If you are looking to start a business and do not have the capital to do so but are looking to seek a business loan, this article is just for you.

It is very discouraging to have all those nice business ideas without having enough or any capital to start with. The stress involved and the requirements needed to get a business loan in Nigeria make it even more despairing. Nigeria is a huge market with lots of potential for businesses but lacks the needed facilities to facilitate new and struggling businesses. This explains why aspiring entrepreneurs get discouraged from even dreaming of owning their own businesses, and people rather go for the non-existent white-collar jobs. 

Commercial banks that are expected to support startup businesses by offering them low-interest loans are either asking for too many requirements or not offering any at all. 

However, the need for business startup loans, which have soared in recent years, has caused the establishment of many private lending companies. Some of these private lending companies offer a variety of loans for SME entrepreneurs who are either looking to start up a profitable business or need capital to scale their existing business.

As an aspiring business owner with so many great business ideas but lacking the capital to kickstart them, this article contains a list of some of the best private lenders for business startups in Nigeria, as well as their requirements.

6. Best Private Lenders For Business Startup In Nigeria

1. Lendigo business loan

Lendigo is a leading private lending company that offers loans to SMEs with PLC, LLP, or Ltd. registrations in Nigeria. For you to be eligible for this loan as an entrepreneur, your business must have been incorporated for at least 2 years and have a minimum of N500,000 in monthly revenue. Lendigo loans are open to retailers, professionals, and merchandise traders dealing with electronics, fashion, household needs, and others. 

With Lendigo, you can access between N100,000 and N20,000,000 at a monthly interest rate of 7%, depending on how much you want and what you are qualified to receive. So if you get a 6-month loan of N500,000 from Lendigo, you will be paying back N710,000 in total within the next 6 months. 

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Requirements for a Lendigo Business Loan 

For you to have access to and qualify for a Lendigo business loan, you need these other requirements: 

  • Your bank verification number (BVN) 
  • You must have been in business for at least 12 months or more.
  • A 12-month statement of account that shows at least N250,000 in minimum monthly revenue, including a clean credit report (devoid of any external debt).

2. Fina SME loan

If you need a loan with a lower interest rate and for asset purchase needs, Fina SME should be one of your options. Fina Trust Microfinance Bank is one of the leading microfinance banks, offering both short- and mid-term loans for entrepreneurs looking for working capital or asset purchases. With the loan, resources are made available for valid contracts, which are often awarded by government agencies and private organizations. 

Fina SME loans give out up to N20 million in loans at 4% monthly interest. For example, if you take a loan of, say, N2 million for 6 months, you will be making a total repayment of N2,480,000.

Requirement for a Fina SME Loan

For you to get access to this loan as an entrepreneur seeking startup or scaleup capital, you need the following set of requirements:

  • A valid Fina Trust microfinance bank account
  • Minimum of N2000 account balance
  • Valid means of identification (national ID, driver’s license, or international passport). 
  • A passport photograph
  • Insured operational vehicle
  • Bank Verification Number (BVN) 
  • Two guarantors/sureties
  • Posted dated checks (often determined by the loan amount)

3. Lapo SME loan

LAPO Microfinance Bank is one of the most popular private lending companies in Nigeria, having funded thousands of small and medium-scale entrepreneurs in Nigeria. You can get up to N5 million from LAPO to start your business. 

One of the best things about LAPO that distinguishes it from other lending companies is that their interest rates are moderate and repayments are flexible. Most times, loans taken at LAPO are mandated to be split and repaid weekly or monthly until the borrowed amount is paid together with the interest. 

For example, if you borrow N100,000 from LAPO, the company will determine how many times you are going to make repayments. Most times, it can range from 3 months to a year. Let’s say the repayment amount is N130,000 for a 12-month period. You may be required to pay $10,900 monthly for a period of 10 months. 

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Note: The figures are just mere example figures, basically for illustrations. The loan term is discussed with you before you even proceed with the application so that you can start planning how to offset it when the repayment time arrives. 

