By Osama Jalal
KUWAIT, Feb 8 (KUNA) -- Bolstered by a KD 2 billion capital, the National
Fund for Development of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) will start
things rolling during the second half of this year, declared Minister of
Finance Anas Al-Saleh on Saturday.
Currently the Fund's legal underpinnings are being hammered out, he told
KUNA on the sideline of a meeting by the Fund's Supreme Advisory Council which
the minister chaired here today.
This is the first meeting of the Council, he said, in which diverse expert
opinions were listened to and the legal parameters of the Fund were
He pointed out that the government's attention to SMEs is spurred by its
wish to attract young Kuwaiti entrepreneurs to delve into establishing small
and medium-sized commercially-viable projects in a bid to create alternative
options for them to support themselves financially and to help diversify the
Young entrepreneurs often cannot get a business idea off the ground for one
primary reason and that is lack of a starting capital, said the minister, an
obstacle which the Fund will adequately address.
He furthermore noted that young Kuwaitis who work in the public sector will
have the opportunity to tap into the Fund to start a small business. This
option was not available to them in the past but now they can hold on to their
government employment while starting a small business on the side using
start-up financing from the Fund, he said.
The Fund is clear evidence that the government seeks to gradually pull out
of the private sector and leave the field wide open to new university
graduates to take the plunge into running SMEs.
Taking any trepidation out of the process of taking on an SME, the minister
assured all young Kuwaiti entrepreneurs that the only requirement the Fund
would ask of them would be whether they had a successful idea for a project or
KUNA 081538 Feb 14NNNN