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Taiwan invests in the future with assistance for young entrepreneurs

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Following a Ministry of Economic Affairs presentation at today's weekly Cabinet meeting on a program to support young entrepreneurs, Premier Su Tseng-chang said that it is the government's responsibility to help young people overcome the difficulties of starting a business. Under a three-pronged strategy to help fledgling startups meet commonly faced challenges, the government will provide material assistance in the form of adequate funding, widespread services and the establishment of business clusters.

To ensure necessary capital, the government administers low-interest lending that to date has funded more than 7,000 loans worth NT$7.7 billion (US$255.9 million), Premier Su said. In addition, the National Development Fund set up an angel investor fund in 2018 that has led investment of NT$2.8 billion (US$93.1 million) in 77 startup enterprises.

As for services, the premier said that 35 startup service centers have been established throughout Taiwan. These facilities provide not only working space, but also tailored services addressing funding, talent and technology, as well as access to a network of nearly 370 business incubators.

In terms of clusters, last October the premier announced industrial and urban development measures for New Taipei City's Linkou District, including a 15 percent tax credit for investment in startups and other designated industries within the district's five special zones. These incentives have so far drawn more than 140 domestic and foreign startups and enterprises to the area. In addition to the startup cluster in Linkou, the Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City in Tainan is assembling a cluster of smart tech, green energy and other innovative industries. The government will be providing much more land and quality space for startups and young business owners to grow and expand.

President Tsai Ing-wen has outlined four main policies for the next phase of investment in young entrepreneurs, Premier Su continued. Regarding business support, the government will raise the amount of loans available to young entrepreneurs to NT$60 billion (US$2 billion), while smaller loans under NT$1 million (US$33,237) will be administered with improved service, greater speed, and less red tape. As for the National Development Fund, the investment budget for startups will be increased fivefold from the current level to NT$10 billion (US$332.4 million) over four years.

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