Requirements for LAPO SME loans

LAPO’s requirements are pretty easy, even though everything is done manually, hence reducing the speed. The following requirements are needed to obtain an SME loan from LAPO Microfinance Bank:

  • A filled-out application form 
  • Valid means of identification (voter’s card, driver’s license, and international passport)
  • Recent passport photographs numbering at least 4
  • The utility bill is not more than 3 months old.
  • Application letter containing the reason you are applying for the loan
  • Two Guarantors/sureties
  • Bank Verification Number (BVN).

4. Zitra Confam

Zitra Confam is a Zitra investment service responsible for supporting small and medium-scale entrepreneurs with quick, easy, and flexible business loans. Though Zitra has a lot of procedures and requirements that you need to meet before you can access the loan, it’s a sure step towards achieving your business dreams. 

Zitra give loans up to N5 million at an interest rate of 4% monthly. Unfortunately, despite all the huge benefits that come with a Zitra Confirm Loan, it is only accessible to existing businesses and not as startup capital for a new business. But it can be used to expand an existing business and even scale the business.  

Requirements for Zitra Confam 

  • Valid means of identification (international passport, national ID card, voter card)
  • Two guarantors with a valid means of identification, BVN, four passport photographs each, and a loan application letter
  • Account statements from you and your guarantors spanning at least 6 months
  • The applicant must have a clean credit record.
  • The bank statement for the enterprise covers its financial transactions over the last 12 months.

5. Letshego SME Loan

Letshego SME Loan is a good business financing option established to help solve funding problems often associated with aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners. The best part of the Letshego loan is that it is open to almost everyone from anywhere in Nigeria. 

Whether you are into medium or small scale production, transportation, or service providing, there is always something for you, and you don’t even need to be a registered business to access this fund. 

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Letshego empowers businesses across Nigeria with access to capital they need to build their dream business, grow, and sustain it without looking at whether they are registered businesses or not. 

Entrepreneurs seeking loans with Letshego can obtain from N20,000 to N20 million at a 5% monthly interest rate. 

Requirements for the Letshego SME Loan 

For you to have access to Letshego loans, you need the below requirements for your application:

  • Bank Verification Number (BVN)
  • Valid ID (national ID, international passport, or driver’s license)
  • Guarantor/surety
  • The guarantor’s valid means of identification
  • Business revenue documentation
  • Collateral.

6. BOI working capital loan

BOI Microfinance Bank is a subsidiary of the Bank of Industry Nigeria. BOI working capital loan is a great funding opportunity for aspiring and new business owners to achieve their dream entrepreneurial goals. The working capital loan goes beyond just business funding but also covers areas like operational costs, management of cash flow, purchase of inventories, and growth.  

The flexible and considerate interest rates that BOI will offer your business are financial capabilities to thrive in the ever-dynamic market. Either you have a new idea waiting to become a reality or a small or medium-scale business owner, this loan offers you the level ground to meet your set business goals and set yourself on that growth radar. 

Requirements for a BOI working capital loan

  • Bank statement dating a minimum of 6 months
  • The applicant must have been in business for at least 12 months.
  • Collateral
  • Two passport photographs, one of you and one of your guarantors. 
  • The utility bill is not more than 3 months old.
  • Bank Verification Number (BVN)
  • Valid means of identification (national ID, driver’s license, or international passport)
  • Guarantors’ valid means of ID and statement of account for the last six months of transactions

Bottom Line

Getting a business startup loan in Nigeria is really a difficult thing because most lenders are often interested in only businesses that have already started generating profits. However, these ones listed here have proven to be keen on helping more individuals in Nigeria own flourishing businesses. Either you own a small business that needs intensive capital to scale or you are still on the idea level and lacking enough capital to execute it, there is always something for you. However, before you take out any loan, you should endeavor to weigh the associated conditions and terms. 


Many loan apps change their interest rates and repayment terms over time. Always review the terms and conditions carefully before downloading any loan app. B4loan doesn't promote any loan app, we just help you make informed decisions.

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