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Invest in SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) help satisfy local demand for services, offer local employment, and provide larger firms with inputs and services. Access to capital is often a major constraint for SMEs; local commercial banks might perceive them as being too “risky” to qualify for traditional loans. Yet, SMEs are often too large to qualify for support from microfinance programs.


We believe that SMEs are vital to the health and stability of any nation. They traditionally constitute the largest portion of the employment base, hire the greatest number of new employees, and provide the majority of a country’s goods and services.

Many developing countries lack a vibrant small business sector, and, as a consequence, a growing middle-income population. And yet despite their importance, SMEs in emerging markets frequently suffer from insufficient access to financing, preventing these businesses from expanding their production and making a larger social and economic impact.

Investing in SME Funds contributes to building and developing local businesses. We thrive in providing SME entrepreneurs with access to risk capital, as well as advice and support.

Why Partner with us

Finance and Business Support for SMEs

We have significant experience in addressing the challenges of small and growing businesses (SGBs), including start-ups, with a combination of appropriate finance and tailored business support. Our proprietary Business Support programme is unparalleled in the market and is proven to achieve an exceptional 80% viability rate of SMEs financed.

Developing solutions and creating impact

We deliver jobs and other socio-economic benefits in a cost-effective way. We deepen our reach to local communities by focusing on SGBs in vital needs sectors such as education, healthcare, agribusiness, manufacturing, water, waste and sanitation.

We target promising businesses

SME investment leverages promising businesses to catalyze socioeconomic growth and entrepreneurship in local communities and markets. When done correctly and sustainably, such investment also produces significant returns for our investors.

Sectors We Focus On

While we are open to funding SMEs across all sectors, on the understanding that consumers at the base of the pyramid need access to an end-to-end range of goods and services, LIC prioritises specific, vital needs sectors. These high impact sectors allow us to make a significant difference in the communities across the locations where we are present. As such, LIC  has identified five sectors of focus, with specific challenges and opportunities in each sector outlined below:

Healthcare entrepreneurs are often highly qualified medical professionals but lack the business skills and access to finance to take advantage of the growing market. LIC plans to reach out to these health companies through more traditional private equity structure or direct investment.

LIC is liased with the objective of these companies given the importance of this sector in improving livelihoods in Africa and in driving socio-economic impact combined with a rapid rise in entrepreneurial activity in this sector.

LIC plans to target the education sector because of the impact these businesses have indirectly working towards creating a world where education is a top priority, hence helping in the journey to alleviate poverty. A dual approach to finance and business support gives such small & growing businesses the tools they need to succeed and maximize their impact.

We will reach out to schools and provide them with the financial and business support they need to achieve the above objective.

Agriculture is a booming business in Africa, and it is believed that the agricultural sector is one of Nigeria’s potential sources of revenue that is yet underdeveloped and unexplored and this is why LIC plans to make the investment in agricultural businesses. We have foreseen market potentials in this sector and we are ready to support small-scale agricultural businesses.

According to the report titled “Real Estate: Building the Future of Africa”, the Nigerian real estate sector is growing at a rate of 8.7 percent and is now the sixth-largest sector in the economy.  The report also said that high net worth individuals invested 25 percent of their assets in real estate compared to 18 percent or less in equities and other instruments.

LIC is ready to capitalize on the opportunities provided by this sector.

Technology is gradually becoming a subject to talk about in Africa. The middle class in West Africa is expanding rapidly. With the seemingly unstoppable growth of the mobile phone, greater access to the internet, and an increase in access to education, change is happening, and more people have a more disposable income to spend.

The world economy is increasingly being driven by service-based activities of various kinds, with Logistics and Transport Service accounting for almost 71% of global GDP in 2010 and is expanding at a faster forefront.

The Nigerian food industry is one of the best-performing industries in the country despite the economic downturn and a huge decline in consumer spending power over the years. The industry has grown so well that consumers are still making the switch from unpackaged and unbranded products to packaged products as they become more aware.

We also consider other sectors to invest in.

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