NEW MEANS OF FUNDING AND SUPPORTING BUSINESS IDEAS IN NIGERIA

funding supporting business idea

Funding, supporting business ideas in Nigeria. This article presents new means of funding and supporting business ideas in Nigeria.

This is a comprehensive list of accelerators and incubators. A well as, the business support and resources they offer entrepreneurs.

These are the key accelerators and incubators in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria.

They offer entrepreneurial support, resources and finance to entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Young innovative businesses in Nigeria play an important role in jobs creation and in the implementation of radical new ideas.

Unfortunately, people with innovative ideas and businesses often suffer from financing constraints and lack of business support.

These challenges limit their growth and threaten their survival.

However, the landscape for start-up funding and business support in Nigeria is changing.

Over the last few years, many new players have entered the arena, and several new ways of funding and supporting businesses are being introduced.

The new means of funding, supporting business ideas.

New means of supporting and funding your business ideas in Nigeria are emerging.
Among other reasons, they have emerged due to the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs and early-stage start-ups in raising funds.
Furthermore, they have emerged to support the growth and development of innovative ideas in Nigeria.
The financial difficulties faced by SMEs became more pronounced worldwide especially in the wake of the 2008/2009 financial crisis.
However, in the last ten years, there has also been increased technological opportunities.
These opportunities have changed requirements in firms’ product markets.
Also, globalization, and regulatory changes have contributed to the changes in the ways businesses are financed.
In response to seeking ways to alleviate the problems and challenges of small businesses in Nigeria, particularly in terms of  raising seed and start-up capital.
New means of funding entrepreneurial businesses are emerging.
They are also emerging to address the peculiar difficulties faced by entrepreneurs and early-stage start-ups in getting the needed support.Increasingly, accelerators and incubators are playing a critical role in looking for ways to ease the financial difficulties and meet the support needs of SMEs in Nigeria.

Here are the accelerators and incubators that offer finance and business support for entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

These are the organizations you can approach for support and funding your business or business ideas.

Funding, supporting business ideas – Accelerators and incubators for start-ups in Nigeria.

Accelerators and incubators are organizations or multi-functional labs that aim to help start-ups with mentorship, advice, network access, training in accounts management and shared resources to grow and become successful.
In addition to these business development services, accelerators and incubators also help SMEs to establish themselves and grow by providing funding, and access to physical space and/or machinery.
Sometimes these offer of physical space and financial resources provided by accelerators and incubators come in the form of equity.
There are different types of accelerators and incubators, depending on the types of services offered and their industry focus.
Their ownership could also be a private company or a governmental institution.
The difference between Incubators and Accelerators. Incubators usually focus on seed- and early-stage SMEs, while accelerators usually focus on growth-stage SMEs.

Funding, supporting business ideas – organizations in various states in Nigeria.

Here is a comprehensive list of accelerators and incubators identified within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, that support startups in Nigeria.

1. Startpreneurs.

Startpreneurs create technologies built on Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Blockchain and Data Science.
Located in Abuja, Startpreneurs help SMEs in getting access to resources and finance. It also offers business support to entrepreneurs.
Startpreneurs run a Masterclass to encourage capacity development at high-level industry standard.
It also offers early, growth and expansion training programs for businesses in Nigeria.

2. Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB).

CcHUB is located in Yaba Lagos and has been in operation since 2011.
Their different incubation programs have supported many startups and many companies have also benefited from their support.
The Hub helps SMEs in terms of business support and capacity building.
It runs various programs for entrepreneurs and has over fifty advisors, mentors and facilitators.

It also runs a 6-month, pre-incubation program for aspiring entrepreneurs. In addition, SMEs can access resources and finance through the Hub.

3. Ideation Hub Africa.

Ideation Hub Africa is a social impact incubator based in Jibowu Lagos.
It provides early-stage social entrepreneurs and non-profits with access to resources, capacity building and business support.
For example, early-stage social entrepreneurs and non-profit professionals are supported with experiential education, enterprise incubation and growth advisory support.
The mentorship immersion program provide early-stage entrepreneurs with industry-based mentorship.

They also offer startup collaborative platforms from which entrepreneurs can scale and sustain their big ideas for changing Africa.

4. Enspire Incubator Program.

The Enspire Incubator Program is a technology-centric incubator program which commenced in 2013.
It is among the major initiatives of the Abuja Technology Village Free Zone Company (ATV). Enspire incubator provides capacity building, access to resources and business support for entrepreneurs.

It does these by providing entrepreneurs with training, mentorship opportunities and access to investors.

5. Venia Business Hub.

Venia Business Hub provides entrepreneurs with access to resources, business support and capacity building.

It provides entrepreneurs with virtual office space in Lagos. In addition to the workspace provided for freelancers, it offers business support such as power, internet and ambience.

6. Start Innovation Hub.

The Start Innovation Hub offers technology innovation in the Niger Delta. Based in Uyo.

It offers entrepreneurs with capacity building, access to finance, access to markets, resources and business support.

For example, it offers a collaborative platform that leverages on technology to create wealth.

