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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Women and the young offered cash help to start a business ]

Women and the young offered cash help to start a business


WOMEN and young people who want to invest in a new business could soon be eligible for state funding, according to two plans approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday.

Presenting the Trade Ministry’s plans to empower female and youth entrepreneurship yesterday, Minister Antonis Michaelides called on them to take advantage of the new package, which will sponsor half the cost needed to set up a business.

In total, the Cabinet approved €11 million for the period 2007-2013, which will be co-funded by the EU. The plans aim to develop, support and promote entrepreneurship among women aged 18 to 55, as well as young people between 20 and 39.

As the Trade Ministry’s senior officer Andreas Kontos explained, if someone was to open a garage costing €100,000, the government would sponsor half of it. The maximum fund offered per business will be €70,000.

The plan also includes educational seminars – held in Nicosia and Limassol – which business hopefuls will be able to attend free of charge and gain more knowledge on entrepreneurship, such as how to maintain accounts, VAT issues and so on.

“In this way, we will be eliminating the possibility of failure,” Kontos pointed out.

He added that special emphasis would be given to new technologies, innovative methods to produce as well as promote products and services, and the development of ideas that have to do with the environment.

Those who are interested in applying can obtain forms and the Plan Guides from the Trade Ministry’s district and central offices from February 25. Applications must be submitted by May 30, 2008.
For more information on the subject, visit the ministry’s website at www.mcit.gov.cy.

Kontos explained that each application form would be evaluated and graded, and those with the highest grades will be approved for state funding.

In order to approve applications, the ministry will take the following criteria into account:
l The applicant’s knowledge on the sector they wish to invest in – this will count for 15 per cent of his or her grade

l Former experience and especially previous work experience (15 per cent)
l The new business’s viability (30 per cent)

l The wholeness and advisability of the business plan (15 per cent)

l The number of new positions the new business would realistically create (15 per cent)

l The development, production and trade of new products and services (10 per cent)

As Minister Michaelides pointed out, the development of entrepreneurship and small businesses is of vast significance to the EU, which likes to encourage young people and women into developing their own businesses.

“The state’s role and responsibility in the issue of encouraging entrepreneurship is of great importance, as entrepreneurship is the motivating power behind innovation, competition and the development of a state’s economy,” he said.


(Source: Cyprus Mail)





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