Each month, we aim to bring you interesting policy developments impacting entrepreneurs around the world through Startup Nations, a global network of public sector officials and policy advisors focused on empowering entrepreneurs and stimulating new firm formation.
Below are the policy developments that happened this July 2019.
Malaysia targets 250,000 entrepreneurs to create one million jobs
With its newly launched National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 (NEP 2030), Malaysia hopes to empower 250,000 entrepreneurs who can collectively create one million new jobs. NEP 2030 focuses on empowering the bottom 40% income group (B40) by driving a culture of entrepreneurship.
To achieve this goal, the government will, for example, undertake a comprehensive effort to help entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make the switch to robotic automation technology, according to Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
The Minister Entrepreneur Development, Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof, in turn told local media that under NEP 2030, the government hopes to promote innovation across all industries by improving the business environment. Redzuan also added that the NEP 2030 is a dynamic policy and they will take an experimental approach, improving through continuous engagement of all stakeholders.
Read more, here.
Future Jobs Ireland seeks to leverage entrepreneurship across the country
The Irish Government is developing new policy instruments for SMEs and entrepreneurship under their Future Jobs Ireland strategy. At the occasion of a July 12 conference to discuss a draft roadmap for SME and entrepreneurship policy, prepared by the OECD for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the Government announced two new funds worth a combined €3 million.
Both funds will be operated through Ireland's network of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). Minister for Business, Heather Humphreys, said: “As we work to boost productivity levels in our enterprise base, these new funds, combined with existing supports, will ensure that we can reach even the smallest business in the most rural area.”
The first and largest fund is a €2.5m Competitive Fund for projects focusing on the priority areas identified in Future Jobs Ireland, and the Regional Enterprise Plans (e.g. innovation, Brexit readiness or market diversification). The second is the Productivity Challenge Fund worth €500,000 which will be used to address productivity gaps, including through the adoption of lean business practices. It will also incorporate business opportunities in the green economy.
Lithuania follows Estonia’s example and will be the third country to offer e-residency
Lithuania has embarked on a path to introduce an e-residency program.The Baltic country's Parliament passed on July 16, 2019, a legal amendment that will allow foreigners to obtain the status of an e-resident starting in January 2021. Similar to Estonia’s e-residency program, Lithuanian e-residents will be able to set up companies, open bank accounts, and declare taxes online.
Estonia was the first nation to launch in 2014 an avenue to obtain a government-issued digital ID for anyone who wishes to start and run a global business in the European Union. Azerbaijan then followed with its own Electronic Residency program. “We expect to see more and more countries adopting this model in the future, so that means we have work to do to ensure that Estonia's pioneering e-Residency programme is constantly improving” read Estonia’s e-residency Linkedin post.
Latvia iterates on its startup visa
More news on entrepreneurship policy developments came from the Baltic region. The Latvian Startup Visa just got improved. Applicants who have tested this avenue have said that the visa was easy to get, but relatively difficult to keep due to the requirement to raise to raise at least €30k within 6 months, from one of the seven government-accredited Venture Capital funds. In response, the government has ruled that raising VC funding is no longer a requirement to keep the residence permit. See more, here. This is a state initiative to make the country an attractive destination for high value-added, rapid-growth startups.
For more policy news, please check the latest entries to the Startup Nations Atlas of Policies.
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