Will you be applying for YouWiN! Business Plan Competition this year? It’s high time you started preparing your answers. If you haven’t ever applied before, this will be a truly useful resource for you. If you have applied in the past, this could be a refresher for you.
If you haven’t heard about this competition, please read Everything You Need to Know About YouWIN (Nigeria) 2013 – Part 1 first.
Bear in mind that the first stage of the YouWiN! 3 Business Plan Competition only requires that you submit a concept note for your business idea. The YouWiN! 3 Business Plan Competition concept note is not as elaborate as a business plan. You only need to answer a few basic questions that will help the committee decide whether they should read your full business plan.
This post uses the original YouWiN! Business Plan Competition concept note to help you get started. The more time you have to think through each question about your business, the more your chances of winning the competition.
The Questions in YouWiN! Business Plan Competition Concept Note
Note the number of words you are expected to use in answering the questions asked. You could use fewer words but not more than required. In fact, the website will not allow you to submit your save and/or submit your application if you have exceeded the maximum number of words.
In a way, this is both beneficial to you and the committee. You are forced to summarize your business idea as much as possible; and the committee is able to evaluate all business concepts in the short time available to decide winners.
1. What is Your Business About?
First, you asked to describe your business in a maximum of 20 words and then select the industry-sector your business belongs to.
In the second module here, you are asked to select your industry sector from the drop down menu.
Carefully check each of the sectors to find where your business belongs. If your business sector is not listed, you could write your sector under “Other sector”.
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2. What is Your Marketing Plan?
Under “Marketing”, there are 3 questions; and each of them is allowed a maximum of 50 words:
- What benefits of the product or service enables your business to stand out from your competitors?
- Does this meet a particular need or demand (your competitive advantages, if any)?
- Name five of your existing or expected top customers. How will you attract these customers to your point of sale?
3. How Do You Intend to Manage Your Business?
This is a section you should pay adequate attention to. Like I said in Everything You Need to Know About YouWIN (Nigeria) 2013 – Part 1, the main aim of this competition is to create jobs in Nigeria. So, your business must be capable of providing jobs sustainably in order to win this competition. Most of the current awardees of YouWIN own businesses that are employing close to 10 new employees on the average. You should factor this into your overall business plan.
The questions in this module are:
- How many new, full-time (or equivalent) staff will be employed in the business 12 months from receiving the first stage award?
- Describe the benefit you and your proposed staff will bring to the business, including: expertise, track record in the industry and management experience. [maximum of 50 words expected]
4. What is Your Product?
Every business is selling a product. This section will test your knowledge of the business you are proposing. Each of the questions asked below require a maximum of 50 words:
- Name your three largest existing/expected competitors. Which, if any, have a localized presence or distributor network?
- Describe the materials you will need to create your product or service. Are these materials readily available, at the right price and quantity, in your locality? If yes, please describe any relevant information.
- Is there an existing or expected lead time for manufacture, set-up, harvest or breeding? If yes, give estimated lead times for each product.
- What risks or challenges might affect the success of your business, including: licences and accreditations (what can stop you from making this business a success)? How will you reduce or mitigate these risks?
5. How Profitable is Your Business?
There are three questions to determine this:
- What are your current and expected sales within the next 12 months (units and income)? If there is any seasonality, please explain. [maximum of 50 words is expected]
- What amount of sales, in Naira, must you achieve to reach profitability? [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
- When do you expect to achieve this (how many months after receiving your first grant award)?
6. How Much Money are You Looking At?
The first thing you should note here is that you can ask for a maximum of N10 million and a minimum of N1 million naira. I mentioned this in Everything You Need to Know About YouWIN (Nigeria) 2013 – Part 1.
You have four short answers to give here:
- How much money (Naira) do you want from YouWIN? [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
- Capital equipment cost (e.g. machinery, land, building). [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
- Operating expenses (e.g. wages, raw materials, stock). [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
- Other (e.g. pre-start set-up costs, accreditation). [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
7. What Do You Want to Spend YouWIN Funds On?
If you are asking for so much, you should be able to explain what exactly the funds will be spent on. That’s the main thrust of this module.
- What is the minimum equipment cost that is necessary to commence trading or expand your business? [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
- Describe this equipment. [Maximum of 30 words].
- How much money have you already spent on capital equipments? [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
- How much money do you require or expect to need from other sources (i.e: investors, bank loans, etc)? [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
- State the progress of any loan application. [Maximum of 20 words]
- Describe any existing finance loans related to the business. [Maximum of 20 words]
- How much money will you or your family and friends contribute to the business in the next 12 months? [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
- How much money do you plan to take out of the business personally (average amount per month? [Amount in Naira. Enter numbers only: If none, enter 0]
8. Any Additional Information?
Saving and Submitting Your Application
This part is also very important. Bear in mind that you can only submit one application to YouWIN!; and you won’t be able to edit it, once submitted. So, you should Save For Later as you go along to avoid losing your data and then Submit Completed Application to YouWIN when you are completely satisfied with the content of your application.
Remember to check the box to your left hand side to agree to the Terms of the Competition.
Next step – Get Our FREE YouWiN Training Video + YouWiN Application Toolkit
This YouWiN training video answers all the YouWiN questions from ‘description’ to ‘additional information’. It also offers additional tips for writing a winning YouWiN Application. The training was facilitated by Mr. Omotunde Adeyemi who is a business consultant, entrepreneur and YouWiN awardee.
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