The Nigerian Government recently launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme (YES-Programme) with the aim of developing the entrepreneurial capacity of the Nigerian youth and providing concessionary loans to fund innovative ideas.

The programme which is being coordinated by Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) and 11 implementing partners including FATE Foundation, targets young aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 35 who have a minimum of an Ordinary Diploma (OND) and allows beneficiaries’ access loans of up to N5 million for machinery, equipment and working capital.

The YES-Programme comprises the following components:

  • Eight (8) weeks intensive online Entrepreneurship and Business Management training which has the ability to test participants’ understanding and track their progress.
  • Five (5) days in-class Entrepreneurship and Business Management training
  • Technical skills training in partnership with the various technical training and vocational institutes in the country.
  • Financing the businesses by BOI under its SME Cluster initiative in consonance with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Commodity-based Industrialization Strategy.

With the propensity to create a minimum of 6,000 direct jobs and 30,000 indirect jobs, the YES-Programme would not only contribute to reducing the unemployment rate in the country which statistics put at 50%, it will also serve to instill a culture of innovation-driven entrepreneurship and ethics in the Nigerian youth whilst also promoting self-employment and deepening financial inclusion.

Unlike regular bank loans that come with heavy collateral, the collateral requirements for accessing the YES-Programme Fund include:

  • Debenture over the assets of the company or specific charge over the equipment (present and future);
  • Deposit of original NYSC certificate and Higher Educational certificate (Ordinary National Diploma, Higher National Diploma or University Degree) with BOI. This will be subject to the certificate being certified by Background Check International (BCI);
  • Two external guarantors acceptable to BOI who must belong to any of the following:
  • Senior Civil Servant (Level 12 and above who should not be more than 53 years old or not more than 28 years in service (whichever comes first);
  • Bankers (not below the level of Assistant Manager)
  • Applicants must also be confirmed by current employer.

Application Process

  • Ensure you are eligible. Eligible applicants must be:
  1. Nigerian
  2. Have a viable business idea within the 40 identified clusters that is operated or will operate in Nigeria
  3. Be within the age limit of 18 – 35 (Proof of Identity: International Passport/Driver’s License/National ID/Voters Card required)
  4. Must possess minimum educational qualification of Ordinary National Diploma (OND)
  5. Be able to carry out the application process online
  • Register, afterwhich you will receive a confirmation email from YES-Programme with your log-in details
  • Complete application online
  • Stay informed by checking the BOI YES-Programme page regularly for updates

As an implementing partner, FATE Foundation will be coordinating the 5-day training for successful applicants in South-West Nigeria.










Information culled from the BOI website, Thisday Online and Vanguard Online

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