StartUp Namibia launches Round 2 of COVID 19 Startup Grant

StartUp Namibia launches Round 2 of COVID 19 Startup Grant

Published: 04-09-2020 08:48:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 613 | Tags:

In order to support more startups and young enterprises, StartUp Namibia and its partners announced Round 2 of the COVID-19 Startup Grant, called “Startup Survival Grant”. As with the first round, grants of 15,000 N$ each will be provided on a competitive basis to startups. However, in this round a total of 500 startups will benefit from the grant.

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new normal which had immediate repercussions for the Namibian economy. For startups and small businesses, the restrictions that ensued to curb the spread of the virus meant immediate and massive loss of income and jobs. In May 2020, StartUp Namibia together with the Ministry of Industrialization and Trade (MIT) and with funds from the German Government successfully provided the COVID-19 Startup Grant worth 15,000 N$ each to 200 businesses. The grant supported various startups and small growing businesses to bear the brunt of the pandemic.

Gerlinde Sauer, Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Namibia said: “Looking on the massive impact of COVID-19 on the private sector, we are very happy to extend the targeted support for startups and young SMEs during this challenging time. Additional funding for this project is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. We hope that innovative entrepreneurs, especially women, will be able to continue with this support their businesses and lay the basis for their growth in order to make a major impact for a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery  of Namibia.''

Nearly 5 months after the first lockdown small enterprises remain in limbo while the resumption of operations is slow. The country remains in the National Stage 3 lockdown and this extended pressure on the businesses is evident in the number of closures and retrenchments.

In addition to female-led or female-founded startups, startups in the Erongo region and those operating in the hospitality and tourism sector as well as arts and culture are especially encouraged to apply. COVID-19 Startup Grant recipients from Round 1 do not qualify for the #StartUpSurvivalGrant. The COVID-19 Startup Survival Grant will help startups and small businesses meeting the specified criteria to receive a direct supplement to pay wages, fixed costs, and offset decline in revenue.

Lucia Iipumbu, Minister of Industrialization and Trade at the launch of the #StartUpSurvivalGrant said: “As you can hear in the name, the Startup Survival Grant is there to ensure that you are able to push through this terrible time”

Eligibility criteria

Eligible businesses must be registered and in operation for less than five years and have a business bank account in the name of the applicant business. Startups in the Erongo region, female-led or female-founded startups as well as startups in sectors hit the hardest by the pandemic (i.e. hospitality and tourism, arts and culture) are specifically encouraged to apply. To apply, businesses will need to submit the following via an online application at
•    Founding Statement from BIPA
•    MSME Certificate will be an advantage
•    Bank statements for June - August 2020 of business bank account
•    Business continuity plan to detail the use of funds and strategies to save jobs

Online Applications opened on 2 September until 16 September 2020. An independent committee comprising of StartUp Namibia stakeholders and partners will assess the grant applications. Grants will be awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. The grant totaling approximately N$ 7.5 million will be disbursed to the successful businesses in a single payment at the beginning of October 2020.