It also operates a Talent Development Center that supports local talents to create local solutions for global consumption.

7. She Leads Africa (SLA) Accelerator.

The She Leads Africa Accelerator offers entrepreneurs capacity building, access to markets and business support.

It offers  a 3-month program designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs.

It gives a grant yearly to winners of the program.

In addition She Leads Africa offers entrepreneurs hands-on support and coaching.

In addition, entrepreneurs get the chance to pitch their business to investors.

The accelerator also provide entrepreneurs with mass media attention to raise their business profile.

8. Sabi Hub.

Sabi Hub is located in Benin Edo State. It offers start-up incubation and Start-up Cocktail programs.

The Incubator trains, mentors and sponsors entrepreneurs.

In addition, it offers the Sabi Ladies program which empowers, trains and sponsors female entrepreneurs.

9. Passion Incubator.

The Passion Incubator is located in Yaba Lagos. It is a early-stage technology incubator and accelerator.

The incubator also offers pre-incubation program in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Software Development.

It also offers a 3-month incubation program for entrepreneurs.

10. nHub.

nHub is located in Jos, Plateau State. The incubator offers capacity, access to resources and business support.

Its incubator program provides developers with suitable and qualified mentors.

The aim is to help these entrepreneurs take their product development to the highest level possible.

In addition, the hub equips entrepreneurs with the right tools and resources. It also offers shared workstations for freelancers.

11. Ventures Platform Hub.

Ventures Platform Hub was founded in 2016 and is located in Abuja. The hub offers access to finance for entrepreneurs.

It is a seed stage fund and accelerator. It funds and supports innovative companies that are solving real problems across Africa.

12. Wennovation Hub.

Wennovation Hub was founded in 2010 and its main office is located in Lagos State.
It is one of the premiere hubs in Nigeria and has a wide reach. The hub also has offices in Abuja and Ibadan.
It offers incubation programs for social entrepreneurs as well as early-stage funding.

The hub focuses on social impact sectors including Agriculture, Healthcare, Education, Clean Energy and Social Infrastructure.

13. Tangent Eco-Innovation Hub.

The Tangent Eco-Innovation Hub is a virtual hub. It offers a meeting point for software developers, project managers and tech-companies.

The hub offers training and accelerator programs for tech startups.

14. The Standard Chartered (SC) Women in Tech Incubator Program (WITI).

The (SC) Women in Tech Incubator Program (WITI) offers incubator support for women entrepreneurs in technology.
The incubation support is available for early-to-mid-stage women entrepreneurs.

15. Delta State ICT Innovation Hub.

The Delta State ICT Innovation Hub is located in Asaba. The Innovation hub is a center donated by Zenith Bank for the advancement and promotion of ICT in Delta State.
It offers entrepreneurs with services such as digital marketing Masterclass and social media master class.
It also offers media and animation training, mentorship and business training for entrepreneurs.

Conclusion.

The article presented a comprehensive list of accelerators and incubators that offer capacity building, access to markets, access to finance, access to tools and resources and business support to start-ups within the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria.
In addition to the resources and tools offered by accelerators and incubators.
Entrepreneurs in Nigeria can also make use of small business free online tools to help when starting a business.
The article also highlighted what the accelerators and incubators can do for your business or business idea in terms their nature, goal, approach and target.

SMALL BUSINESS FREE ONLINE TOOLS FOR ENTREPRENEURS IN NIGERIA

Small business free online tools for entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

This article presents a list of small business free online tools for entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
Small business owners are often looking for bargains.
Therefore, any free tool that can support your business is always a good bargain.
Here are free online tools that support small businesses in Nigeria.

free online tools for entrepreneurs, free tools for small business, small business free online tools for entrepreneurs in Nigeria infographic.

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT FREE ONLINE TOOL FOR ENTREPRENEURS IN NIGERIA

 SMETOOLKIT

The SMETOOLKIT is an online platform that provides small business free online interactive and eLearning tools.

Also, small business owners and entrepreneurs in Nigeria can get locally relevant and important business management information and free training resources.

You’ll particularly find the online calculators useful in getting important figures for your business.

If you are struggling with keeping accurate records, there are videos to assist you along with the calculators.

Whether you are writing a business plan or carrying out a self-assessment.

For whatever reasons you need to present clear financial forecasts or statements, these tools are very helpful.

The following calculators are available on the SMETOOLKIT:

  • PAYE calculator.
  • Debts to equity calculator.
  • Return on equity calculator.
  • Return on assets calculator.
  • Quick ratio calculator.
  • Operating profit percentage calculator.
  • Net profit margin calculator.
  • Loan payment calculator.
  • Gross profit margin calculator.
  • Debt to assets calculator.
  • Current ratio calculator.

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION FOR ENTREPRENEURS

 SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media consists of online technologies, practices or communities that offer marketing opportunities for small businesses in Nigeria.

It mainly involves participation, sharing, interaction, and collaboration using online technologies.

