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CBN Approves N500Mn Grant For Undergraduates, Graduates’ Entrepreneurship Scheme

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has initiated a scheme to support Nigerians in tertiary institutions with a N500 million grant to promote entrepreneurship and reduce unemployment.

The apex bank made the disclosure in a report published on Wednesday with the title ‘Guidelines for the implementation of tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme’.

Specifically, it stated that “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,” it said.

According to the report,  activities to be covered under the scheme include innovative start-ups and existing businesses owned by graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities in areas of agribusiness, information technology, creative industry, and science and technology.

The CBN further clarified that agribusiness activities that would qualify for benefit from the grant as  including production, processing, storage and logistics, while Information Technology’s would include application/software development, business process outsourcing, robotics and data management.

It also listed the activities that would be covered under scheme in creative industry as entertainment, artwork, publishing, culinary/event management, fashion, photography, beauty/cosmetics; while science and technology would include medical innovation, robotics, ticketing systems, traffic systems, renewable energy, and waste management.

According to the apex bank, the interest rate on the grant is five per cent per annum and nine per cent effective from March 1, 2022 or as may be prescribed by it.

To qualify for the grant, an undergraduate or a graduate must apply on the dedicated online portal and provide all requisite documentation to support the application

The apex bank further stated that priority would be given to innovative entrepreneurial activities with high potential for export, job creation and transformational impact in approval of grant to beneficiaries under the scheme.

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