Everything You Need to Know About YouWIN – Part 2 (Revised)

What Are the Questions to Expect?

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?

Please add any additional information/comments that you feel may be relevant and useful with this application.[Maximum number of 100 words]

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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  1. Sufwan 4 years ago

    There are two questions that I dont understand….
    – state the process of any loan application.
    – describe any existing finance loans related to the business.
    Does it mean I will write how to seek for loan or a loan am processing currently?
    Secondly, am I going to describe an existing finance loan am processing?

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 4 years ago

      For existing businesses, YouWIN wants to know if you have received any finance loans recently or one that is ongoing. If you have, this is the section where you describe the loan.

      By stating the progress (not process) of the loan, you are required to describe the stage of the loan. Have you received the money? Are you paying back at the moment?

      I hope I have answered your question.

  2. gman 4 years ago

    Does the question ‘how much will you take from the business’ refer to salary? Or what?

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 4 years ago

      In a way, it refers to your monthly salary. However, it is usually advisable that this amount is not more than twice the salary of your highest paid staff.

  3. pauline 4 years ago

    please are 5 staff too few for me to employ in a catering business 12 months after collecting my first grant???


    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 4 years ago

      It depends on exactly what you need. Remember that it is counter=productive to employ too many or too few staff in an enterprise. Since you are writing for YouWin, I would suggest that you employ just an adequate number of staff. Don’t employ less than you need!

      This question, about your expected sales, refers to the total income you expect in one full year. YouWin expects that you give the total number (or units) of goods expected to be sold or services expected to be rendered in that one year, and how much money (in one whole year) you expect to earn from doing that – not profits.

  4. domma paul 3 years ago

    thequestion what is the minimun cost that is necessary to comence business or expanding.
    and describe the equipment

  5. […] post you will find useful is Everything You Need to Know About YouWIN (Nigeria) 2013 – Part 2. This post lists out all the questions you will have to answer in the business concept sheet on […]

  6. Author
    Ayo_Oyedotun 3 years ago

    YouWIN funds are disbursed in tranches – two, three or four tranches.

    This means you are not likely to get all the money you are asking for immediately from YouWIN. So, you must be able to tell YouWIN the minimum amount of money you think you will need in your first tranche in order to commence business (if you are a start-up) or expand (if you have an existing business).

    Most likely, this “minimum cost” will cover a really inevitable equipment. You will have to describe the equipment.

  7. nnaemeka 3 years ago

    please i do not understand this question; what amount of sales in naira per month, must you achieve to reach profitability

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 3 years ago

      Hi Nnaemeka,

      This question is about your break-even point.

      The first phase of any business is usually an initial investment with no profit. Overtime, you grow your income to a level that you become profitable. It is at this point that you can say your income is greater than your expenses.

      Your break-even point, therefore, is the amount of your income at the cross over point to profitability. I hope this is clear.

      If you have more questions, please consider attending our YouWIN training – http://woculus.com/do-you-want-more-help-in-applying-for-youwin-grant/

  8. IK 3 years ago

    Great work you doing I must commend. Can I get your email address please.

  9. .Frank Dave 3 years ago

    hi thank you for the wonderful job you are doing.Concerning the last question that you answered.what amount of sales in Naira per month, must you achieve to reach profitability – I have done the breakeven analysis and i arrived at an amount that i sell to reach the break even point per month.How can I estimate the amount to reach profitability.

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 3 years ago

      Hi Frank,

      Once you have done your breakeven analysis, your calculation is 99% completed. The amount of sales to reach profitability is the total of your sales to reach breakeven + one sale.

      This means that your business becomes profitable when you make that one more sale after reaching your breakeven point.

      Of course, this is not your target sales. This figure only lets you know the minimum sales you must make for your business to remain alive.

      YouWiN is asking you this question just to be sure you totally understand the business you want to do.

      • Frank Dave 3 years ago

        Hi Ayo
        thanks once more for the help.you see this question is a little bit confusing.actually after calculating the break even point i still used my sales revenue in a month to determine the sales in naira to reaach profitability since the quantity to reach breakeven point plus one sale is not my target to reach my pay back period.what do u think?

  10. cjay 3 years ago

    Thank you for this great service.
    Please how do I get to answer this question;
    ‘When do you expect to achieve this (how many months after receiving your first grant award)?’
    What do they imply by this question.

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 3 years ago

      Hi Cjay,

      First, you have to determine how many items you will have to sell (or produce and sell) to break-even and become profitable. Then, estimate how many months you think it will take you to sell that number of items.

