GEMS4 Enterprise Challenge Fund

Provides grants to companies to develop innovative products and business models that create jobs and incomes for the poor in Nigeria.

The Fund is closed and no longer receiving applications for funding. There will be no other funding rounds in the future.


Focused on improving business models and technology in the Wholesale and Retail sector, and also encourages service delivery to underserved market groups.

Seeks solutions to problems such as:

  • access to markets
  • technology
  • information
  • finance

for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the poor and women engaged in the sector.

What the fund will achieve

Stimulate market system changes that encourage growth and access; resulting in the creation of 10,000 new jobs and increased incomes for 500,000 poor men and women in the Wholesale and Retail Sector.

The Fund is open to small, mid-sized, and large firms registered in Nigeria (whether foreign owned or domestic), and operating in end-to-end value chain activities within the Wholesale and Retail sector in Nigeria. This however excludes the production segment of the value chain but includes processing activities.

The Fund is also open to providers of other related support services such as:

  • distribution
  • market information
  • merchandising
  • information and communication technology
  • financial services

How to apply

Grant funds are awarded to eligible projects through a 2 stage competitive application process involving the submission of:

  • an initial concept note (first stage)
  • a full business plan (second stage)

Full information on the application process and eligibility criteria can be found on the GEMS4 website

Background information on the fund

The GEMS4 Enterprise Challenge Fund is a £3.5 million private sector development matching grant fund. It is implemented in Nigeria by the Growth and Employment in States – Wholesale and Retail Sector (GEMS4) market development project. GEMS4’s initiatives facilitate entry into markets; provide technical support for the adoption of innovations and new business models, and leverage investments for the development of key market facilities to support optimal business performance. The project uses a Making Markets Work for the Poor(M4P) approach to implementation. GEMS4 has been in implementation since 2012 and will be in operation until July 2017.



Phone Number: 08188700140

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