50 Organizations That Will Give You Free Money To Start Your Business.

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The most common complain among youths trying to launch a business in Nigeria, is lack of capital. What many youths do not realize, is that many organizations have millions of dollars set aside for the funding of small business enterprise.

These organizations range from personal foundations, corporate CSR, government grants and other special grants. Some of the grants can fund any kind of business enterprise,while others are meant to encourage investment in certain sectors of the economy. For instance, some grants are for small businesses interested in green renewable energy or in ecological conservation projects. Some grants are also meant for NGO’s , Women or social enterprises.

In any case, every young and aspiring entrepreneur, should be aware of all available sources of free capital and apply to relevant ones.

Millionaires Academy aims to expose young Nigerians to all sources of free startup capital available to them, from both within the country and outside the country.

We have compiled a list of 50 organizations that provide grants to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  1. TEEP

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The $100 Million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme was established by Mr Tony Elumemlu, the Chairman of UBA bank and Heirs Holdings. It is an annual programme, designed to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

The $100 million programme, announced at the Tony Elumelu Foundation headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, will identify and support 1,000 entrepreneurs from across the continent each year over the next 10 years.

The 10,000 start-ups and young businesses selected from across Africa will ultimately create one million new jobs and add $10 billion in annual revenues to Africa’s economy.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is open to citizens and legal residents of all 54 African countries.

Applications can be made by any for-profit business based in Africa in existence for less than three years, including new business ideas.

  1. SEEDSTARS AFRICA

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Seedstars Africa is a member of Seedstars Group, a Swiss-based venture builder that is active and invests in 35+ countries around the world especially in emerging markets in Asia, South America, The Middle East and Africa. Seedstars recently invested $330,000 in SimplePay, a young Nigerian third-party payment processing company that has created a solution which will likely disrupt payment services in Nigeria and Africa.

  1. ACUMEN FUND

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Acumen is a charity organisation incorporated in 2001 with seed capital from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation and three individual philanthropists. The Acumen Fund invests in entrepreneurs who have the capability to bring sustainable solutions to big problems.

In May 2014, The Acumen Fund co-invested $1.5 million in Esoko Networks Limited (“Esoko”), a Ghanaian-built technology platform that connects African farmers to markets via mobile phones. In October 2014, Acumen announced a $1.4 million investment in SolarNow, a company that sells and finances solar home systems in Uganda.

Acumen is always looking for entrepreneurs who have new and innovative models for tackling poverty and who also meet their investment criteria.

To qualify for investment, entrepreneurs must be located in, or have significant operation or impact in East Africa, West Africa, India, Pakistan or Latin America.

  1. Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund

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The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund is a US$ 207m fund capitalized by multilateral and bilateral donors (the AECF donors) to stimulate private sector entrepreneurs in Africa.

The AECF is supported by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The Fund awards grants and repayable grants to private sector companies to support innovative business ideas in agriculture, agribusiness, renewable energy, adaptation to climate change and access to information and financial services. The AECF makes its funding available through competitions. Private sector companies are invited to compete for AECF funds by submitting their new and innovative business ideas to a particular AECF competition. The best ideas are awarded up to US$1.5m in grants and interest free loans.

  1. African Development Foundation

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The African Development Foundation (ADF) is an independent Federal agency of the United States government that was established to support African-led development that grows community enterprises by providing seed capital and technical support.

USADF connects community enterprises with capital and technical support. It helps organizations and businesses in Africa to create and sustain jobs, improve income levels, achieve greater food security, and address human development needs.

In 2014 alone, the USADF gave out 336 grants worth over $50 million and impacted over 1.3 million people in Africa.

The USADF focuses on Small holder Farmers, youths, women and girls, and recovering communities. It provides grants of up to $250,000 directly to hard to reach and underserved community enterprises that are ready to do their part.

