The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that it would support students in tertiary institutions with grants aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, therefore reducing unemployment. This was disclosed on Wednesday by the CBN in a report titled, ‘Guidelines for the implementation of Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES).’ CBN said, “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.”
The apex bank said the N500 million grant would be shared amongst the top 5 tertiary institutions with the best pitch.
It 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.”
It also stated that business pitches with high potential for export and job creation would be given higher priority.
According to CBN, the scheme would include innovative start-ups and already established businesses owned by graduates of tertiary institutions (polytechnics and universities) in sectors like information technology, agribusiness, creative industry, and science and technology.
The CBN said information technology would include application/software development, robotics, and data management while agribusiness would include production, processing, storage, and logistics.
It also said the creative industry is inclusive of entertainment, artwork, fashion, photography, beauty/cosmetics, and event management.
Science and technology would include medical innovation, traffic systems, ticketing systems, robotics, renewable energy, and waste management.
The apex bank stated that potential beneficiaries must apply on the approved online portal and must also submit all necessary documentation to support their application. According to the apex bank, applicants must be a graduate of Nigerian polytechnics and universities with:
i. First-degree certificate (BSc/HND/or its equivalent);
ii. National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate or exemption certificate;
iii. Certificate of Participation issued by the tertiary institution and evidence of entrepreneurship training; and
iv. Not more than 7 years post-NYSC.