The Central Bank of Nigeria, pursuant to the CBN Act, 2007, as part of its policy Measures to address rising youth unemployment and underemployment, introduces the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) in partnership with Nigerian polytechnics and universities to harness the potential of graduate entrepreneurs (gradpreneurs) in Nigeria.
The Scheme thus aims to create a paradigm shift among undergraduates and graduates of Nigerian Polytechnics and Universities, from seeking white-collar jobs to entrepreneurship. The scheme aims to provide an innovative financing model that will boost job creation, enhance entrepreneurship development and support economic growth.
The broad objective of the Scheme is to enhance access to finance by
undergraduates and graduates of polytechnics and universities in Nigeria with
innovative entrepreneurial and technological ideas. Other specific objectives
of the Scheme include:
i. Provide an enabling environment for co-creation, mentorship, and
development of entrepreneurial and technological innovations.
ii. Fast track ideation, creation, and acceleration of a culture of innovation-driven entrepreneurship skills among graduates of polytechnics and
universities in Nigeria
iii. Promote gender balance in entrepreneurship development through
capacity development and improved access to finance;
iv. Leapfrog entrepreneurial capacity of undergraduates and graduates for
entrepreneurship and economic development in partnership with
academia and industry practitioners; and
v. Boost contribution of the non-oil sector to the nation’s GDP
Graduates of any Nigerian University or Polytechnic within the past seven(7) years with entrepreneurial interest.
Scope of activities
- Agribusiness- production, processing, storage and logistics:
- Information technology- applications software development, business processing outsourcing, robotics, data management;
- Creative industry- entertainment, artwork, publishing, culinary/event management, fashion, photography, beauty/cosmetics; and
- Science and technology- medical innovation, robotics, ticketing systems, traffic systems, renewable energy, wate management.
Apply online via the designated and online portal (https://cbnties.com.ng/) providing requisite information and documents such as:
- valid mobile phone number (linked to your NIN), BVN, NIN, TIN, and email address.
- evidence of business registration (certified true copies of relevant CAC documents)
- corporate bank account number of business and
- first degree and NYSC discharge (or exemption certificate).
NOTE: Priority will be given to innovative entrepreneur activities with high potentials for export, job creation, and transformational impact. Female entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply
Trading activities shall not be eligible for financing under this scheme.
- N5.0 million for both individual/sole proprietorship/small company projects; and
- N25.0 million for partnerships/company projects
- interest rate 5% per annum (9% effectuve from March 1, 2022 or as may be prescribed by the CBN)
- Tenor: five years
- Moratorium: 12 months
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
The Component shall be implemented under the AgSMEIS Equity window, with an application for participation submitted on https://cbnties.com.ng.
i.The Bankers’ Committee Trust shall hold the equity on behalf of the
ii. The equity investments shall be in enterprises operating within the
eligible focal areas.
The investment limit shall be subject to the limit prescribed in the AgSMEIS
This shall be as follows:
i. Investment made shall be for a maximum period of ten (10) years (not
exceeding December 31, 2031).
ii. There shall be a 3-year lock-in period before exiting in order to encourage
value creation and boost the managerial capacity of businesses.
The Developmental Component shall be disbursed in the form of grants to
Nigerian polytechnics and universities in a national biennial entrepreneurship
competition. The competition is aimed at raising awareness and visibility of
high-impact entrepreneurial/technological ideas among undergraduates,
promote entrepreneurial talent hunts in Nigerian polytechnics and universities,
as well as encourage innovations that are commercially viable and with
The Developmental Component shall also be utilized for the general
development of the MSME segment in the following areas:
i. Finance the development of the award-winning innovative
ii. Research and development of high-impact technological innovations and
iii. Support the development of financial infrastructure to facilitate the
entrepreneurship in Nigerian polytechnics and universities.
Award of Grants
Five (5) top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best
entrepreneurial pitches/ideas shall be awarded as follows:
▪ First place – N150.0 million;
▪ Second place – N120.0 million;
▪ Third place – N100.0 million;
▪ Fourth place – N80.0 million; and
▪ Fifth place – N50.0 million.
The grants shall be in the following areas:
ii. Information technology;
iii. Creative industry; and
iv. Science and technology.
The Bank 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.
The composition of the BoE shall be as detailed below:
i. Four (4) representatives from the Bankers’ Committee;
ii. One (1) representative from consulting industry;
iii. One (1) nominee from SMEDAN;
iv. One (1) nominee from the NUC;
v. One (1) nominee from the NBTE; and
vi. One (1) nominee from the CBN (Secretary).
The Chair of the BoE shall be appointed by the CBN from the Banker’s
Participation under the Developmental Component shall be restricted to
undergraduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities.
i. Interested Nigerian polytechnics and universities shall apply to
participate in the national biennial entrepreneurship competition on a
dedicated online portal (https://cbnties.com.ng), outlining brief details
of the project, potential impact and evidence of originality of project;
ii. The submitted applications shall be evaluated by the BoE through
engagements that showcase undergraduates competing by pitching
entrepreneurial and technological innovations at regional levels, with
finalists proceeding to the national event for final consideration and
ranking by the BoE;
iii. The showcasing programmes shall be broadcasted for four (4) weeks on
platforms such as social media and national television stations (at least two) to help highlight the value of entrepreneurship and change attitudes, as well as social perceptions about entrepreneurship;
iv. Final top five (5) entrepreneurial and technological innovations at the
national level shall be awarded the grant on recommendation of the
v. The Grant shall be disbursed in tranches of 55:45 ratio directly to a
dedicated account opened for the purpose of the grant by the Nigerian
polytechnics and universities, subject to approved milestones.
Eligibility Criteria for Participation
Applicants under the Scheme shall be graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and
i. First-degree certificate (BSc/HND/ or it’s equivalent);
ii. National Youth Service Certificate (NYSC) discharge or exemption
iii. Certificate of Participation issued by polytechnics and universities
evidencing entrepreneurship training; and
iv. Not more than 7 years post-NYSC.
The beneficiary shall:
i. Apply on the dedicated online portal and provide all requisite
documentation to support the application;
ii. Present for verification original copies of submitted certificates and
iii. Submit business proposal and other documentation requirements
iv. Adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of the Scheme and avoid any
forms of plagiarism in the project idea;
v. Utilize the funds for the purpose for which it was granted;
vi. Present the business and its location for mapping/tagging, as well as
monitoring and evaluation;
vii. Maintain accurate and up-to-date records available for
inspection/verification by the CBN and Monitoring Team; and
viii. Adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of the Scheme.
The Scheme shall be operated for a period of 10 years in the first instance
(not exceeding 31st December 2031) depending on the complexity of the project
Enquiries and Returns
All enquiries and returns should be addressed to:
Development Finance Department,
Central Bank of Nigeria,
Central Business District, Abuja.