Staff Writer

StartUp Namibia and its partners have announced Round 2 of the COVID-19 Startup Grant, where grants of N$15,000 each will be provided on a competitive basis to 500 start-ups.

The COVID-19 Startup Survival Grant is aimed at helping start-ups and small businesses to supplement wages, fixed costs, and offset declining revenue.

“Looking on the massive impact of COVID-19 on the private sector, we are very happy to extend the targeted support for start-ups 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,” said Gerlinde Sauer, Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Namibia.

The announcement comes nearly 5 months after the first lockdown, with small enterprises in limbo with the resumption of operations slow, a development which has seen business closures and retrenchments.

“The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new normal which had immediate repercussions for the Namibian economy. For start-ups and small businesses, the restrictions that ensued to curb the spread of the virus meant immediate and massive loss of income and jobs.”

The second round of funding comes after StartUp Namibia together with the Ministry of Industrialization and Trade (MIT) ,with funds from the German Government in May successfully provided the COVID-19 Startup Grants worth N$15,000 each to 200 businesses.

The grant supported various start-ups and small growing businesses to bear the brunt of the pandemic.

“However, in this round a total of 500 start-ups will benefit from the grant. In addition to female-led or female-founded start-ups, start-ups in the Erongo region and those operating in the hospitality and tourism sector as well as arts and culture are especially encouraged to apply.”