BOI Launches 10 billion Naira Youth Entrepreneurship Support Project


The Bank of Industry (BOI) on Thursday formally launched a N10 billion Youths Entrepreneurship Support (YES) project to empower youths with loans to start businesses.

Speaking at the launch of the project in Abuja, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, said that his ministry would partner all agencies of government to create new jobs. He said that more than 40 per cent of Nigerian graduates had no jobs and that an average of eight million Nigerians enters the job market annually.
The minister said that the ‘YES’ project of BoI was part of the Federal Government’s youths employment scheme, stressing that about 36,000 jobs would be created annually through ‘YES’. He appealed to prospective beneficiaries to repay the loans for the success and sustenance of the project.

Waheed Olagunju, Acting Managing Director of BOI, said that a participant under the scheme could access up to N10 million loan with single digit interest rate and repayable over three to five years. He said that an applicant must present NYSC or higher education certificate as collateral to qualify for the loan with two external guarantors.Olagunju also said that the bank was partnering 11 consultants across the country for the first phase of the project.
Afolabi Imokhuede, Special Assistant to the Vice President, said that job creation was at the heart of the current administration. He said that government intended to create 3.5 million jobs in the next three years, adding that the ‘YES’ project was one of the programmes. He advised participants to take the ‘YES’ seriously as online courses were now popular means of job creation world wide.
Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, said that the state was partnering with BoI on job creation. He also stated that the state had been able to take controlling shares in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria with the assistance of BOI.

Nigeria BOI has announced a US$6 million investment commitment towards small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country, to be handled through the Venture Capital Fund being raised by Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited. The Venture Capital Fund aims to provide equity capital, as well as strategic and operational support to early stage and fast growing businesses involved in the technology, consumer goods and services, and agriculture sectors.

Grow Africa is hoping to raise US$60 million for the Fund.

“Nigerian businesses cannot be built on debt alone. It has long been part of the bank’s vision to find ways to provide sorely needed equity capital and business advice to promising Nigerian businesses. Our partnership with Grow Africa is one of the avenues for realizing this vision and we remain committed to the pursuit of our core mandate of providing long-term financial support to small, medium and large companies and projects in Nigeria’s key sectors,” said Rasheed Olaoluwa, managing director of the Bank of Industry.

Olaoluwa said the bank’s US$6 million investment commitment was inspired by the track record of Grow Africa’s partners, the developmental impact of their existing portfolio, and their strong pipeline for potential new investments.

Grow Africa said the Fund reflects the partners’ belief that with the right type of support, Nigerian business can become global leaders.
“Over the past 10 years I have provided capital and advice that have helped several businesses grow from ideas into multi billion Naira industrial leaders. Through this partnership, I hope to see many more entrepreneurs realise their dreams of creating leading companies and delivering massive value to Nigeria,” said Adedotun Sulaiman, chairman of Grow Africa Equity Partners Limited.

Grow Africa also celebrated the fact the partnership sees the Bank of Industry support local investors.
“We are extremely pleased with this partnership with BoI, and this is a strong signal of the bank’s commitment to supporting indigenous Fund Managers to catalyze growth and sustainable development in Nigeria,” said Afam Edozie, MD of Grow Africa.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah on Thursday officially inaugurated the Bank of Industry (BoI)’s N10billion-Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) scheme, aimed at developing the entrepreneurial capacity of youths and providing start up loans at concessionary interest rates to executive their business plans.

The scheme will allow each of the eligible beneficiaries to access a maximum of N5 million loan for the procurement of machinery and equipment, including working capital.

The loans are to be accessed at a single digit interest rate of 9 per cent, with a tenor of three to five years, inclusive of a six-month moratorium, the minister explained.

Enelamah said the initiative would help create and expand about 1,200 enterprises promoted by Nigerian youths nationwide.

He said: “The YES scheme that is being launched today, therefore provides an opportunity for the BOI to address the worrisome phenomenon by developing the capacity of the youths with a view to ultimately funding their business plans, aimed at equipping them to be self-employed by starting and managing their own businesses as well as eventually becoming employers of labour.”

