The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation signed Monday a $50 million facilitated loan agreement with the World Bank to support the establishment of the Innovative Startups Fund.
The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) is willing to support the fund with $48 million, Planning Minister Imad Fakhoury said at the signing ceremony on Monday.
Fakhoury added that the Jordanian government continues to put forth reform plans and programs aimed at boosting economic growth, despite the economic and financial challenges, as well as the political and security instability.
The fund translates one of the key and critical recommendations of the Economic Policy Council held in September 2016. It is also in line with Jordan 2025 vision and the recently adopted Jordan Economic Growth Plan 2018-2022, according to Fakhoury.
He added that Jordan Economic Growth Plan 2018-2022 also consisted of a chapter on support to SMEs projects. The chapter focuses on increasing job opportunities through supporting these projects and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in various sectors.
The fund will help potential entrepreneurs in further developing their business ideas, connecting them with business incubators and providing venture capital to entrepreneurial small- and medium-sized businesses that prove their ability for sustainability and growth, Fakhoury continued.
The fund will be similar to funds established earlier in Lebanon and Morocco with the support of the World Bank.
Fakhoury said they expect the fund to support 200 innovative business ideas across the country, adding that innovative and entrepreneurial businesses have created 40 percent of the jobs in the Kingdom over the period 2006-2011.