  1. African Women’s Development Fund(AWDF)

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The AWDF is the first pan-African women’s grant maker in Africa. Since the start of its operations in 2001, AWDF has provided US$17 million in grants to 800 women’s organizations in 42 African countries. The AWDF is an institutional capacity-building and programme development fund, which aims to help build a culture of learning and partnerships within the African women’s movement. In addition to raising money and awarding grants, the AWDF will attempt to strengthen the organisational capacities of its grantees.

The AWDF only funds local, national, sub-regional and regional organisations in Africa working towards women’s empowerment in six thematic areas:

Women’s Human Rights, Economic Empowerment and Livelihoods, Governance, Peace and Security, Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV/AIDS, Arts, Culture and Sports.

The AWDF only awards grants to organisations, not individuals. It awards grants ranging from $8,000 up to $50,000.

  1. Agri-Vie

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Agri-Vie is a private equity investment fund focused on food and agribusiness in Sub-Sahara Africa. Since it started in 2008, it has invested over $100m in Africa’s food and agribusiness sector.

Its investments in Africa include: Dew Crisp (South Africa), Africa Juice (Ethiopia), Fairfield Dairy (South Africa), New Forests Company (Tanzania), Hygrotech (South Africa), Kariki Group (Kenya) and Vida Oils (Mozambique). Entrepreneurs with viable projects in Nigeria and other African countries are free to apply.

Agri-Vie focuses on the following areas: food and beverages, convenience foods (including fresh-packed and prepared foods), protein products including poultry, aquaculture and beef; value-added dairy products, including yoghurts, desserts, cultured milk; health & wellness products; forestry and timber products; agricultural inputs including seeds, bio-friendly fertilisers and crop-protection; food logistics – cold chain, warehousing, distribution; and renewable energy.

  1. eVA Fund

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The eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund) was launched in January 2010 and is dedicated to mobilising capital and experience in the Netherlands/Europe to invest in small and medium-sized African internet related companies.

eVA Fund exclusively provides funding to startups in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of its investments include: Nomanini, Verviant, Umuntu Media, and MoboFree.

The eVA Fund focuses on and invests only in companies that use technology within Africa to build world-class platforms that deliver local content for Africa. This includes startup businesses in the following areas: internet and/or mobile applications, platforms, e-commerce and solution-providers (i.e. not in infrastructure and hardware).

The reason why many “aspiring” entrepreneurs are crying for funds, is either they are ignorant of the many opportunities for funding available to them, or they do not have good ideas that can attract funding, or they do not have a solid business plan that will woo investors. It all boils down to lack of preparation.

Many serious minded Nigerian entrepreneurs have been able to attract hundreds of millions of naira worth of funds. Simplepay got over N100 Million fund from SeedStars Africa.

Mark Essien, the 31 year old founder of hotels.ng got N80 million ($250,000) startup fund from from Spark fund.

So what are you waiting for? Are you going to continue bemoaning your fate and giving all manner of excuses? Are you going to play the blame game? or are you going to take action this New year and do what is necessary to see your dream life become a reality this New Year?

Every aspiring entrepreneur in Nigeria should as a matter of urgency, join the Millionaires Academy. Millionaires Academy is the biggest online entrepreneurship training school in Nigeria today. It is the home and molding place of future Millionaires and captains of Industry in Nigeria.

Millionaires Academy is a social enterprise, that aims to empower youths with entrepreneurial skills, professional business training and expose young entrepreneurs to the  world of startup financing for their ideas.

There are over 80 free online courses on essential aspects of entrepreneurship and business management, as well as  tutorials on specific businesses like agriculture, manufacturing and industry.

Millionaires Academy will also teach you how to prepare a professional business plan that will be able to attract grants and funds like the ones shared above.

Register with us today, and gain full access to all 50 organizations giving out grants to entrepreneurs, small businesses and organizations. You will also receive contact details and means of application for these grants, but most importantly, our trainings will help you to develop great business ideas and plans.

To register, visit www.register.millionaire.ng

This will be your best decision moving into this new year !

