Nigeria is home to a large population of young people, with over 60% of the country’s population under the age of 25. This young demographic presents a great opportunity for Nigeria to drive economic growth and development through entrepreneurship and innovation. However, many Nigerian youth face barriers to education and skills training that would enable them to pursue Scholarships for Nigerian Youths in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholarships aimed at Nigerian youth interested in these fields can provide crucial support and open up new opportunities.
In this blog post, we will look at some of the top scholarships available for Nigerian youth focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. We will overview eligibility criteria, application processes, and the benefits offered by each scholarship program. Whether you are a student looking to study business or technology, an aspiring entrepreneur hoping to get a new venture off the ground, or are interested in a career designing innovative products and services, there are scholarship opportunities to help fund your education and training.
Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme
The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is one of the most prestigious entrepreneurship development programs available in Nigeria. Founded by philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu in 2010, the foundation aims to catalyze economic growth in Africa by empowering young African entrepreneurs.
The flagship program provides funding, training, and mentoring to assist entrepreneurs in starting or growing new ventures that will create jobs and economic opportunity in their communities. Annually, 1000 participants are selected across Africa to receive $5000 in seed capital, access to mentors, and an intensive 12-week business training program focused on topics such as business management, financials, marketing, and sales.
The program explicitly targets young Africans aged 18-35 with innovative business ideas or existing startups under 3 years old in any sector. Ideal applicants will demonstrate knowledge of their target market, have a prototype or minimum viable product to showcase, and display leadership abilities.
TIE Global – Aspire! Fund Student Entrepreneurship Program
The Aspire! Fund by TIE Global aims to activate entrepreneurship programs for students across Africa. TIE Global is an international nonprofit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, and the Aspire! Fund specifically provides funding and support to student entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.
The fund provides up to $5000 in seed funding to teams of students, along with mentorship resources from TIE Global’s network of established entrepreneurs, business executives and investors. To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in a tertiary institution, have a new venture less than 2 years old, and have a proven prototype or product in market.
The Aspire! Fund focuses on early-stage businesses with real potential for growth and social impact. For student founders, this is an unparalleled opportunity to kickstart an innovative business idea with robust support and initial capital.
AGRA Masters in Plant Breeding Scholarship
The Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA) offers a full Masters scholarship for Nigerian youth to study Plant Breeding at Africa’s leading agriculture universities. This is an invaluable opportunity for students interested in agriculture, food security, and economic development.
The scholarship covers tuition, living expenses, books and practical training materials. Applicants should hold a Bachelors degree in agriculture or a related field, demonstrate strong academic performance, and have a passion for plant breeding.
The AGRA scholarship develops high-quality master trainers in plant breeding, helping to build agricultural expertise and capacity in Nigeria. Graduates are well-positioned for research positions, acceptance into PhD programs, or work driving innovation in public, private and non-profit agriculture organizations across the continent.
Scattergood Innovation Fund
The Scattergood Foundation offers innovation funding to applicants in developing countries who aim to address social, economic and environmental challenges through enterprise. The Scattergood Innovation Fund provides one year of financial support including stipends, benefits, and program costs.
Nigerian applicants should hold at least an undergraduate degree, display leadership and initiative, have 1-2 years of work experience, and have a venture concept that tackles a real development challenge in Nigeria. Scattergood seeks applicants who think boldly and aim to create sustainable change through business, technology, agriculture or other sectors.
Ideal applicants have entrepreneurial potential but lack sufficient resources and support. The Scattergood Innovation Fund provides an invaluable opportunity for Nigerian youth to incubate new solutions to local and national problems through creative entrepreneurship.
USAID Guinea Worm Eradication Scholarships
For Nigerian students interested in public health, the USAID Guinea Worm Eradication Scholarship should be on your radar. This scholarship is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and aims to help Nigeria eradicate Guinea worm disease and strengthen primary health care systems.
The scholarship fully funds studies leading to a masters degree in Public Health at premier institutions in the U.S, U.K and West Africa. Ideal candidates are passionate about disease eradication and have experience supporting community-based health programs in Nigeria.
This scholarship develops public health leadership and expertise among Nigerian youth, and equips graduates to drive infectious disease control programs, improve maternal and child health outcomes, and elevate the quality of primary health care across Nigeria.
Opportunities for Africans Young Entrepreneurs Fund
Opportunities for Africans offers small grants between $500-$5000 to support young African entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground. To qualify, applicants must have a business legally registered in an African country and be between the ages of 21-40.
The Young Entrepreneurs Fund places special emphasis on businesses that create social impact in their communities. Grants can be used for prototyping, purchasing inventory, marketing activities, professional development or other specific business needs identified in the application.
For young Nigerian entrepreneurs who may struggle to access start-up financing through traditional institutions, this grant fund can provide that critical early boost to pilot and establish a viable business. Opportunities for Africans also facilitates mentor connections between grant recipients and experienced entrepreneurs.
Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria Programme
The Shell Petroleum Development Company offers the Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria Programme for young Nigerian entrepreneurs between ages 18-35. The programme provides business training, access to expert advisors, and awards funding up to ₦1,000,000 naira.
To qualify, applicants must have an innovative business idea or existing business under 3 years old in the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transportation, technology or retail sectors. awardees participate in a rigorous business growth program to sharpen their managerial, financial and marketing skills.
For young Nigerians with limited resources but strong business acumen, the Shell LiveWIRE programme can fast-track the development of a promising startup. Shell provides an invaluable mix of funding, training and mentorship to help ambitious youth turn their enterprise concepts into thriving businesses.
USADF & Falcon Corporation Young African Entrepreneurs Prize
The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and Falcon Corporation offer an annual prize of up to $100,000 for young African entrepreneurs with innovative solutions addressing social or environmental challenges. Nigerian youth entrepreneurs between ages 18-35 are encouraged to apply.
Ideal applicants will have an early-stage enterprise under 5 years old impacting their local communities in sectors like agriculture, health, clean energy, ICT or recycling. The grand prize winner receives up to $100,000 in seed funding, while 1st and 2nd runners up receive $25,000 and $15,000 respectively.
For young Nigerians with creative solutions but insufficient capital, this substantial prize money can help translate their vision into reality. USADF and Falcon Corp also provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and technical assistance to support the growth and impact of awardees’ enterprises.
Nigerian youth represent the future drivers of innovation, economic prosperity, and social change for the country. However, many lack access to quality education, practical skills training, startup funding and mentorship required to bring their entrepreneurial ideas or high-impact careers to fruition.
The scholarships and funding opportunities highlighted in this post open up life-changing possibilities for Nigerian youth to obtain crucial education, financing and support in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Whether studying technology, building a startup, pursuing agriculture, or tackling development challenges, talented young Nigerians should consider these and other scholarships as gateways to turn their dreams into realities. With the right opportunities, Nigeria’s youth can unlock their potential and lead the country into a new era of sustainable, technology-driven growth and progress.