      • cjay 3 years ago

        Thank you for your response.

        What I actually wanted to ask is how to get the monthly breakeven point. Most of the costs usually come up annually and most are one-time costs eg. equipment costs.

        Again, how do I really know when to get to the point. is it by guessing.

  11. paul 3 years ago

    hi Ayo_Oyedotun can i have your contact

  12. Adeyemi Omotunde 3 years ago

    Hello all,

    I must commend my friend Ayo for his effort and support. The breakeven question is quite simple. How much are you pumping into the business? Say 10million , lets assume the product you manufacture and sell is a thousand naira per unit, and you make a profit of 100 naira on each unit. You have to sell 100,000 units to breakeven. Any sale after that puts you in profit.

    The next question is how long will it take you to sell 100,000 units. If you sell 8,000 units per month, it will take you 12 months and two weeks to breakeven.

    I hope that helps.

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 3 years ago

      Thank you very much Mr. Adeyemi. We appreciate you adding your unique insight to the conversation here.

      Mr. Adeyemi is a YouWiN Awardee and Business Consultant. I believe his comment has shed more light on the subject of Break-even Point and Profitability.

  13. […] Everything You Need to Know About YouWIN – Part 2 (Revised) […]

  14. Kenechukwu Nkwor 3 years ago

    I need to get a point clear here.

    If the unit price of the commodity cost =N=1,000, is it not going to be =N=100,000,000 total income instead of the said =N=10,000,000 production cost from the grant?
    Which means one have to make a profit up to the initial investment? Don’t you think there will always be subsequent production expenditures before you such net profit amount it attained?

    Just asking … because Wikipedia definition of break-even means the total initial cost of investment, to the point of initial profit. Which I took to be =N=10,000,000 over =N=900(total production cost per unit), to take 11,111.11 units sales, to break-even?

    Please put me right?

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 3 years ago

      Hi Kenechukwu,

      Remember we are trying to find out when this business will become profitable; and this depends on how much profit we make on each unit of the product.

      In that example, we make N100 on each unit of the commodity; and we have pumped in N10 million into the business. To make back our N10 million (breakeven), we need to sell 100,000 units of that item. That will give us N100 profit X 100,000 units = N10,000,000. This is when we break even.

      However, our gross income is N1000 cost X 100,000 units = N100,000,000 gross revenue.

      Depending on your business, breaking even could take as long as 12 to 24 months or more.

  15. Odunayo 3 years ago

    Is there an existing or expected lead time for manufacture, set up, harvest or breeding? If yes give estimated lead time for each product? Pls this question is not clear to me. For IT company

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 3 years ago

      Hi Debby,

      For an IT company, your expected lead time refers to how long it will take you to start interacting with your customers from the time you receive funding.

      This will include the time for setting up your office and developing your portal if your business is portal-dependent. Your expected lead time could be from as short as two weeks to six months or more. Watch the video at beyondyouwin.com for other information.

  16. kunle 3 years ago

    i personally commend your effort… pls i’d like to ask if there will be any defense maybe presentation…… and will there be anything for the people picled in the first round.

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 3 years ago

      Hi Kunle,

      Normally, if you are successful in the first stage of the competition, you will be invited for a bootcamp somewhere near you. At the bootcamp, you will be trained in SME Management and Business Plan Development. Thus, they ensure stage one qualifiers gain sound business training even if they don’t make it to stage 2.

  17. marve john 2 years ago

    Please can you clarify this?
    ‘Describe the benefit you and your proposed staff will bring to the business, including: expertise, track record in the Industry and management experience’

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 2 years ago

      Hi Marvelous,

      Here, you should describe your experience and qualification that qualifies you to do the business you are applying for. Then describe what you will be watching out for in the people you plan to employ.

  18. Beloved 2 years ago

    Please can you shed light more on: “Break this figure down into relevant categories.note max 40% of total award is usually alloted to capital equipmnt as the remainder of the award must be sufficient of found operational expences of a growing business”
    Thank you…

    • Author
      Ayo_Oyedotun 2 years ago

      This is actually straight forward.

      Divide the amount of money that you are asking from YouWiN into the three categories listed. However make sure the amount you are writing for capital expenses is not more than 40% of the total money you are asking from YouWiN.

      Note that these three figures must add up to give the total amount you are asking from YouWiN.

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Everything You Need to Know About YouWIN – Part 2 (Revised)

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