It is already 2 years since the Federal Government of Nigeria started the YouWIN program. Already, many people have received grants (awards that will not be paid back) varying from N1 million to N10 million for their businesses. Since this is the third round of the programme, this may be your last chance to plug into this opportunity to bring your idea to light.
The gender discrimination of 2012 YouWIN programme was a shock for many of us, but we are glad that the YouWIN body has finally realized the fact that both women and men need employment; and men need to start businesses as badly as women need to (if not more).
Eligilibility for YouWIN! (Nigeria) Business Plan Competition
Like I said earlier, YouWIN 2013 is for both the male and female folks. That means, YouWIN is no more restricted to the females alone. Aside that, there are a couple of stuffs you need to bear in mind as you apply for this third cycle of YouWIN programme!
Here's a summary:
a. You must be a Nigerian citizen between 18 and 40 years of age; and you should be able to prove your identity with International passport, drivers' license, national ID card or voters' card.
b. You must have more than secondary school education. So, if you haven't taken any further course after your secondary school, I'm afraid, you may not be eligible.
c. Your proposed business must operate within Nigeria and with the intention of employing Nigerians.
d. You are not expected to propose businesses involving the production or distribution of weapons, alcohols, tobacco, gambling etc
e. You must prepare an innovative business concept.
Useful Tips for Winning the Competition
There are 1001 things you need to know about YouWIN (Nigeria) business plan competition. However, here’s a summary of the most important ones:
1. YouWiN stands for Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria
2. You can't change your business concept after submission. So think through your business idea properly before hitting the button ‘Submit' on the YouWIN website.
3. If your business is a partnership, YouWIN will accept only one application for your business. So, I will suggest that you submit different applications each (perhaps for different aspects of your business) to increase your chances of winning.
4. You can apply for a minimum of N1 million and a maximum of N10 million naira for your business
5. Existing businesses must be registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria to qualify.
Yes, every member of the YouWIN board signs a non-disclosure agreement before viewing your business concept. Additionally, YouWIN website is fortified against Internet hackers to keep your business concept safe.
What Kinds of Businesses Does YouWIN Support?
YouWIN supports all types of businesses as long as they are viable and can create jobs for Nigerians. Even if you live outside Nigeria, you can participate as long as your business will be located in Nigeria.
What You Should Know to Satisfy the YouWIN Body
If you forget any other thing, note that the main purpose of the YouWIN programme is to generate jobs in Nigeria. Thus, the programme is meant to encourage and support you to develop and execute a sound business idea that will lead to job creation in Nigeria.
In the first stage of the competition, the top 6000 business concepts that meet the YouWIN criteria will be selected. These 6000 winners will be provided training in their different geopolitical zones. Then, they will be asked to submit detailed business plans for the final stage of the competition.
In the final stage of the competition, 1, 200 aspiring entrepreneurs will be selected. Each of them will be given one time equity grant of between N1 million and N10 million.
Is the Money Disbursed from the Government?
The Ministries of Finance, Communication Technology (CT), Youth Development as well as Women Affairs and Social Development collaborated to launch YouWIN business plan competition. The winners selected are funded by private companies.
How will the Money Be Disbursed?
In case you are already thinking “wow! This is free money”; note that,
1. The grant will be paid in tranches based on the needs of your business and specific milestones stated in your business plan. The money will be disbursed to you in 3 or 4 tranches. Every next tranche will be disbursed when you have hit the target for the previous tranche.
The targets you will be required to meet could be number of employees, monthly turnover etc
2. You will be required to register your business with Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria (if you have not) after winning the award.
3. You will be required to operate your business using any of the participating banks in Nigeria.
4. You will need to sign a grant agreement with the managers of YouWIN! before receiving your grant.
The next thing you should do now is to start preparing your business concept. You may head over to the application page on YouWIN (Nigeria) website to see the questions you will be required to answer. Very importantly, make sure you have answered all the questions about your business to the best of your ability before hitting “submit” button on the website.
Head Over to the Application Page. Click >>> YouWIN (Nigeria) Application Page to apply now.