and provides opportunities for passionate young professionals in order to encourage them to achieve personal goals.
The YesGrant scheme, in collaboration with Heritage Bank, provides support for both business people and students. The entrepreneurship grants are geared towards young Nigerians, identified as being between the ages of 18 and 40, with innovative ideas working in the fields of Agriculture, Creative Economy, and Information & Communication Technology — and in need of funding.
YesGrant offers funding for startups with grants to the tune of N2 million while also offering trainings and mentorship. The scholarship scheme, on the other hand, is for Nigerians studying at university in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, or Australia with brilliant academic records and in need of financial support for research and studies. As for the fine print, YesGrant applications are only open to NYPF members and close June 15.
2016 is looking to be a good year for Nigerian entrepreneurs. She Leads Africa (SLA), a community focused on empowering African women, has also announced its own contribution towards Nigerian businesses. The SLA Accelerator, in partnership with Work in Progress! Alliance and Guaranty Trust Bank, is a program aimed at identifying, supporting, and funding Nigerian women entrepreneurs. Over three months, the SLA team will train chosen entrepreneurs with the most impressionable one winning N2 million of investment from the SLA fund.
Like YesGrant, the SLA Accelerator will provide intensive training and mentorship. It is however opened to women between the ages of 18 and 35, only with businesses younger than 3 years old and less than $50,000 in funding.
Do you believe support in the form of grants and training will make long-term impact on Nigerian economies? Share your thoughts in a comment below or by reaching the author on Twitter @rafeeeeta