MORE than 500 small businesses will benefit from a donation from the German Government of N$7.5 million during the second round of grants that will be awarded to ensure the survival and continuance of small recently established businesses across Namibia.
In order to mitigate the destructive effect on the business environment and to continue their support to start-ups and small growing businesses, StartUp Namibia and its partners announced that a second round for the application for the Startup Grant has opened.
Through this operational support measure, grants of N$15 000 will be provided on a competitive basis to 500 different start-ups.
During May this year, StartUp Namibia along with the Ministry of Industrialization and Trade (MIT) and with funds from the German Government successfully provided the COVID-19 Startup Grant worth N$15 000 to 200 businesses. The grant supported various start-ups and small growing businesses to bear the brunt of the pandemic.
“Looking at the massive impact of COVID-19 on the private sector, we are very happy to extend the targeted support for start-ups and young SME’s during this challenging time. Additional funding for this project is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. We hope that innovative entrepreneurs, especially women, will be able to continue with this support to continue their businesses and lay the basis for their growth in order to make a major impact for a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery of Namibia,” said Gerlinde Sauer, Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Namibia.
Nearly five months after the first lockdown, small enterprises remain in limbo while the resumption of operations is slow. The country has reverted back to Stage 3 of the State of Emergency and this extended pressure on small businesses is evident in the number of closures and retrenchments.
The second round will see a total of 500 start-ups benefit from the grant. In addition to female-led or female-founded start-ups, start-ups in the Erongo Region and those operating in the hospitality and tourism sector as well as arts and culture are encouraged to apply.
COVID-19 Startup Grant recipients from Round 1 will not qualify for the Start Up Survival Grant in the second round.
“As you can hear in the name, the Startup Survival Grant is there to ensure that you are able to push through this terrible time,” said Lucia Iipumbu, Minister of Industrialization and Trade at the launch of the second round of assistance.
Iipumbu said the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new normal which had immediate negative repercussions for newly established businesses in the Namibian economy. For start-ups and small businesses, the restrictions that ensued to curb the spread of the virus meant the immediate and massive loss of income and jobs.
Eligible businesses must be registered and in operation for less than five years and have a business bank account in the name of the applicant business. Start-ups in the Erongo region, female-led or female-founded start-ups as well as start-ups in sectors hit the hardest by the pandemic (i.e. hospitality and tourism, arts and culture) are specifically encouraged to apply. To apply, businesses will need to submit the following via an online application at www.startupnam.org:
• Founding Statement from BIPA
• MSME Certificate will be an advantage
• Bank statements for June-August 2020 of business bank account
• Business continuity plan to detail the use of funds and strategies to save jobs
Online Applications opened on 2 September and will close on 16 September 2020. An independent committee comprising of StartUp Namibia stakeholders and partners will assess the grant applications. Grants will be awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. The grants totalling N$7.5 million will be disbursed to the successful businesses in a single payment at the beginning of October 2020.
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