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Great work, I believe this will help upcoming entrepreneur in achieving their goal and objectives by overcoming financial challenges that can be hindrances to the success of their upcoming businesses.

  2. I’m a young farmer, basically into poultry, fishery and irrigation farming but my major challenge is funding and this is due to demolition that was carried out by the federal government in FCT which has made me gone bankrupt and no one nor bank is willing to give you loan without collateral hence I need genuine assistance from a reputable base to help rise back. Thank you.

    • Know your onions, make sure you can demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt the viability of your business plan. Best way to convince angel investors is by doing something with the little you have. Apply to the organization(s) that best align with your vision and present your plan.

      • I have a Kerosene mini depot in Lagos.
        How can I be getting DPK on credit or a business loan?
        The site situated in a good location.
        I have a new dispensing pump and eleven thousand liters tank capacity.
        Thanks.

        • Have you talked to your bank? From experience, such business can be financed by banks like Diamond bank or First bank. But that will depend on your balance sheet, financial record with your bank and relationship with your account officer. Do not hesitate to change banks, if yours is not friendly.

  3. I am a farmer and I do poultry for now,how can I benefit from these great opportunity of a life time

  4. I have a registered farms called Hesed-kabod farms, pls I need help to me produce and employ more people, pls help me

  5. Greetings !
    Please how can I become a beneficiary? I have a lucrative business ideas.
    I am Francis Okolo Jeremiah lives in Abuja.
    Thanks, waiting for your reply.

    • Hello Francis, have you tested your idea in the real world? I encourage you to test your idea and make sure it is viable, before looking for financing. The ability to demonstrate the viability of your idea based on real world testing will always give you an edge when looking for investors, grants or loans.

    • That is a general problem. Even the biggest companies still need finance. The real question is, what have you done with the little you have? Can you really demonstrate that you know the business you wish to do thoroughly? What are your experience in that sector? Have you done any kind of work in that sector? have you taken any kind of business training before? These are salient questions you should answer while looking for finance, because these are the issues any financing organization will raise. Even if it is a grant, they are not looking to throw their money in the bush.They are looking for maximum impact.

  6. My name is Solomon Akpan,Am really inspired, knowing there are organisations ready to support entrepreneurs & grow small businesses that will in-turn create jobs for the teaming youths . Am passionately into outdoor & indoor advertising (signages, branding,printing & cladding); my great challenge has being acquiring modern equipments to enhance my finishing and increase turn-over. Please,How can I access organizations that i can partner to get equipments like (leazer cutting machine, Direct image printer & plotter)? this equipments will remarkably improve my services, and create employment for other young entrepreneurs around me.

    • Hello Solomon, you are welcome to join us. Part of our service is exposing entrepreneurs to sources of finance and helping them to package their business properly to attract investment.

  7. I am into supply of casement PVC, that needs capital for expansion, how can I access this loan,I will pay back with interest, provided the percentages is reasonable thaks

    • Check all the organizations, and find out if you are eligible to access help from any of them. Then simply apply via their contacts.

  8. I am S.S.Khurana from INDIA and i am running a furniture show room here.In case there is a person in your country or anywhere elshere who is interested to join my business here with investment ,we may consider this in details.Moreover,if there are more ideas we are open to these also.
    Thanks

    • Please send your office address in India to coordinator@millionaire.ng. A member of our organization will visit you, to conduct due diligence on your business opportunity. If you are genuine, we shall link you up with some of our students that are interested in your line of business. We are ready to guarantee the students so you will not have problem partnering with us, and giving them goods even on credit.
      Regards
      Engr Ifeanyi

  9. Hello
    Am very happy to read about the different financing opportunity available out there.
    My name is Dung Samuel Tislorh , am into sales of agro allied products for farmers all over Nigeria , my company core area is sells of sacks for parkaging of corn, beans , rice, millet etc. the problem am having is the inability to meet up with the demand of my customers ! I need funds in other to meet up with demand. Want to go into full production of our goods rather than depend solely on our manufactures .

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