By Our Reporter
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled a graduate entrepreneurship scheme with the aim of funding 25,000 start-ups annually and generating 75,000 jobs.
The CBN disclosed this in the guidelines for the scheme, which is known as ‘‘Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) adding that 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 addition to the target the apex bank added that 50 per cent of businesses to be funded under the initiative will be female-gradpreneurs.
The scheme also involves N500 million development funds to be disbursed in the form of grants to Nigerian polytechnics and universities in a national biennial entrepreneurship competition.
According to the guidelines, “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 transformational impact.
“The Developmental Component shall also be utilized for the general development of the MSME segment in the following areas: Finance the development of the award-winning innovative entrepreneurial/technological ideas; Research and development of high-impact technological innovations and projects; and Support the development of financial infrastructure to facilitate the entrepreneurship in Nigerian polytechnics and universities.
“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 guideline further stated: “Applicants under the Scheme shall be graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities with: First degree certificate (BSc/HND/ or its equivalent); National Youth Service Certificate (NYSC) discharge or exemption certificate; Certificate of Participation issued by polytechnics and universities evidencing entrepreneurship training; and Not more than 7 years post-NYSC.”