Navigating the Winds of Change: Unmasking the Evolution of the Grant Industry for Nigerian SMEs

May 24, 2023
min read

As grant writers, we see ourselves as skilled sailors, navigating the turbulent seas of funding opportunities with your promising ideas aboard. Much like the Harmattan winds that unpredictably shift the Saharan landscape, the global pandemic has stirred substantial changes within the grant writing industry. In this ever-evolving terrain, understanding these shifts is as crucial as knowing your compass points for any Nigerian startup seeking to chart a successful course towards funding.

Embracing the Winds of Change in the Grant Writing Industry
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Today's grantmakers have become like eagle-eyed market inspectors, closely examining the fruits of your labour for signs of DEI. Similar to a meticulous tailor ensuring each garment fits its wearer perfectly, they demand clear evidence of DEI in your organization's operations and plans. Showcasing projects that actively promote equity and engage underserved communities will increase your standing in the competitive marketplace of grant applications.

Economic Recovery, Growth, and Development

Just as a seasoned farmer adapts to seasonal changes to ensure a bountiful harvest, funders have adjusted their focus to reflect the economic aftermath of the pandemic. They are looking for projects that not only sow seeds of entrepreneurship but also water the grounds for job creation and economic growth. As the owner of a Nigerian startup, weaving this narrative of economic resilience and impact into your proposal can increase your chances of reaping a fruitful grant award.

Social Media Engagement

Social media has transformed into a bustling marketplace, as lively and vibrant as Lagos' Computer Village, where ideas and connections are traded every second. Modern grantmakers want to see your active participation in this digital agora. They value how you engage with clients, volunteers, and donors across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Embrace these digital tools to amplify your voice and extend your reach in the global village of grant funding.

General Operating Grants

In the past, funding often came with strings attached, much like a trader limiting how you can spend your hard-earned Naira. Now, funders have started offering unrestricted grants. This is akin to receiving a 'dash' at the market, giving you the freedom to best allocate the resources to your needs. This shift empowers you, the startup owner, to focus on what matters most: making a positive difference with your project.

Multi-Year Commitments

The funding landscape has evolved from a short race like the 100-meter dash to a marathon. Funders are now investing in longer-term initiatives, allowing your project to flourish over time rather than rushing to deliver immediate results. This new trend provides Nigerian startups with the opportunity to plan for the future and lay the groundwork for sustainable impact.

Decentralized Finance Foundations (Cryptocurrency Grants)

The introduction of cryptocurrency grants is like the arrival of mobile banking in Nigeria - a novel concept, somewhat risky, yet potentially transformative. Despite the uncertainties, pioneering platforms such as GitCoin, Ethereum Foundation, and The Giving Block are championing this innovative approach to funding. This new wave can unlock opportunities for those agile enough to adapt, allowing your startup to break new ground and scale unprecedented heights.

Emphasis on Traction and Impact

Today's grantmakers are more focused on results than ever before, much like a parent proudly tracking their child's growth milestones. They want to see your project's potential to effect substantial change and address real-world problems. Be prepared to showcase your past successes and outline your roadmap for future achievements to demonstrate your potential to deliver meaningful impact.

Technology and Data-Driven Approaches

Just as Nigerian Jollof isn't complete without the right blend of spices, a compelling grant proposal in today's world needs the perfect fusion of technology and data. Funders are now prioritizing projects that incorporate technology to magnify their reach and impact, just like a well-strung guitar amplifies the beauty of its notes. As the captain of your startup, integrating technology and data-driven strategies into your proposal can be your key to hitting the right chords with potential funders.

Sustainability and Environmental Focus

In the wake of growing environmental concerns, akin to the urgency felt when the Lagos lagoon swells during the rainy season, funders are gravitating towards projects addressing environmental sustainability and climate change. Like a farmer wisely shifting from slash-and-burn to more sustainable farming methods, aligning your project with environmental preservation and sustainable development goals can significantly increase your chances of securing funding.


In the bustling marketplace of grant funding, staying ahead of the game requires staying informed, just like a Lagos conductor must be aware of every twist and turn on his route. At Grant Master, we remain dedicated to helping you, the Nigerian startup owner, navigate this ever-evolving landscape. With the right knowledge and strategies, you can turn these winds of change into a favorable breeze, steering your venture toward the promising shores of funding success.

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