The Ministry of Culture and the Taiwan Creative Content Agency yesterday launched a NT$10 billion (US$342.28 million) loan scheme with 10 participating banks to assist entrepreneurs aged 20 to 45 in the cultural and creative industries.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has introduced a policy to make available NT$60 billion in loans to help young people start businesses after the outbreak of COVID-19, Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) told a news conference in Taipei.
Local banks used to be relatively unfamiliar with loans for cultural and creative businesses, and likewise, cultural and creative businesses are relatively inexperienced in working with banks, Lee said.
For this reason, the ministry asked the Executive Yuan to dedicate NT$10 billion of the NT$60 billion in loans to cultural and creative businesses, he said.
Cultural and creative businesses less than five years old and headed by people aged 20 to 45 can apply for the loans, the ministry said.
Applicants must have taken 20 hours of entrepreneurship courses, either in person or online, it said.
Entrepreneurs in the performing arts, bookstore, crafts, fashion design, animation, music, board game, illustration, magazine, curation, gallery and image licensing sectors, as well as up-and-coming YouTube and podcast creators, are among those who are eligible to apply, the ministry said.
The program offers various kinds of loans — such as up to NT$2 million for “start-up reserves” for businesses in their first eight months, or up to NT$12 million for capital expenditures — for which the government would provide credit guarantees of 80 to 95 percent, it said.
The credit guarantee is provided by the Small & Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund of Taiwan, it said.
For loans of less than NT$1 million, interest would be fully subsidized for five years, it added.
Participating banks are Bank of Taiwan, Chang Hwa Bank, Taiwan Business Bank, Land Bank of Taiwan, Mega International Commercial Bank, First Bank, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, Hua Nan Bank, Taipei Fubon Bank and Taichung Bank, the ministry said.
The ministry is to hold seminars nationwide to explain the loan scheme in detail, it said.
It has also set up a Web page with information about the program, including application forms, it added.
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