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Gov't programs in place to help young people start businesses

TAIPEI--President Ma Ying-jeou said Tuesday that the government will help young people to start up business in an address to mark the sixth anniversary of his May 20, 2008 inauguration.

Meanwhile, a source from the National Development Council (NDC) said that 13 government agencies already have support programs in place to help young people to reach this goal.

The president said in the address that his administration has not ignored young people's anxieties and will help young people to put what they have learned to good use, encourage them to start up businesses, step up efforts to bring about "housing justice" to allow young people to be able to afford to live in Taiwan, and let young people participate in policy making.

To date, the 13 government agencies have launched several support programs to help young people start businesses through improving sharing of resources and removing barriers to business start-ups, according the NDC source.

These support programs include providing preferential business loans for young people. An estimated NT$3 billion (US$99.7 million) will be invested in these programs in three years, according to the source.

Among these programs, a "business angel" project was formally activated Dec. 16, 2013 and an estimated NT$1 billion will be invested over five years to help 60 enterprises a year to set up businesses, rising to 300 companies in five years.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs also introduced a program in January, offering NT$18 million in loans for young people to start their own businesses.

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