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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.9 Start-up funding for young entrepreneurs

Last update: 29 March 2024

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 organisation 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 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. The Ministry oversees the "New Business Activity Funding Scheme" (Σχέδιο Ενίσχυσης Νέας Επιχειρηματικής Δραστηριότητας) with a special emphasis on youth. Notably, the Funding Scheme received 820 applications from both young men and women, illustrating a robust interest in supporting new entrepreneurial ventures. The budget allocated for this call amounts to €30 million. More information about this here.
  2. The Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund (CYPEF), as detailed in the National Reform Programme 2023, continues its support for both working capital and investment loans to Small-Medium Enterprises.
  3. Tax relief for investments in innovative SMEs: As mentioned in the National Reform Programme 2023, the initial tax scheme for investing in start-ups and innovative companies, which was operational from 2017 until 30/6/2021, provided 50% tax relief, up to €150,000 per year, for private investors investing in certified innovative companies. An extension period has been announced until 30/6/2024.

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. However, due to lack of financial incentives by the government, the Law is still ineffective.