CBN Introduces ₦500 Million Grant For Graduates, Undergraduates

In a bid to reduce unemployment, the Central Bank of Nigeria has developed the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), in partnership with Nigerian polytechnics and universities to harness the potential of graduate entrepreneurs (gradpreneurs) in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in a circular, titled ‘Guidelines for the implementation of tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme’, dated October 2021.

The apex bank stated that the goal of the TIES is to enhance access to finance to undergraduates and graduates of polytechnics and universities in Nigeria with innovative entrepreneurial and technological ideas.

What the CBN is saying

The apex bank stated that the development of TIES was to address the trend of graduates seeking whitecollar jobs and turn their attention to the creation of jobs.

CBN stated that “the Scheme is designed to create a paradigm shift among undergraduates and graduates from the pursuit of white-collar jobs to a culture of entrepreneurship development for economic development and job creation.”

Regarding the grant, the CBN would distribute N500million among the top 5 tertiary institutions with the best pitch.

CBN said, “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 apex bank stated that it, ”shall constitute a Body of Experts (BoE) from the private and public sector for the biennial regional and national entrepreneurship competitions to evaluate entrepreneurial and technological innovations submitted by Nigerian polytechnics and universities. The Body of Experts (BoE) shall recommend projects with high potential and transformational impact for the grant award.”

Key highlights of the guideline
Projects financed under the Scheme shall be monitored by independent monitors jointly engaged by the CBN and PFI

The Scheme would be operated for 10 years in the first instance (not exceeding 31st December 2031) depending on the complexity of the project.

Interest payment and principal repayment should be made on a monthly or quarterly basis by the obligor depending on the established cash flow cycle and in line with the approved repayment schedule.

Eligibility criteria for participation

Applicants under the Scheme shall be graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities with:

i. First-degree certificate (BSc/HND/ or it is equivalent);

ii. National Youth Service Certificate (NYSC) discharge or
exemption certificate;

iii. Certificate of Participation issued by polytechnics and universities evidencing entrepreneurship training; and

iv. Not more than 7 years post-NYSC.

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