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CBN Releases Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Guidelines

Oluwasina Phillip

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday released the guidelines for the implementation of the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES).

The CBN said in the guidelines that the scheme was pursuant to the CBN Act, 2007 and in line with its policy measures to address rising youth unemployment and underemployment.

The apex bank stated that the scheme was in partnership with Nigerian polytechnics and universities to harness the potential of graduate entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

The CBN said in the guideline that 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.

The initiative, the apex bank stated, aims to provide an innovative financing model that will create jobs, enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem and support economic growth and development.

TIES has been designed to enhance access to finance by undergraduates and graduates of polytechnics and universities in Nigeria with innovative entrepreneurial and technological ideas.

The guidelines listed activities to be covered under the scheme to include innovative start-ups and existing businesses owned by graduates of Nigerian polytechnics and universities in agribusiness – production, processing, storage and logistics; Information technology – 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 document stated that there would be two classes of participant, with tier 1 receiving N5m with a tenor of five years at five percent interests, (nine per cent ) as from March 2022 and moratorium of 12 months.

It said that Tier 2 candidates could receive as much as N25m under similar terms, adding that the CBN interest payment and principal repayment shall 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.

It said that under the scheme five top Nigerian polytechnics and universities with the best entrepreneurial pitches/ideas shall be awarded grants, with the best receiving N150m.

From second to fifth, the grants would be N120m, N100m, N80m and N50m, in that order.

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