August 18, 2023

Loans and Microfinance in Nigeria

Loans are a common way of financing companies: you borrow from the investors/lenders an agreed amount (the principal) and repay the principal and interest to them after a specified period of time. Microfinance loans typically target small business owners.

AB Microfinance Bank Nigeria offers SME loans to entrepreneurs

FBN Microfinance Bank offers a variety of SME products financing

Hasal Microfinance Bank Ltd offers Hasal Empowerment Loan Product

LAPO Microfinance Bank offers SME loans

Baodab Microfinance Bank of Nigeria offers various options of loans


Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or a venture by collecting small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically through the Internet. In Ghana, the following crowd funding opportunities exist:

  • Kickstarteris an online crowd-funding platform where projects of all kinds can be funded
  • Fund an enterpriseis Nigeria’s 1st website built specifically for fundraising activities, to support start-ups, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria and beyond.
  • MicroVenturesis an equity crowdfunding investment platform, combining the best of venture capital with equity crowdfunding.

Angel investments

Angel investments are typically the earliest equity investment in a startup company. Angel investors are almost always wealth individuals and commonly band together in investor networks. Usually, those networks are based on regionally, industry, or academic affiliation.

The AngelList has a list of private angel investors active in Nigeria.

Lagos Angel Network (LAN) is an association of committed members that provide early-stage seed funding and mentoring for start-up entrepreneurs.

Venture capital

Venture capital is money invested in a project in which there is a substantial element at risk, typically a new or expanding business.

Unique Venture Capital Management Compay Ltd. is an SME-focused private venture capital investment firm.

eVaFund is the first venture capital firm investing in African SME’s active in digital media.

Grants and funds

The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is an independent U.S. Government agency to support African-owned enterprises. It invests directly in community enterprises, providing seed capital and local technical support to early-stage agriculture, off-grid energy, and youth-led enterprises in Africa.

MTN Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme , the largest telecommunication services provider in Nigeria, provides funding for young entrepreneurs with SME loans administered by the Bank of Industry (BOI).

The Tony Elumelu Foundation  makes long-term targeted investments in projects that have significant social or environmental benefit, as well as a financial return.

Ventures Platform is an early-stage growth focused fund, with a blend of tech, sales, and operations, in growing their startups. They offer $20,000 in investment.

Other funding opportunities 

The Bank of Industry of Nigeria offers funds and loans to the youth at various duration and interest rates:

  • Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund – youths undergoing the mandatory one 1 year national service programme.
  • Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme – entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years, who must have a minimum educational qualification of an Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
  • Youth Ignite Programme – entrepreneurs above the age of 18, who have participated in the Entrepreneurship Capacity Building Programme (part of the Programme).

Adlevo is a Mauritius-based private equity fund manager founded on the belief that meaningful development in sub-Saharan Africa will be driven by the application of technology to business processes across all sectors.

TBL Mirror Fund is a private equity fund for Nigerian SMEs.

Synergy Capital Managers is a dedicated SME investor in high-growth companies in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Gust connects startups with the largest collection of investors across the world.

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