By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Economy continues to provide entrepreneurs operating in the regions with financial support to stimulate entrepreneurship across the country.
The Entrepreneurship Development Fund under the Ministry issued soft loans to entrepreneurs of the Ganja-Gazakh economic region for a total of 631,000 manats ($371,289), during a business forum held in Goranboy region on October 22.
Soft loans were granted for the implementation of projects in the field of livestock, fish farming, horticulture and the production of mineral waters.
The implementation of these projects will open up 70 new jobs.
In general, Entrepreneurship Development Fund has so far allocated soft loans totaling 290 million manats ($170.64 million) to entrepreneurs of this economic region for the implementation of 7,000 projects.
The meeting featured presentation on sample investment projects for establishment of grain growing, vegetable growing, intensive horticulture, breeding farms, fruit and milk processing enterprises.
Azerbaijani Entrepreneurship Development Fund was established on the basis of the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support, operating in the country since 1997.
The authorized capital of the Fund was set at 1.9 billion manats ($1.1 billion). Loans are issued for 5,000 ($2,933) to 50,000 manats ($29,326) for a period of 3 years, from 50,000 to 1 million manats ($586,510) for 5 years and from 1million to 10 million ($5.87 million) for 10 years. The annual loan rate is 5 percent.
The Fund intends to issue soft loans worth 160 million manats ($94 million) this year. In general, the Fund has issued soft loans in the amount of more than 2.3 billion manats ($1.35 billion) so far. About 68 percent of the loans was directed to the agricultural sector.