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Gov’t launches 'Startup Programme' to support businesses

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, June 20
The Government of Georgia has officially launched its Startup Programme that envisages supporting Georgia's youth and other citizens with interesting business ideas to start their own businesses.

When announcing the launch of the programme last Friday, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili addressed young people gathered at Tbilisi Technology Park and appealed to them to never step back if they had interesting business ideas.

“This programme, which is the part of our Four-Point Reform Agenda, will have a positive effect on our country, create new opportunities and develop business aspiration in our country,” the PM said.

“This programme is one of the most essential parts of our economic policy,” the PM added.

Kvirikashvili stressed the financial opportunities of the minds behind different business ideas, stating that their plans would generate incomes for ordinary citizens and significantly increase Georgia’s economic potential.

At the end of the speech, the PM quoted several famous people, and stressed the importance of continued efforts to achieve success in any direction.

The main points of the Startup Programme are:

Applications for the Programme are to be submitted between June 17 to August 1.

Any citizen of Georgia or group of Georgians is eligible to participate in the programme if they have an interesting business idea.

A front office opens in Georgia’s Technology Park, where interested people will be consulted over filling in the application form. The front office also provides comprehensive information into the programme.

The programme coordinators are Georgia’s Partnership Fund and Innovation and Technology Agency.

The Partnership Fund has created a special daughter company, the Startup Georgia fund. The Startup Georgia Fund will form a new joint company (startup) with each beneficiary;

The initiators of the idea will receive at least 10 percent of the whole cost of the project, and the cost of the idea will be at least 40% of the whole project budget. In a joint startup company, the beneficiary will be the owner of at least 50% of shares;

In the future, the beneficiary will have a right to purchase the Fund’s share and become the owner of 100% of shares, or find another investor.

In case the idea necessitates advanced technology and is unique, the beneficiary is wholly financed by the Innovation and Technology Agency. In this situation, the share of the beneficiary in the startup company will be 95%. The maximum amount of money the Agency can allocate for such unique ideas is up to $46,000.

Any business idea can be financed within the program that does not contradict or violate Georgian legislation.

The Innovation and Technology Agency and Startup Georgia Fund ensures free training, coaching, mentoring and consulting for all beneficiaries