Business Hilights

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Money is a defense. Naturally, it is the livewire of any #business venture. Irrespective of whatever business line you want to venture into, as an #entrepreneur, without adequate financing, your business may just be a one-hit-wonder after all.

SMES in Nigeria have over the years struggled with getting funds to start and maintain their business.

Issues bordering on demanding collateral from banks and other financial institutions have not done the SMES much good.

Not everyone is aware about the availability of intervention funds from the government and how to access them for business.


Let’s take a look at some established government organizations working to make things better for SMES;


Established in 2003, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has been doing a lot in the area of enterprise creation and development, and identifying Nigerians who are interested in#entrepreneurship creation and development; and providing training in entrepreneurship and vocational skills. All this is to enable equipped Nigerians to go into entrepreneurship creation and development. With the agency’s nationwide reach, it has been able to ensure decentralization of the activities of the agency in all the states of the federation, with offices in the six geo-political zones in the country.



To improve access to finance by SMEs, the Central Bank of Nigeria approved the investm ent of the sum of N500 billion debenture stocks to be issued by the Bank of Industry (BOI) with effect from May, 2010. The objectives of the 200 billion re-financing and restructuring of banks. The Loan for the manufacturing sector was intended for Fast-tracking the development of the SMEs and manufacturing sector of the Nigerian #economy. It was also to improve the financial position of the deposit money banks.

Complimentary to the above, the Bank has also established a N200 billion Small and Medium Enterprises Credit Guarantee Scheme (SMECGS), for promoting access to credit by SMEs in Nigeria. The Scheme shall be wholly financed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as stipulated in the Guidelines.


You can access the CBN funds if your company meets the following criteria:

Is your business in any of the following areas?

. Agriculture

. Manufacturing

. Cottage Industries

. Artisanship

. Services

. Trade and general Commerce

. Renewable energy/energy efficient products and technologies

. Other income generating projects as may be prescribed by the CBN

If “Yes”….

Prepare your business plan or statement on how much you want for your business. You can get loan of up to:

(a) N500, 000.00 for your micro-business; and

(b). N50 million for Small & Medium Enterprise (#SME)

Go to your bank or any of the following institutions to access the Fund:

. Microfinance Banks

. Commercial Banks

. Cooperatives

. Finance Companies

. NGO-Microfinance Institutions

. Development Finance Institutions, i.e. Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture

-Tell your bank how much you need. Your bank will discuss your request and provide you the money. The maximum interest rate of 9.0% (charges inclusive) is applicable to all loans.

.-Period for the repayment of the loan:

  1. a) For micro business, it is a maximum of one year

b). For small and medium enterprises, it is a maximum of three years

NOTE: 60% of the Fund is reserved for enterprises owned by women; 2% for persons living with disability and 10% for #start-up businesses.


Bank Of Industry emphasis is on prudent project selection and management; according ly, it supports quality projects with potential developmental impact.

BOI gives loans to the following;

  • Small, medium and large enterprises, excluding cottage industries. New or existing companies, seeking expansion, modernization or diversification.
  • Credit worthy promoters who will be required to prove their commitment to the project by contributing at least 25% of the project cost excluding land.
  • Borrowers whose management capability, financial situation (including availability of collateral and guarantee), character and reputation are incontrovertible.
  • Clients with demonstrable ability to meet loan repayments.
  • Borrowers with no record of unpaid loans to erstwhile development finance institutions and other banks.



The National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) was set up to provide needed medium- to-long-term financing to viable Small and Medium scale production enterprises. The grand objectives are to increase the quantum of goods and services available for local consumption and export, provide needed employment, expand our production base and add value to the economy.

All Nigerians are qualified to apply for NERFUND loans either as individuals, Associations, Cooperatives or Corporate Entities/partner institutions. The NERFUND facility is an easy click away; Write a formal application letter and complete the NERFUND’s Biodata Form. The NERFUND facility is an easy click away; Write a formal application letter and complete the NERFUND’s Biodata Form on the NERFUND website.

All Nigerians are qualified to apply for NERFUND loans either as individuals, Associations, Cooperatives or Corporate Entities/partner institutions.


Bank of Agriculture Limited (BoA) is Nigeria’s apex agriculture and rural development finance institution. It is Nigeria’s largest development finance institution operating through 6 zonal and 201branch off ices nationwide. BoA provides financial support for all agricultural activities and along all segments of the agricultural value chains in addition to rural micro enterprises. BoA as the commercial small holder segment or the pooled sector as its main focus.

Whatever agency you decide to consult for funds, ensure to have a workable business plan, make effort to meet their requirements so you can get credit facilities to kick start your business, thereby contributing to the growth and development of the society.



Business Hilights is an online news channel conceptualized and structured to report and track on a daily basis; latest developments in critical business sectors to serve as a one stop news gateway for governments, foreign and indigenous investors.