To redress the rising incidence of youth unemployment and
underemployment in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday announced the issuance of operational framework for the development of the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship
Scheme (TIES) in the country.
The CBN said the new framework to be operated in partnership with Nigerian polytechnics and universities, would provide an innovative financing model for jobs
creation, enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem and support economic growth and development.
To harness the potential of graduate entrepreneurs (gradpreneurs) in the country, the apex bank said the Scheme was 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.
Other objectives include fast tracking ideas, creation and acceleration of a culture of innovation-driven entrepreneurship skills among graduates of polytechnics and
universities in Nigeria; promote gender balance in entrepreneurship development through
capacity development and improved access to finance; leapfrog entrepreneurial capacity of undergraduates and graduates for
entrepreneurship and economic development in partnership with
academia and industry practitioners; and boost contribution of non-oil sector to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The CBN said the focal targets under the Scheme include 25,000 ‘gradpreneur-led innovative start-ups and businesses annually with access to finance under the Scheme; 75,000 sustainable jobs created by gradpreneur-led businesses financed under the Scheme annually, and 50 percent per annum of female-gradpreneurs financed as a percentage of total projects financed under the Scheme.
Other taegets include 40 percent per annum of agropreneurs financed as a percentage of total projects financed under the Scheme; 20 percent per annum of creative entrepreneurs financed as a percentage of total projects financed under the Scheme . Techpreneurs financed as a percentage of total projects financed under the Scheme, and 20 percent per annum of other gradpreneurs financed as a percentage of total projects financed under the Scheme.
The framework outlines the operational modalities for the Scheme, with five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches/ideas to be awarded various categories of grants.
Those higher instituions classified in the first place would be granted N150 million; second place N120 million; third place N100 million; fourth place N80 million, and fifth place N50 million.
The CBN said the grants would cover agribusiness, information technology, creative industry, and
science and technology, innovative start-ups and existing businesses owned by graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities in agribusiness – production, processing, storage and logistics; IT application/software development, business process outsourcing, robotics, data management; and entertainment.
Others are artwork, publishing, culinary/event management, fashion, photography, beauty/cosmetics; and Science and technology – medical innovation, robotics, ticketing systems, traffic systems, renewable energy, as well as, waste management.
The CBN said in the guidelines were made pursuant to the CBN Act, 2007 as part of its policy measures to curb unemployment among graduates.
The document stated that there would be two classes of participant, with Tier 1 receiving N5million with a tenor of five years at five percent interests, (nine percent ) as from March 2022 and moratorium of 12 months.
Tier 2 candidates, the guidelines said, could receive as much as N25million under similar terms, with the CBN interest payment and principal repayment to be made on monthly or quarterly basis by the obligor, depending on the established cash flow cycle and in line with the approved repayment schedule.