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Iran says cheap loans to startups topped $510 mln in quarter to June

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s cenbank says lenders have offered over $510 million in cheap loans to startups in quarter to June.

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has announced that the credit offered to startup businesses in the form of cheap loans topped $510 million in the quarter to late June 21.

A CBI statement on Tuesday said that banks had paid a total of 127.1 trillion rials to 558 companies that are solely focused on science and technology ventures in the first quarter of the current calendar year.

The statement said the figure shows an increase of 247.4% compared to the similar period in 2020.

Top three main lenders offering cheap loans to the startup businesses were Bank Melli, Bank Saderat and Bank Mellat, said the CBI, adding that the three banks had accounted for over 55% of the funds provided to the so-called knowledge-based enterprises.  

Iran has invested heavily to support home-grown innovation and technology initiatives that could contribute to the economic growth in the country.

The support is part of a larger government plan to diversify the Iranian economy away from crude and reduce its vulnerability to foreign sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last month that the number of startups active in science and technology initiatives had increased by over 100 times in seven years to more than 6,000 companies.

Experts believe support for knowledge-based companies has paid off as the firms have contributed to Iran’s growing self-sufficiency in various fields of science and technology.

They says science and technology startups have been a major help to Iran’s efforts to reduce the impacts of US sanctions on the country’s manufacturing sector.

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