The Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Program

The Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Program is BOI’s effort at addressing the worrisome phenomenon of youth unemployment in Nigeria by building the capacity of the youths and funding their business ideas. The YES program is aimed at equipping young people with the requisite skills and knowledge to be self-employed by starting and managing their own businesses.
Participants will be drawn from young aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years, with innovative ideas who must have a minimum educational qualification of an Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
The YES-Program is composed of the following components:
Eight (8) weeks extensive online Entrepreneurship and Business Management training which has the ability to test participants’ understanding and track their progress.
Five (5) days in-class Entrepreneurship and Business Management training covering the following five (5) modules:
The business idea (value proposition & competition analysis)
Business model (how will the business make money)
Sales and marketing
Running a successful business (ethics, compliance, operations, etc.)
Financial plan
Technical skills training in partnership with the various technical training and vocational institutes in the country.
Financing of the businesses by BOI under its SME Cluster initiative in consonance with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Commodity-based Industrialization Strategy.
The YES-Program has the following broad objectives:
To create an interactive learning platform to train young aspiring entrepreneurs in Entrepreneurship, Business Management and Technical Skills that will ultimately translate into improved efficiency and productivity.
To kindle the entrepreneurial spirit of the youths.
To act as an incubation center where business ideas are nurtured to their full potential as well as entrenching global best practices by inculcating a culture of innovation-driven entrepreneurship and ethics in the program participants.
Promotion of self-employment among graduates of institutions of higher learning, thereby changing their job-seeking mindset.
To deepen financial inclusion by de-risking the young aspiring entrepreneurs and making them eligible for small business loans to be provided by BOI.
10,000 online applications will be solicited nationwide, out of which 2,000 would be selected for the online training component of the YES program.
Applicants will register online and will be expected to provide accurate answers to questions. Such answers count towards determining the suitability of the applicants for the training program. Only the top 1,200 online participants will qualify for the in-class training program annually.
The in-class trainings will be delivered by BOI accredited partner Training Institutes and shall take place on a bi-annual basis at selected centers spread across the six geo-political zones. Hence, 600 participants shall be trained at the designated locations bi-annually.
The final evaluation and selection of the candidates that will qualify for funding under the YES-Program, will be by a seven-man panel made up of senior management staff of the Bank and other eminent members made up of successful entrepreneurs, professionals, retired bankers, etc.

How to Apply

• Step 1 – Check Your Eligibility
Check that you are qualified to apply. See the section “Who can apply?” below.

• Step 2 – Register
A link will be shown to register.
You will receive a confirmation email from YES Program with all the details you will need to log in.

• Step 3 – Complete Application
Once you have successfully registered, log in and click the “Start Application” button on the Start Application Tab on this page. To return to your application, click the “save and continue” button and come back to it at any time. Once you are done with your application, click on the “Submit” button at the end of the form to send it to us. You can submit only ONE application per “application cycle” (typically 3-4 months).

• Step 4 – Keep Informed
After the closing date you will be notified if you have been shortlisted for the next stage of the competition. Constantly check the YES program homepage for regular updates.

Who Can Apply?
To be eligible for the Competition you must satisfy the following criteria:
1. The applicant must be a Nigerian.
2. Must have a viable business idea within the 40 identified clusters that is operated, or will operate in Nigeria.
3. Must be within the age limits of 18 and 35. (proof of identity: International passport/Driver’s License/National ID/Voters card required).
4. Must possess a minimum educational qualification of Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
5. Applicant must be able to carry out the application process online.

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