Noting that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are critical bedrock of any economy wishing to develop, he said about 1.8 million young Nigerians enter the already saturated labour market on annually.

He said the new scheme is expected to create a minimum of 6,000 direct jobs and 30,000 indirect jobs yearly.

Also speaking at occasion, acting Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Rasheed Olagunju said the key objectives of the initiative are to create an interactive learning platform to train young aspiring entrepreneurs in Entrepreneurship, Business Management and Technical Skills that will ultimately translate into improved efficiency and productivity, as well as rekindle the entrepreneurial spirit of youths and act as an incubation center where business ideas are nurtured to their full potential.

He said the YES scheme further aims to entrench global best practices by inculcating a culture of innovation-driven entrepreneurship and ethics in the participants, promote self-employment among graduates of tertiary institutions, and deepen financial inclusion by de-risking the young aspiring entrepreneurs and making them eligible for small business loans.

He said contrary to the conventional loan requirement plan, the latest initiative has a liberal collateral requirements, including NYSC certificates, approved guarantors among others.

He said: “The collateral requirements for the loan are as follows: Debenture over the assets of the company or specific charge over the equipment (present and future); Deposit of original NYSC certificate and higher educational certificate (Ordinary National Diploma, Higher National Diploma or University Degree) with BOI. This will be subject to the certificate being certified by Background Check International (BCI).

He added that beneficiaries would need to provide two external guarantors acceptable to BoI who must belong to any of a Senior Civil Servant (Level 12 and above who should not be more than 53 years old or not more than 28 years in service (whichever comes first); Bankers (not below the level of Assistant Manager) and must have been confirmed by current employer.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) programme is an ambitious programme by the Bank of Industry (BOI) aimed at addressing youth unemployment in Nigeria which is currently over 50%.

BOI’s approach to tackling the youth capacity building challenge is to focus on young aspiring entrepreneurs within the age bracket of 18 – 35 years that have viable business ideas by developing a Product Program – Youth Enterprise Support Programme (YES Programme), for empowering them. This crop of Nigerians forms a significant proportion of unemployed youth in the country.

Components of the YES Programme

The YES Programme comprises the following:

Eight (weeks intensive online Entrepreneurship and Business Management training which has the ability to test participants’ understanding and track their progress.

Five (5) days in-class Entrepreneurship and Business Management training
Technical skills training in partnership with the various technical training and vocational institutes in the country.

Financing the businesses by BOI under its SME Cluster initiative in consonance with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Commodity-based Industrialisation Strategy.

The YES Programme has the following broad objectives:

To create an interactive learning platform to train young aspiring entrepreneurs in entrepreneurship and business management that will ultimately translate into improved efficiency and productivity.

To kindle the entrepreneurial spirit of the youths.

To act as an incubation center where business ideas are nurtured to their full potential as well as entrenching global best practices by inculcating a culture of innovation-driven entrepreneurship and ethics in the programme participants.

Promotion of self-employment among graduates of institutions of higher learning, thereby changing their job-seeking mindset.
To deepen financial inclusion by de-risking the young aspiring entrepreneurs and making them eligible for small business loans to be provided by BOI.


To be eligible for the Competition you must satisfy the following criteria:

The applicant must be a Nigerian.
Must have a viable business idea within the 40 identified clusters that is operated, or will operate in Nigeria.
Must be within the age limits of 18 and 35. (proof of identity: International passport/Driver’s License/National ID/Voters card required).
Must possess a minimum educational qualification of Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
Applicant must be able to carry out the application process online.


Funding support will be provided for entrepreneurs. The fund shall be deployed to support the establishment and/or expansion of an estimated 1,200 enterprises promoted by Nigerian youths across the country. The scheme is expected to create a minimum of 6,000 direct jobs and 30,000 indirect jobs annually, totaling 36,000 jobs.


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