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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.9 Start-up funding for young entrepreneurs

Last update: 24 March 2022

Access to information

The top-level policy measures implemented to ensure that young people know about funding opportunities to create a start-up, programmes and service providers devoted to the funding of start-up, and specific professional guidance are the following:

The Youth Board of Cyprus is responsible to promote the Scheme for the development of New Business activity (Σχέδιο Ενίσχυσης Νέας Επιχειρηματικής Δραστηριότητας) which was announced in May 2021 by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry (Industry and Technology Service).

More specifically, the Youth Board of Cyprus is responsible for:

  • The promotion of the program and the distribution of relevant information to young people,
  • The organization of seminars to present the program,
  • The provision of technical assistance and other consultation to interested people,
  • The enhancement of the cooperation among young entrepreneurs participating to the program.

Access to capital

The grant based schemes for young entrepreneurs specific for start-up creation are the following:

  1. The "Students in Action" Program (Φοιτητές σε Δράση) is a grant program, implemented by the Youth Board of Cyprus in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth. The purpose of the Program is to support and empower students. The program aims to: (a) enhance research and documentation on youth issues, (b) enhance the employability of young people through strengthening their skills and abilities, (c) strengthen the participation of students and (d) enhance student entrepreneurship. The "Students in Action" Program supports and is linked to the implementation of the National Youth Strategy.
  2. The Scheme for the development of New Business activity ("Σχέδιο ενίσχυσης νέας επιχειρηματικής δραστηριότητας") under the umbrella of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry. The program aims to develop, support and promote entrepreneurship, by focusing on specific target groups, such as young people and women who wish to do business in any economic activity, utilizing their knowledge, experience and talents. Beneficiaries are unemployed or employed, (a) young people aged 18-29, (b) men aged 30-50 and (c) women aged 30-55. Young people aged 18-29 are entitled up to 70% of funding. 
  3. The Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund (CYPEF). As mentioned in the National Reform Programme 2020, the Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund supports both working capital and investment loans to Small-Medium Enterprises.
  4. Tax incentives. As mentioned in the National Reform Programme 2020, the amended Income Tax Law N135(I)/2016, established a framework of incentives effective from January 2017 until the end of 2020 through tax relief to individuals who invest in innovative Small-Medium Enterprises, including start-ups, either directly or through an investment fund. The incentives provide for the following:
  • exemption of the investment from the investor's taxable income (up to a maximum amount of 50% of the taxable income);
  • deduction of up to €150,000 per year as well as the right of allocation and distribution of the
  • discount in a 5 (five) year period, and investment in shares, loans, or granting guarantees to innovative companies.

As reported in the aforementioned National Reform Plan, the measure was promoted in the context of the Policy Statement on the Enhancement of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem with the goal to support business innovation and also support the efforts of young scientists and the startup community.

Lastly, it has to be underlined the fact that a new law regarding the establishment of Social Enterprises has been voted by the Parliament (December 2020) (ο περί Κοινωνικών Επιχειρήσεων Νόμος του 2010 (Ν.207(Ι)/2020), which creates a positive environment for the creation of new business endeavor for young people.