Financing of start-up projects to resume

By: Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijan will continue to support start-up projects by financing them from the state budget.

The next tranche of grant funding for start-up projects selected on a competitive basis will be allocated from the country’s state budget by the end of this year, said Elchin Zeynalov, executive director of the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies.

The delay in funding has been attributed to the amendments to the law ‘On Grants’, he explained.

“Fifty start-up projects had been funded in the first contest. By the end of the year [in the framework of the next competitive selection] the number of start-ups will be increased to 100,” he said.

“Of course, there is some dissatisfaction with respect to the sum of the grant, which is only 15,000-20,000 manat. However, the Supervisory Board of the State Fund is ready to provide the necessary financial support to those projects that really prove their worth, prospects and investment attractiveness,” Zeynalov stressed.

The State Fund for the Development of Information Technologies has received proposals for start-up projects as part of the third annual grant competition, which was held from October 2 to November 2.

This time, the process of submission was simplified with the E-Grant section on ictfund.gov.az, which provided the start-ups to upload their entries online.

Those projects seeking to receive grants must meet the following requirement: when it comes to software development, the software must demonstrate the need for additional development in the future.

The State Fund for Information Technologies Development was established in March 2012 to carry out state policy on the development and support of small enterprises in science and technology, providing them with direct financial assistance and training which, in turn, will contribute to the creation of new jobs.

The State Fund for the Development of Information Technologies allocated 4.6 million manats for financing IT projects in Azerbaijan in 2014. A part of these funds was provided as soft loans to 12 entrepreneurs specializing in the field of information and communication technologies.

SOURCE: AZER NEWS

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