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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released new guidelines for the operation of its tertiary institutions entrepreneurship scheme (TIES).


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The aim is to provide an innovative financing model that will create jobs, enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem and support economic growth and development, the apex bank said.



The scheme was introduced as part of measures to address rising youth unemployment and underemployment in partnership with Nigerian polytechnics and universities to harness the potential of graduate entrepreneurs (gradpreneurs) in Nigeria.

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.


In the new guidelines released yesterday by the bank, it 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.

Activities covered under the scheme include innovative start-ups and existing businesses owned by graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities. The bank said priority will be given to innovative entrepreneurial activities with high potentials for export, job creation and transformational impact.


The take-off capital will be sourced from both the agribusiness /small and medium enterprise investment scheme (AgSMEIS), the circular said.


The programme will focus on agribusiness, information technology, creative industry and science and technology among other areas.


The scheme is designed to be implemented through three components – term loan component; equity investment component and developmental component.


The facility will have a 5 per cent interest rate per annum (9 per cent effective from March 1, 2022 or as may be prescribed by the CBN) with a maximum of 12 months moratorium on principal and interest.


Prospective applicants are expected to attend mandatory entrepreneurship trainings with their respective Nigerian polytechnics and universities and certificates of completion issued to trainees.


“Interest payment and principal repayment shall be made on monthly or quarterly basis by the obligor depending on the established cash flow cycle and in line with the approved repayment schedule,” the CBN said in the circular that was released yesterday.


According to the bank, the equity investment component would be in the form of injection of fresh capital for start-ups, expansion of established businesses or reviving of ailing entrepreneurial businesses.


Area of Focus

The Scheme will focus on innovative start-ups and existing businesses that belong to graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities in the following areas:

  • Agribusiness– production, processing, storage and logistics


  • Information technology– application/software development, business process outsourcing, robotics, data management


  • Creative industry– entertainment, artwork, publishing, culinary/event management, fashion, photography, beauty/cosmetics;


  • Science and Technology– medical innovation, robotics, ticketing systems, traffic systems, renewable energy, waste management


Plus any other area as suggested by the CBN will be added from time to time


This Scheme will be implemented through three components –

  • Term loan component;


  •  Equity investment component and


  • Developmental component.

Term Loan & Requirement

Graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities are eligible to participate under Term Loan Component

Applicant must be graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities within the past 7 years with entrepreneurial interest.

Interested Applicants can apply through the online portal provided by the CBN; thereafter filling the required information and documents like;

  • Valid mobile phone number wey dey (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


  • Have a first degree certificate (BSc/HND/ or equivalent


  • Have a National Youth Service Certificate (NYSC) discharge or exemption certificate


  • Certificate of Participation issued by polytechnics and universities that show proof of entrepreneurship training.


The Term loan is Classified into two tiers;

  • The first tiers to get loan limit of N5.0 million, while


  • the second tiers to get N25.0 million.

Both loan tenor is 5 years and interest rate of 5% per annum (9% effective from March 1, 2022 or as desired by CBN ) and Moratorium is 12 months.

Equity Investment Component

The Equity Investment Component will be in form of injection of fresh capital for start-ups, expansion of businesses for an already establish or reviving of business that is about to  fall.

  • This will be implemented component under the AgSMEIS Equity window,  application for participation under this is through submission for website  provided by the CBN


  • The investment limit is subject to the limit that is according to AgSMEIS Guidelines


  • Investment period for this component is maximum period of ten years (it does not exit December 31, 2031).


  • It has 3-year lock-in period before coming to an end, to help to encourage value creation and boost managerial capacity of businesses.

Developmental Component

Developmental Component will be shared in form of grants to Nigerian polytechnics and universities in the national biennial entrepreneurship competition.

  • Nigerian polytechnics and universities to compete to raise awareness and visibility of entrepreneurial/technological ideas among undergraduates during the competition.


  • Interested participants are to submit application under the Development component at the website provided by the CBN


  • Experts to evaluate the entrepreneurial and technological innovations application submitted by Nigerian polytechnics and universities applicants. Thereafter, top 5 to win the grand prize in the following categories:


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.

PDF CBN TIES Guidelines

Leadership, BBC Pidgin


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