Azerbaijan launches funding to support start-up projects
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.21
By Huseyn Valiyev - Trend:
The Azerbaijani State Fund for Development of Information Technology Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies has received the first tranche in the amount of $ 2.5 million manat from the state budget for financing start-up projects, a source at telecommunications market of Azerbaijan told Trend on Feb. 21.
The funds will be distributed in the form of grants and loans through authorized credit organizations, according to the source.
Some 5 million manat is provided from the budget for financing of start-up projects in Azerbaijan in 2014. Allocation of the second tranche of funds is expected in May.
"The opening date for the start-up projects competition for obtaining grant funding is expected next week. Approval of the decision on the matter is expected within the next meeting of the Supervisory Board of the State Fund," the source said.
Grant funds will be disbursed from the fund directly, and loans distributed through authorized credit organizations.
The maximum grant amount may reach 300,000 manats (for 36 months). Small grants are provided in size from 10,000 to 100,000 manats, medium - from 100,000 to 200,000 manat, and large - from 200,000 to 300,000 manats.
Loans will be granted for a period of 10 years with an annual interest rate of 5 percent. The maximum loan amount may reach 5 million manat.
Pasha Bank, Bank Respublika, Demir Bank, Rabita Bank and BTB Bank act as authorized Agents of the State Fund. At present, banks have already started to receive applications from ICT entrepreneurs for loans. Evaluation of investment projects will be implemented directly by the banks themselves.
A decree establishing the Ministry of Communications and information technologies of Azerbaijan of the State fund of development of information technologies was signed by the President of Azerbaijan on March 15, 2012.
The main objectives of the fund are public policies for development and support of small enterprises in scientific and technical sphere, providing them with direct financial assistance, training, which in turn will contribute to new job opportunities in the country.
The official exchange rate for February 21 is 0.7845 AZN / USD.
Translated by S.I.
Edited by C.N