How to Apply for Financial Assistance from NSFAS

How to Apply for NYDA Funding 

Are you a young entrepreneur with a business idea or an existing business in need of financial assistance? If yes, then you might want to consider applying for a grant from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). Through the NYDA Grant Programme, the agency provides financial support to young entrepreneurs with promising enterprise development prospects. Between 2019 and 2020, the agency funded 1136 youth-owned enterprises and supported a total of 20 730 beneficiaries with business development support services.  


What does the NYDA grant provide? 

The NYDA provides between R1000 and R200 000 in financial assistance to individuals, youth cooperatives and community development facilitation projects. The funding options are divided according to the following categories:

Threshold 1 Idea generation and survivalist stage (start-ups): R1 000 – R10 000

Threshold 2 Start-up enterprises and cooperatives: R10 001 – R50 000

Threshold 3 Growth stage enterprises and cooperatives: R50 001 – R100 000

Threshold 4 Expansion stage enterprises and cooperatives: R100 001 – R200 000  

Agriculture and technology-related projects can receive up to R250 000. The grant funding can be used for purchasing assets, renovations, paying working capital to grantees, bridging finance and co-funding with legal entities. In addition to financial support, those who qualify for the grant programme can also receive non-financial support services such as mentorship, consultancy services and training programmes.

Do you qualify for NYDA funding?

To qualify for the NYDA grant, you must be a South African citizen between 18 and 35 years old. The latest you can apply is three months before you turn 35. You need to be residing within South Africa and operating a 100% youth-owned formal or informal business. The business must be commercially viable and sustainable. In addition, you must possess relevant experience, skills or qualifications appropriate for the enterprise that you conduct or intend to conduct. You must be involved in the day-to-day operation of the business, and at least one member, preferably the main applicant, must be a full-time employee of the business.

Note that you do not qualify for the NYDA grant programme if:

● Your enterprise has an annual turnover of over R750 000

● Your cooperative has an annual turnover of over R1 000 000

● You seek funding for research and development.  

● You have been convicted of fraud.

● You are under debt administration.

● The primary source of your business income is tobacco, alcohol or gambling.

● You have received grant funding above R500 000 from another Development Finance Institution.  

You are also required to have a business mentor or coach approved by the NYDA. If the application is approved in cases where you do not have one, the NYDA will allocate a business mentor. If the grant application is successful, the applicant may be required to resign from their full-time employment and provide proof. Another important requirement is that you must be enrolled in the Business Management training programme facilitated by the NYDA for young entrepreneurs or have proof of having attended the training course.  


The Business Management training programme, which is approved and accredited by the International Labour Organisation, is designed to support entrepreneurs in idea generation, survivalist, start-up, early development, and expansion stages. Participants will learn to start and grow their businesses and create employment over three to six training days. A presentation and pitching session may be included in some cases, and certificates of completion are issued on the last day of training. To apply for the Business Management Training, you need to visit your nearest NYDA branch.​  

Application process 

To start the application process, visit the nearest NYDA branch ​ or district office to conduct a pre-assessment before the grant application. Alternatively, you can contact the NYDA call centre on 0800 52 52 52. It is strongly advised, however, to visit the nearest branch to avoid long delays. 

Make sure to fill out the NYDA Voucher and Grant Client Application Form. You can download it here.​ Submit the application form at the NYDA branch with the following supporting documents:

● A certified identity document (ID)

● Proof of residence

● A copy of your company registration form (if it is registered)

● A company profile

● A detailed list of current employees

● A personal or business bank statement

● A business plan (if you are applying for a grant above R50 000)

● Quotations from suppliers  

● Proof of attending the Business Management Training course.

You will also be required to make a 10-minute business pitch or presentation. This can be done in person or telephonically. An NYDA official will then perform a due diligence assessment, and the business will undergo a credit check. 

Applications are processed within 30 working days. The Branch Grant Approval and Review Committee will review your application and determine a final and binding outcome. Applicants cannot appeal rejected applications, but you may re-apply for grant funding (provided that you still meet the qualification criteria, of course). If the application is approved, the disbursement will be approved by Head Office within 30 working days.