MINSK, 13 November (BelTA) – OAO Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus (DBRB) intends to expand the lineup of loans available to small and medium private businesses in early 2018, BelTA learned from DBRB Chairman of the Board Sergei Rumas during the opening ceremony of the 7th international entrepreneurship forum, which was part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Belarus, on 13 November.
“We intend to expand the lineup of our products designed to support small and medium business in early 2018. Businessmen will be able to contact our partner banks to get affordable long-term loans in foreign currency,” noted Sergei Rumas.
Since the entrepreneurship encouragement program began, the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus has financed some 1,300 projects worth Br360 million via the partner banks. “The Development Bank could not have done it alone. It is a result of the work done by the 13 partner banks, which directly lend money to private companies using our resources. The Development Bank is also going to start financing leasing in order to make these services more affordable for small and medium business,” he said.
According to the source, the results produced by the entrepreneurship encouragement program have allowed the Development Bank to channel the support of international and foreign financial organizations to Belarusian SMEs. Agreements were signed with the World Bank and the UAE Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development in 2017. The World Bank money is used to support a large variety of businesses. The UAE money will be used to support innovative startups at a cost, which is unprecedentedly low for Belarus, said Sergei Rumas.
Sergei Rumas believes it is necessary to follow the policy of creating a startup nation. “In the countries, which are now dubbed as startup nations, in addition to creating a favorable environment and stimulating venture financing the state itself becomes a startup investor,” said Sergei Rumas. “Belarus is following this way, too. A Belarusian-Russian venture fund has started working. Intentions have been voiced to set up a venture investment fund with China. I believe we will make a revolutionary step on the way to the startup nation when we recognize the inalienable right of every person to run risks, make errors, and fail in the course of entrepreneurship. Then there will be many startups and many successful startups. In turn, the projects, which are growing larger, are becoming interesting for banks, investment funds, and large business.”
The Global Entrepreneurship Week is scheduled to take place in Belarus on 13-19 November. This year's event is focused on startups. The week began with the international entrepreneurship forum dedicated to the synergy of startups and corporations. Participants of the forum are expected to discuss innovative business strategies, financial instruments for supporting private business, and so on. Investor's Day, which will be full of lectures and workshops for investors and business angels, is part of the program.
The Global Entrepreneurship Week is held in over 160 countries across the globe and helps 20 million people implement their potential through participating in 95,000 events. Belarus joined the Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2011 and became the 137th participating state of the world's largest entrepreneurship initiative.More about Economy