How To Get Funding From NYDA In 5 Easy Steps
It was around 2012 November that I and my then-partner started and registered our first business. We registered a printing company which we named “MIMS” short for “Muzi & Innocent Marketing Solutions”. We were young and very optimistic about life and the success of our business in general. We saved up some money to get the business registered ASAP and managed to open our first business account. My partner was still a student at TUT so I was the one running the business full-time until 2014.
My journey with the NYDA started when I decided to attend a business seminar in Kwaggafontein Mpumalanga back home. My purpose was to mainly network and find clients but also to find out about funding initiatives. I noticed however that most of the engagements from the audience were filled with disgruntlement and stories of disappointments. Disappointments about how these organizations don’t live up to their promises. Being young and optimistic about the future I decided to not focus on the negativity but rather try my luck. So I went to the tables of each organization collecting their information brochures to find out more about their offerings.
What caught my attention was the grant and voucher program which was being offered by the NYDA. It caught my attention because the funding was strictly a grant and not a loan. Also for me, the application process was very easy and had no red-tapes whatsoever. So to cut the story short I eventually did apply for the grant and voucher program and my application was successful. The grant was approved within 4 weeks and we used the funds to buy a printing machine worth R49ooo.00. So I also want to share with you tips on How To Get Funding From NYDA In 5 Easy Steps:
1. Have Compliance documents(Not Mandatory)
Get your company registered with CIPS, SARS, and also have a business bank account. Though this is not a mandatory step, it will help the NYDA see that you really mean business. Why not just make everything simple and have your compliance documents ready before you can even apply?
2. Attend NYDA Entrepreneurship Training (Mandatory)
The second step is to attend the NYDA 5-day training and mentorship on entrepreneurship. After applying for the training you must make regular follow-ups on when you can start attending. Once you get the training, you must also make a follow-up and make sure that you get your accreditation certificate. Without the certificate, you are not eligible to apply for the grant program, so you need to be very diligent. This step is where many people tend to fail and lose hope because the process can be very slow.
3. Run your business for at least 12 months before you apply(Not Mandatory)
NYDA grant program is for tried and tested businesses and not for mere business ideas. You need to produce your business bank statements, invoices, and financial records to show the financial health of your business. I personally believe that you need at least 12 months for you to be able to produce detailed records. Use free online accounting software like pastel accounting that comes with your business bank account. Ask your business banker about these added features. Please note that your financial statements do not have to be verified by a qualified accountant.
4. Have basic branding(Not Mandatory)
This step is very crucial in making you stand out from the rest of the applicants. Have proper corporate stationery such as business cards, letterhead, company folder, and profile. Have a professional email with your company name and use it when making communications between you and NYDA. You can get a domain name for only R115.00 and email hosting for just R34 per month from www.bunniehost.com. Have an email signature at the end of every email you send. You can get a professionally designed email signature from www.lucidweb.co.za.
5. Have an office(Mandatory)
The last step is to make sure that you have an office/shop. If it means you have to turn your backroom or home garage into an office just do it. The NYDA wants you to have an office address and see where you operate. Even if you run an online business you must have an office where you run your administration. Try to get as much traffic as you can to your office in the duration of your application even if it means having a couple of friends visit you because “No one knows the day or the hour to which an NYDA official will arrive to assess your businesses”. Though they don’t come like a thief in the night, you better be most prepared.
For extensive knowledge on NYDA grant application please visit their website: www.nyda.gov.za