BML introduces 'Startup Grant'; MVR 500K for 4 winning businesses

A woman bakes a cake. (Photo/BML)

Bank of Maldives (BML), on Sunday, has announced ‘BML Startup Grant’.

It provides the opportunity for emerging entrepreneurs, especially youths, to win grant funding to start or grow a business in any sector, in the Maldives. In this regard, four winning businesses will be awarded MVR 500,000 each in grant assistance – to start or grow a business, whether it is to bring a viable business idea to life, to cover start-up costs such as investing in equipment or expanding to a new market.

In addition to financial assistance, the Bank will also facilitate mentoring support for the four winning businesses through experts to successfully implement their plans.

BML has begun accepting applications for the grant, starting today. Individuals and businesses that are not older than a year, may apply for the grant with their business plans. New businesses that are unregistered, are also eligible for the grant. All individuals and businesses applying for the grant must be credit-worthy customers of the Bank.

The application evaluation process of the grant is divided into two stages. In the first stage, the written business plans will be evaluated, to select the best 10 plans. The 10 winners of stage one, will proceed to stage two, where they will be invited to present their business plans to an evaluation panel. The four to deliver the best presentations will win the grant.

Commenting on the introduction of the grant, the BML’s CEO, Managing Director Time Sawyer said that the purpose of the program is to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of the startup community to create jobs and opportunities to maximize positive impact for society.

“The Startup Grant is part of the Bank’s commitment to support businesses and strengthen our relationship with the start-up ecosystem in Maldives. Through the program, we are nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of the startup community to create jobs and opportunities to maximize positive impact for society. The winners will be provided with financial advisory services to help support their vision. We hope to see many individuals and businesses make use of this opportunity and contribute to the startup culture in Maldives,” he had said.

More information regarding ‘BML Startup Grant’ can be found on the Bank’s website.

The grant is the third series of 12 high-impact monthly community initiatives to celebrate leading up to BML’s 40th anniversary in November 2022.

The first series was ‘BML Scholarship Fund’, which was announced in November. The scholarship fund will provide fully-funded international scholarships for three students in the area of Banking and Finance on an annual basis.

The second series was an initiative to refurbish and upgrade the Maldives National Library up to modern standards.