The Youth Innovation Fund (YIF) is SME.NG’s initiative to combat the persistent youth unemployment in Nigeria. It is aimed at increasing and motivating youth entrepreneurs as well as creating a platform for access to funds for youths with innovative business ideas in Nigeria. A database of young aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 30 years is being put up for this purpose




Young entrepreneurs will be sought. Male and female youth entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 are eligible to register. Applicants will be screened, with start-ups and early-stage businesses given priority.


The Accelerator program focuses on providing entrepreneurs with the skills needed to start and run a business, such as sales and marketing,communications, finance, and even some technical skills.


Entrepreneurs who complete the accelerator successfully will be eligible for funding. They will, however, be required to create an organization business plan, a year’s work plan and budget, and an organization profile.

Entrepreneurship development programs

Customized She Works Here Program for female youths (hair dressing, catering, beauty, fashion, media, etc)

Employability Skills Development Programs

These will include internship and out of school programs for youths to develop employability skills such as problem solving, creative thinking, written/oral communication, technology, organizational skills among others.

Mentoring Programs

SME.NG sourced a customized program for youths via NYSC, Young Graduates, and Request for Information on interested youths via the general public via website and social media platforms.

Identify the youth population to be served (the focus can be on tech/internet savvy youths or youths interested in developing technical skills).

Identify and recruit Mentors.

Determine the type of mentoring relationships and their focus.

Mentoring sessions in SME.NG’s training facility.