Below are Top 7 funds that are available for Nigerian SMEs this year. The general criterion for accessing these funds is the capacity to present a bankable and viable business plan. The entrepreneur should be clear on where he wants to be in the near future, and must also be able to describe the market for his or her products. These are the seven Funds:

7 BoI Funds

If there is anywhere Nigerian entrepreneurs can get cheap or single-digit funds (often at nine percent lending rate), it’s from the Bank of Industry (BoI).

This development finance institution (DFI) has been rated by many local and international agencies as one of the best managed banks in the world.

The BoI has a number of funds that entrepreneurs of all levels can access. First is the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF), which is meant for serving members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Candidates are allowed to submit their business ideas, which are then reviewed by a team of experts. The NYSC members whose ideas are marketable and bankable are then selected, trained for four weeks and then given between N500,000 and N2 million.

There are also the Cottage Agro Processing (CAP) Fund for small and medium agro processors; Nolly Fund for players in the Nollywood industry, as well as Fashion Fund for designers and other players in the fashion value chain.

In fact, the bank has other matching and managed funds, including a fund for the automotive industry. Through 122 business development experts, entrepreneurs can access funds easily. It is also easy to access some of the bank’s products through its website.

The bank has a N5 billion fund from Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote to finance SMEs at a single digit rate.

“We want to continue to create opportunities for Nigerian entrepreneurs and support the industrialization efforts of the government,” said Waheed Olagunju, acting CEO and MD of BoI, at a forum in Lagos in 2016.

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