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Belarus' Development Bank working on concept of venture capital fund for early investment stages

Economy 13.11.2019 | 17:18
Andrei Zhishkevich. An archive photo
Andrei Zhishkevich. An archive photo

MINSK, 13 November (BelTA) – The Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus (DBRB) is working on a concept for setting up a venture capital fund for early stages of investment, BelTA learned from DBRB Chairman of the Board Andrei Zhishkevich on 13 November.

Andrei Zhishkevich noted that Belarus already has business incubators, acceleration programs, and investment funds. The DBRB is intent on helping this market get established. “We are now working hard on a concept for setting up a venture capital fund for early stages of investment,” the official said.

The market needs investments from full-fledged venture capitalists, Andrei Zhishkevich believes. Foreign funds may come to operate on the Belarusian market but it is important for Belarusian investors to become such capitalists. In his words, it is a high-risk market segment. Statistics demonstrates that 80-90% of the startups turn out to be unviable while the remaining 10% promise lucrative returns on investment.

In turn, Belarusian Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Matusevich noted there are plans to update the law on state support for entrepreneurship. Business unions and leading experts are being polled in order to work out the concept. The Economy Ministry has sent out questionnaires with a detailed description of all components of the current system for business support and the future one.

The Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus and the Economy Ministry are some of the partners of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, which is scheduled to take place in Minsk and Brest on 18-24 November. The main events include the 9th international entrepreneurship forum scheduled to take place in Minsk on 19 November and the first regional entrepreneurship forum scheduled to take place in Brest on 21 November. The conferences FinTech Day and Investor's Factory will take place as well as a competition of startups Belbiz Battle. The best mentor of the year 2019 will be awarded. The DBRB will present its own program for supporting small and medium businesses and will award the best partner banks.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is a worldwide initiative that takes place in 170 countries at the same time in order to promote entrepreneurship, encourage business cooperation, and find new ideas. The business communication center Belbiz is the GEW's official representative in Belarus. Partners of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Belarus include the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the UK embassy in Belarus, Belagroprombank, BelVEB Bank, and the UNDP's project for developing local initiatives.

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