Social media include:

  • Collaborative projects (e.g., Wikipedia)
  • Blogs and micro-blogs (e.g., Twitter)
  • Content communities (e.g., YouTube)
  • Social networking (e.g., Facebook)
  • Image search (e.g., Pinterest) and virtual game worlds, and virtual social worlds.

Most social media platforms are free to join but you pay in order to advertise on them.

In addition, entrepreneurs use social media free online tool to generate content, share opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives with each other.

In order to engage people in discussion, sharing, and collaboration on an ongoing basis on social media, you content needs to be refreshed quite frequently.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most widely used by small businesses in Nigeria.

However, small businesses will also find Pinterest to be an invaluable source of sales traffic – almost a search engine in it’s own right.

Brand studies have shown that Pinterest is more effective at driving sales than other forms of social media.

WHATSAPP FOR BUSINESS

The WhatsApp for business is a free to download app that was built specifically for small business owners.

Every small business owner in Nigeria should make use of this free tool. It differs from the personal WhatsApp because it has features that supports your small businesses.

Here are features on the app that can help your business grow as a result of improved communications with customers.

Business profile helps you to display your business information for customers and prospective customers.

You can display helpful information such as: your business address, business description, your business phone numbers, website and email address.

Quick replies helps you save and reuse messages. Small business owners are always on the run doing many things at once.

This feature allows you to automate responses especially answers to common questions about your business.

Automated replies in WhatsApp for business is a tool that allows small business owners to create automated messages such as away messages or greeting messages to introduce your business.

Labels are colour coded and helps you to sort your small business contacts and chats.

You can label your contacts according to label descriptions  such as

  • New customer
  • Prospect.
  • Pending Payment.
  • Order Complete etc.

Some labels are already on the app but you can also add more descriptions as you wish.

You can then send chats to different contacts on different labels.

For example, rather than send individual messages to each new customer, you can send to all new customers at once.

This helps you to save valuable time.

Catalog in WhatsApp for business allows you to display your products.

If you’re a small businesses owner still using the status update on your personal WhatsApp to display their products.

This feature is a great reason to get the app for your business.

Especially for fashion and beauty small business owners.

Or any other small business, this is a useful feature as long as you need to display your products or services.

Video calls are available if your phone’s operating system is supported.

For Android users, it is available on Android 4.1+ and a strong internet connection is needed.

Furthermore, you can make group video calls with up to 4 participants.

MAILCHIMP

Mailchimp is a marketing platform that helps small businesses manage their engagement with clients and customers.

You can build a landing page to capture information from contacts.

In addition, you can use Mailchimp to design beautiful campaigns.

A campaign is a message about your business that you share to an audience through channels such as email or ads.

Mailchimp helps you get this done and you get data analysis as well.

In addition, if you have an upcoming event and you want to collect signup forms, you can create simple signup forms on the Subscribe app.

Mailchimp is available for iOS and Android. This means that, you can manage your account on the go.

The free plan is good for small business start-ups. It allows up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 emails per month.

 GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

This free tool from Google for small businesses. It is a combined free marketing and communications as well as a business site tool.

Google My Business gives your small business the following:

  • Free local listing on Google.
  • Free business profile.
  • Customer engagement.

Everyday, people are asking google questions about products or services that your small business provide.

With a business listing on google, people can easily find your business.

You get the opportunity to determine how your business profile is seen in local searches.

In addition, you can feature your best products in the gallery.

New prospects can read reviews about your business from existing customers.

ZOOM VIDEO

Zoom is a collaborative online tool for small businesses.

It is useful if you need to hold online meetings, trainings and give technical support.
You can also hold video webinars for your marketing events.

In addition Zoom allows collaboration-enabled conference rooms, phone system and chat.

On the free plan (which would be sufficient for most small businesses), you can host up to 100 participants.

One-to-one meeting is unlimited but group meetings have a 40 minutes limit.

In addition, on the free plan, you have access to the video conferencing, web conferencing and group collaboration features.

Ticket support is also available.

Furthermore, you can record YouTube videos for free using Zoom. Although video editing is only available in paid subscription.

You can record for free on Zoom and then upload it to YouTube and do the editing on YouTube.

Zoom is a multi-platform app. Therefore, you can use it on-the-go on Android and iOS or run the app on Windows, macOS or Linux.

BUSINESS WEBSITE FREE ONLINE TOOL FOR ENTREPRENEURS

GOOGLE SITES

This is a free product by Google that small businesses can use to build hubs for internal project collaborations and teams websites.

It has drag and drop features which makes it possible to develop websites within 10 minutes.

It has sharing permissions which means that you can make the site only accessible internal to your business.

Therefore, you can use Google sites to work real time with someone else in a different location.

Furthermore, you can use it to develop public facing websites by making it accessible to the public.

Google site is responsive, and also optimized for tablets and websites.

BLOGGER

With a Google account you can create a simple blog for your business using Blogger.

You can create a blog with simple templates and designs.

It comes with a free domain (blogspot.com) but you can buy you own domain name.

CONCLUSION

This post presented a list of small business free online tools for entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Hope you found the article useful. The list will be updated with more free tools as they are discovered.