Funding educational, scientific, research, and support projects of micro, small, and medium businesses have begun, and contracts have already been signed with the winners of the first competition announced for this purpose. The corresponding funds will be transferred to the bank accounts of the competition winners.
On May 24, the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (ARMSB) arranged an event with the participation of the winners.
Congratulating the competition winners, the chairman of the Agency Board Orkhan Mammadov noted that the first competition for funding educational, scientific, research, and support projects of SMBs was arranged according to the rules approved by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers dated September 30, 2020. It was stressed that despite the competition was arranged for the first time, the interest of entrepreneurs in it was great. In total, 329 projects were submitted for the competition. 129 projects submitted by SMBs were prepared by legal entities, and 193 – by individuals, including 319 micro and 3 small business entities. Of the projects submitted for the competition, 128 ones refer to education, 99 - support, 32 - research, 5 - science, and 65 are multidisciplinary projects.
The Expert Commission has taken a collegial decision to finance 15 projects covering such areas as fuel economy, development of various devices and software, waste recycling, waste-free production, obtaining international certificates and patents, as well as providing employment for women. AZN 14 to 20 thousand were allocated for each project.
To inform SMBs on the competition and provide support in the development of projects, the Agency held educational events, including a webinar, and SMB centers provided entrepreneurs with consulting services; pieces of training were performed. Orkhan Mammadov noted that the agency is interested in the sustainability and usefulness of projects for the SMB sector, as well as in the development of the mechanism as an effective support measure. The Agency will monitor implementing the projects and using the funds for their intended purpose. Thus, to ensure transparency and accountability, monitoring will be performed, and the public will be regularly informed on the project implementation situation. It was also noted that the competition winners may apply to the SMBDA for additional support and receive a “Startup” certificate. The “Startup” certificate will exempt the competition winners from income tax and tax on income from innovation activity for 3 years.
Director of the Center for Ensuring Intellectual Property Rights under the Intellectual Property Agency Najaf Guliyev spoke about the center’s activity and added that the competition winners will be able to use the center’s services.
Note: The acceptance of documents for participation in the first competition for funding educational, scientific, research, and support projects of SMBs was held from February 17 to March 18, the examination and evaluation of the projects – from March 19 to April 23, and the first meeting of the Expert Commission – on April 30. The projects were evaluated according to relevant criteria based on their impact on the development of micro, small, and medium businesses, innovation, the sound idea, the possibility of practical use, the experience and availability of material and technical base required to implement the project, and other similar factors.
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