Young Nigerians and undergraduates can access between N5 million and N25 million loans to fund businesses and vocation, according to the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The fund is to enable the youths to establish their private businesses under the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES).
The scheme, which would be executed in partnership with Nigerian polytechnics and universities, is expected to create about 25,000 entrepreneurs in the first instance and take 75,000 other individuals from the labour market.
According to the guidelines issued by the CBN, the facility will be engaged in agric-related businesses,
Information technology; Creative Industry and Science and technology.
The facility, the bank added, is intended to harness the potential of graduate entrepreneurs in Nigeria and make entrepreneurs of 25,000 graduates annually.
The Gradpreneur-led innovative start-ups and businesses, according to the CBN, will have access to finance and in the process create 75,000 sustainable jobs annually.
It will also target 50 per cent per annum, female-Gradpreneurs financed as a percentage of total projects financed by the TIES; 40 per cent per annum Agropreneurs financed as a percentage of total projects financed under the scheme; and 20 per cent per annum, creative entrepreneurs that the TIES will finance.
Also, there will be 20 per cent per annum Techpreneurs financed as a percentage of total projects financed under the scheme and another 20 per cent per annum of other gradpreneurs financed as a percentage of total projects financed by the TIES.
Activities that will be covered under the Scheme, the CBN said, include innovative start-ups and existing businesses owned by graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities in the areas of: Agribusiness, production, processing, storage and logistics; Information technology, application/software development, business process outsourcing, robotics and data management.
Others are Creative industry in entertainment, artwork, publishing, culinary/event management, fashion, photography, beauty/cosmetics; Science and Technology involved in medical innovation, robotics, ticketing systems, traffic systems, renewable energy, waste management and any other activity as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.
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The CBN in the guideline said, “priority will be given to innovative entrepreneurial activities with high potentials for export, job creation and transformational impact.”
According to the CBN, the loan will be categorised into two, made up of tier-one individual projects with a loan limit of N5 million, of five years tenor, at an interest rate of five per cent per annum (nine per cent effective from March 1, 2022, or, as may be prescribed by the CBN). This category has a moratorium of 12 months maximum on principal and interest.
The CBN listed the collateral requirements from tier-one individuals, to include duly signed, Global Standing Instruction (GSI); and Third-party guarantee from a senior federal/state civil or public servant (not below level 10 and not having less than five years to retire from service), a clergy of note and reputation or recognized traditional ruler.
The second tier for Partnership/Company projects has a loan limit of N25 million with five years tenors, at a five per cent interest rate per annum (9 per cent effective from March 1, 2022, or as may be prescribed by the CBN), 12 months moratorium on principal and interest.
Collateral requirements, the bank said, include: duly signed Global Standing Instruction (GSI) by a member of the partnership or company; and Third-party guarantee from a senior federal/state civil or public servant (not below level 10 and not having less than five years to retire from service), clergy of note and reputation or recognized traditional ruler.
Graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities for the scheme are required to possess: First-degree certificate (BSc/HND/ or its equivalent); National Youth Service Certificate (NYSC) discharge or exemption certificate; Certificate of Participation issued by polytechnics and universities evidence of entrepreneurship training; and not more than seven years post-NYSC.
Another component of the intervention is the Developmental Component which shall be disbursed in the form of grants to Nigerian polytechnics and universities in a national biennial entrepreneurship competition.
The Developmental Component, CBN said, will be utilized for the general development of the MSME segment in the following areas: Finance the development of the award-winning innovative entrepreneurial/technological ideas; Research and Development of high-impact technological innovations and projects; and Support the development of financial infrastructure to facilitate the entrepreneurship in Nigerian polytechnics and universities.
Five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches/ideas will be awarded as follows: First place N150.0 million; Second place N120.0 million; Third place N100.0 million; Fourth place N80.0 million; and Fifth place N50.0 million.
The grants will be in the areas of Agribusiness; Information technology; Creative industry; and Science and technology.