Many years ago , the NYDA approved us for grant funding of R23 000 that went towards our printer , laptop and projector . Early this year I got another great email that we were approved for my second application of R100 000 that will go towards purchasing laptops , a bigger printer ,a camera and 2 projectors . I would like to share my experience with you so that you consider applying if you are between the ages of 18-35 and if you have a fundable business.

As someone who is not a first time applicant , I qualified to apply for the third threshold of anything between R50K-R100K . This was because my business was still existing and there was some level of growth since my last application years prior. Firstly , I had to apply twice because of NYDA administrative issues . Just for interest sake , these are the four thresholds that exists in the NYDA grant funding programme as of April 2022.

Threshold 1Idea generation and survivalist (start-ups)R1,000 – R10,000
Threshold 2Start-ups PTY and cooperatives R10,001 – R50,000
Threshold 3Growth stage PTY and cooperatives R50,001 – R100,000
Threshold 4Expansion stage PTY and cooperatives R100,001 – R200,000*

My first application for threshold 3 was submitted on the 16th of June 2021. Everything was in order and I had put a day aside to make sure that all documents were up to date. Months later when I followed up , I was told by that the system had changed and I needed to resubmit everything online and not physically .After setting aside another whole day to resubmit everything online ,it took NYDA about 2-3 months for them to approve my application. My application was approved in January 2022 and 3 months later, I am still waiting for them to pay out the funds to the suppliers. One paper , they are supposed to pay out after 30 working days .

My Tips To You

  1. Always make sure your paper work is in order : From your business plan , compliance documents , to your management accounts , don’t wait until you apply to get things in order . Make sure all your documents are updated and ready for anything .
  2. Follow up – You are the one seeking for assistance . Know that this won’t be a once of exercise so once you have submitted your application , follow up with the necessary people on a regular bases.
  3. Build Relationships – Remember that the people helping you are human just like you .So build the relationships and be genuine . This really helped me navigate the whole process .
  4. Try to get everything from one supplier – This will help you in the long run since NYDA will not pay directly to you but to your supplier . They will need their bank confirmation and there might be an ongoing back and forth.
  5. Be patient with the process – Many entrepreneurs I know today do not benefit from such programmes because they expect everything to happen overnight . Learn to be patient with the process whilst you continue to work on your business . If it comes , it comes , if not it’s not the end of the world .
  6. Take advantage of their new online system and submit your application from the comfort of your own home .
  7. Remember you will also need to have attended a business management training in order for you to qualify for any funding . While the NYDA offers this for free , they often have a long waiting list of people just like you. Connect with your nearest SEDA and try and join any free ESD programme near you.

Hoping this information will help you as you prepare to take advantage fo these oppurtunities .

Luphumlo Joka is the Director of Global Leadership Consultants (PTY) Ltd and a self published author , speaker and trainer that works with SMME’s all over the Eastern Cape

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