Young people have benefited greatly from the government’s one-stop integrated startup guidance services, and the number of visitors to the government-run International Entrepreneur Initiative Taiwan—a web portal of information and resources for startups—has soared, Premier Chang San-cheng remarked today.
Given their encouraging initial results, these services should be further promoted, the premier added. He made these remarks at the Cabinet’s weekly meeting after a briefing by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on fostering social innovation and youth entrepreneurship.
The MOEA explained that the integrated services for youth startups focus on inspiring young businesspeople, offering assistance, providing funding resources, and supporting innovative research and development. In 2015, a total of 3,740 startups were created through this network of support, over 40 percent of them innovative high-tech businesses targeting international markets.
Premier Chang said that in order to expand possibilities for young entrepreneurs, fledgling facilities or services such as the Executive Yuan Start-up Hub (formerly the site of the premier’s official residence) as well as a touring startup service will be linked with related establishments including the TAF Innovation Base, the Taiwan Rapid Innovation Prototyping League for Entrepreneurs, and the Taiwan Innovation Entrepreneurship Center.
According to the MOEA, the government has provided several channels to help new businesses raise funds, including the Go Incubation Board for Startup and Acceleration Firms (GISA), equity crowdfunding, and youth start-up loans. To date 194 businesses have applied to utilize these channels, with the 72 registered on the GISA having raised over NT$210 million (US$6.27 million) in funding there.
Moreover, since the Financial Supervisory Commission allowed the private sector to launch equity crowdfunding platforms in April 2015, six securities companies have obtained official approval, with three of them having set up crowdfunding platforms and two having raised over NT$13.68 million (US$408,480) through such channels.
Integrated online to offline service for entrepreneurs have informed youths about the startup resources the government offers, the MOEA noted. International Entrepreneur Initiative Taiwan has received more than 2.5 million hits. Since its establishment in August 2015, the Executive Yuan Start-up Hub has provided consultation services for 411 startup cases. In addition, buses traveled to all the nation’s 368 townships and districts and gave startup guidance to more than 6,000 people.
With respect to social innovation, the government is working to help foster social enterprises through regulatory adjustment, platform establishment, fundraising and incubation initiatives, and 101 companies have registered as social enterprises so far. Moreover, 10 teams have already moved into Taiwan’s first social enterprise hub, which was established at the Executive Yuan Start-up Hub in May 2015.