Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently launched the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES) on Friday. In the flag off, six lucky students were empowered with a loan facility of N5 million each, to grow their businesses, create jobs and further contribute to economic progress.

The CBN explained that TIES is one of the many efforts of the CBN targeted towards empowering young Nigerians. To ensure transparency in the selection and awarding of the facility, the CBN established an 11-member panel of experts chaired by the Managing Director of Sterling Bank Plc., Mr Abubakar Suleman.

In view of this reality, has compiled a list of things you ought to know about the initiative and how to maximize the opportunity.

5 things you should know about the TIES.

1. Core Objective: The core 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 view of this, the scheme is 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.

2. Focal targets: In a bid to achieve its objectives, the scheme targets some initiatives such as grandpreneur led start-ups and businesses, sustainable jobs, female-led gradpreneurs, agropreneurs, techpreneurs, among others.

3. Eligible businesses: Eligible businesses under this scheme include Agribusiness, Information technology, creative industry, Science and technology and any other activity as may be determined by the CBN from time to time. Note that priority will be given to innovative entrepreneurial activities with high potentials for export, job creation and transformational impact.

4. Funding: Selected businesses will be funded from both the Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS).

5. Loan Limit: Individuals can apply for up to N5 million for a tenor of 5 years. Interest rate will be 5% per annum (9% effective from MARCH 1, 2022 or as may be prescribed by the CBN).

READ: Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND)- Call For Concepts Notes For National Research Fund (NRF) 2021 Grant Cycle (3 Lots)

How to apply

Having understood the essence of the programme, the next logical question is how do I apply or how do I maximize this opportunity. Before discussing that, it is pertinent to highlight the criteria for participation. To qualify, a prospective applicant shall be;

  • Graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities with:
  • First degree certificate (BSc/HND/ or its equivalent), and
  • National Youth Service Certificate (NYSC) discharge or exemption certificate.
  • The prospective applicant is also expected to tender a certificate of Participation issued by polytechnics and universities evidencing entrepreneurship training.
  • He or she is expected to have not more than 7 years of post-NYSC experience.

If you meet the aforementioned criteria, you are advised to strongly apply following the under-listed steps:

  • Apply via a dedicated online portal (, with copies of relevant documents attached for review. The documents include: 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; Letter confirming the applicants’ deposit of required certificates from PFI; Projected Statement of Income, Statement of Affairs, and cash flow projections for start-ups and businesses with less than 3 years of operations; Business plan outlining details, financials and economic benefits of the projects.
  • Note that Submitted applications and certificates shall be transmitted directly to the PFI for evaluation and documentation.
  • The portal shall be designed to allow the applicants select its PFI of choice, which shall receive copies of the submitted applications for due diligence checks and subsequent disbursement and monitoring of financed projects;
  • The PFI shall provide to the applicants and forward to the CBN, the following documents: Copies of duly executed offer documents between the bank and the loan applicants; At least one (1) Credit Report of the promoter/entrepreneur; Duly signed Global Standing Instruction (GSI); and Proposed schedule of fund disbursement and repayment.
  • The PFI shall register the submitted certificates with the National Collateral Registry (NCR).
  •  Upon approval of application by the CBN, the approved sum shall be released to applicants’ PFIs of choice in accordance with the approved disbursement schedule.
  • The PFI shall disburse the released funds into the applicants’ accounts within five (5) working days with no restriction on access, upon compliance with the terms for withdrawal.
  • The PFI shall register all financed equipment under the Scheme with the National Collateral Registry (NCR); and

The location of the business shall be mapped or tagged for monitoring and evaluation purpose.