Xinhua: Yingluck sets up “Start-Up” fund for graduating students

Xinhua;  A government fund will be provided to finance small-sized, innovative businesses of young people who have graduated from Thailand’s universities and vocational colleges. The government under Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has prepared a sum of 15 billion baht (500 million U.S. dollars), formally called the Entrepreneurs Fund, which will be loaned to those who may have graduated from universities or vocational colleges inside the country for no more than five years. Each of the applicants may be given a maximum of three million baht (100,000 U.S. dollars) from the Entrepreneurs Fund to start up their small-sized private businesses in the country. It will carry a 1-2 percent interest rate and a repayment term of 7-10 years. The Fund, viewed as a populist policy of the ruling Puea Thai Party, will be readily available from early next month for Thai prospective entrepreneurs who can apply at the campuses where they have graduated. According to Deputy Finance Minister Tanusak Lek-uthai, the Fund may finance varied fields of business, including agriculture, industry, tourism, art and cultural promotio and information technology. Yingluck presided on Wednesday over the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the administration of the Fund between the Office of Higher Education Commission, an agency under the Education Ministry, and Thai Credit Guarantee Corp., a government- run company which will screen and endorse applications for the Fund. The Government Savings Bank, the government-owned Krung Thai Bank and a few other financial institutions will jointly contribute 10 billion baht (333 million U.S. dollars) to the 15 billion baht (500 million U.S. dollars) Fund and the balance will be covered by the government’s current budget. “Any graduates, who have innovative, creative qualities and knowledge, may apply for the Entrepreneurs Fund. They could probably make a new generation of professional, prolific, small- sized entrepreneurs, given the Fund to start up their businesses. The government is gladly providing the opportunity for the young people to have access to such a source of financial support,” said the female prime minister.

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