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 tentatively set.
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 national economy.
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 enterprise. (end) oj.ajs KUNA 081538 Feb 14NNNN