It’s been over 6 months since most of the world went into the COVID-19 lockdown, and even though some individuals and businesses are quickly recovering from the effects of the pandemic, others are not sure whether their financial operations will be able to survive at all. The Federal Government’s latest initiative, the MSME Survival Fund, was announced last week, and here is everything you need to know about it.
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1. What is the MSME Survival Fund?
The MSME Survival Fund is the newest initiative by the Federal Government aimed at micro, small, and medium enterprises, as well as individuals whose income was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and there is no sign of improvement at the moment. The Survival Fund was designed to provide help in several directions:
- Help businesses meet payroll obligations;
- Issue free CAC registration to new businesses;
- Give out ₦50,000 each to businesses most affected by the pandemic;
- Provide grants to artisans and transportation business operators.
2. Who can apply?
In order to qualify for the MSME Survival Fund payroll or business support, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be a CAC-registered business;
- Be a Nigerian business owner;
- Have staff of no less than 3 employees;
- Have a BVN as a CEO.
The MSME Survival Fund program is also open to self-employed individuals – specifically, transport business operators (bus drivers, taxi drivers, Uber drivers, and so on) and artisans, including electricians, plumbers, and other niche specialists who are not employed by a larger business. There is also a special provision in the program guaranteeing that 45% of the funds will be allocated to female business owners and self-employed individuals, and 5% of the financial assistance will be granted to participants with special needs.
3. When can you apply?
The registration for the Survival Fund went live exactly a week ago, on September 21, and was originally only open to the education sector. Then, on September 25, the registration for the fund became open to the hospitality industry. Today, on September 28, at 12 a.m., the registration for the MSME Survival Fund will be launched for all kinds of applicants from any industry. The deadline for the applications is October 15, so you have plenty of time to have all the necessary paperwork and information ready.
4. How to apply for the MSME Survival Fund
The Federal Government has launched two websites to go along with the Survival Fund initiative. You can visit https://survivalfund.ng/ to find out more about the program, or you can go directly to https://www.survivalfundapplication.com/ to register for the program. Here are the steps you will need to take:
- Go to https://www.survivalfundapplication.com/.
- To sign up for the program, first you will need to choose your registration purpose. At the moment, only the Payroll Support Scheme is available, while other subsections of the Survival Fund are expected to go live some time later.
- Fill in the fields using your personal information. Among other things, you will need to enter your mobile phone number, email, and choose your location. At this stage, you will also be asked to provide your password.
- Next you will need to activate your account using a 6-digit confirmation code that will be sent to your email and phone number.
- Now you are signed up for the MSME Survival Fund, but only as an individual. To qualify for financial help from the government, you will need to add at least one business to your personal profile. Click Add Organization in your profile to get to the next stage of the process.
- Enter the information about your business, including the CAC, TIN, and VAT data, headquarters location, number of employees, business type, and your BVN. Submit the information to the site.
Starting from Octover 1, you will also need to upload scanned copies of your business documents:
- Company registration details;
- Turnover for the past 12 months;
- Employee account information and BVNs;
- Proof of the last 3 salaries you paid out to your employees.
Once all the information is visible in your account, you will be able to access the funds once they become available to the applicants.
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