Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters
Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters

Up to N25m loans for graduates as CBN unveils guidelines for entrepreneurship programme

NEWS DIGEST – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued guidelines for the implementation of its Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) to harness the potential of graduate entrepreneurs.

According to a report by The Cable Newspaper, the apex bank made this known on Wednesday in a document released and signed by Yusuf Yila Philip, CBN’s director, development finance.

The CBN said the objective of the TIES is to enhance access to finance by undergraduates and graduates of polytechnics and universities in Nigeria with innovative entrepreneurial and technological ideas.

The scheme is targeted at financing 25,000 gradpreneurs annually, which will, in turn, create an additional 75,000 sustainable jobs annually, according to the bank.

The CBN said that start-ups and existing businesses in areas such as agribusiness, information technology, creative industry, as well as science and technology are eligible for financing under the scheme.

It further noted that priority would be given to innovative entrepreneurial activities with high potentials for export, job creation and transformational impact.

The apex bank explained that the scheme will be implemented through three components namely term loan, equity investment and developmental components.

Under the term loan component, an individual project can access a maximum loan of N5 million with a five-year tenor and interest rate of five percent per annum (nine percent effective from March 1, 2022, or as may be prescribed by the CBN)

For partnership/company projects, the loan is limited to N25 million.

“Applicants under the Scheme shall be graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities with 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 evidencing entrepreneurship training; and Not more than 7 years post-NYSC,” the document reads.

The CBN added that the equity investment component shall be in the form of injection of fresh capital for start-ups, expansion of established businesses or reviving of ailing entrepreneurial businesses.

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 apex bank said it would award N500 million worth of grants to five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches/ideas.

Only undergraduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities are eligible to participate under the developmental component.

“Five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches/ideas shall be awarded as follows: first place – N150m; second place – N120m; third place – N100m; fourth place – N80m; and fifth place – N50m,” the document adds.

Interested applicants must apply on the dedicated online portal (https://cbnties.com.ng) and provide all the requisite documents to support the application.