By Nigar Orujova
Authorized banks of Azerbaijan's State Fund of Information Technologies Development have begun to granting loans for the development of IT-projects, the Communications and High Technologies Ministry reported.
The Ministry said the total amount of credit given by Pasha Bank and Bank Respublika to two Azerbaijani companies GoldenPay and Enginet is 900,000 manats (about $1,146,640).
GoldenPay was given 400,000 manats ($509,619) to develop a system of online payments, and 500,000 manats ($637,024) was allocated to Enginet to expand the network infrastructure and introduce modern technologies.
Currently, Pasha Bank, Bank Respublika, Demir Bank, Rabita Bank and Bank BTB are authorized agents of the fund to finance start-up projects.
Earlier, the fund said, a number of IT-entrepreneurs have already applied to the authorized banks to obtain loans for the development of their start-up projects. The projects are examined and evaluated in terms of profitability.
Credit financing of the projects is implemented by means of the fund that are allocated from the state budget. The state allocated five million manats to the development of the start-up projects in 2014.
The amount of funding may be extended for an additional five million manats taking into account the efficient allocation of funds provided for the financing of projects in the current year.
The small, medium and large loans are granted for financing the projects. Amount of the small loans may vary from 10,000 to 50,000 manats (over three years), medium from 50,000 to 500,000 manats (up to five years), and large from 500,000 to five million (to 10 years).
The interest rate of the loans will not exceed five percent per annum.
The State Fund was established to develop and support small enterprises in the scientific and technical fields through investments, grants and credits.
Earlier, the fund set to finance 31 start-up projects that were selected out of 194 projects, presented to the fund.
These projects are mainly focused on high technology, e-payment, software applications, air navigation system, e-government, e-commerce, projects in education, health and others.