Fri, Jan 10, 2020 - Page 3 News List

March eyed for entrepreneur program

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Chuan-neng speaks during a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

A new youth entrepreneurship program unveiled last month by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last month could materialize in March at the soonest, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Chuan-neng (林全能) said yesterday.

The program aims to have the government act as guarantor to help applicants secure loans totaling up to NT$60 billion (US$2 billion), or NT$1 million per applicant, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said.

Young people planning to establish a company would be required to fill out a form at a dedicated window instead of presenting a proposal and would then be put through an accelerated evaluation process that would allow them to receive funds within seven days, with the government would pay interest of up to 1.67 percent on the loans for the first five years, it said.

The government has been talks with banks that have expressed a willingness to undertake the program to discuss the possibility of establishing a dedicated window at bank branches nationwide to start receiving applications in March or April, Lin told a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei.

The ministry said that it would also establish a homegrown youth incubator to aid young people returning to their hometowns to set up companies.

It hopes to replicate the success of the Start-up Terrace in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口) and create a similar cluster of innovative start-ups in Tainan’s Shalun (沙崙) area, the ministry said.

While such hubs are currently concentrated in the six special municipalities, Lin said that he hopes incubators could be decentralized and established in townships.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said he has asked MOEA staff to act as undercover customers to test the banks’ progress on introducing such programs.

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