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Azerbaijan ranks as 3rd best CIS country for startups

posted onMay 30, 2019

The Azerbaijan startup ecosystem is ranked 47 globally, among 188 countries, according to a new list published by the Global Startup Ranking.

Azerbaijan, home to 200 startups, ranked third among the CIS countries, behind Russia which ranked 19th with 569 startups and Ukraine (43rd) with 241. Armenia ranked 102nd with 13 and Georgia 118th with only 5 startups.

The top 5 startup-friendly countries according to the annual list are the US (with 46,625 startups), India (6,324), the UK  (4,929), Canada (2,513) and Indonesia (2,105). 

The list also includes names of 200 startups based in Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani government has been taking a series of measures to support startups in the country. Among those measures, is the establishment of the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies which is engaged in providing investment.

Another step toward this direction is the establishment of a joint consortium  with the participation of the Innovation Agency under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, AzInTelecom LLC and companies including Lenovo, Nutanix, and iQRex to ensure the participation of startups in tenders held by various government agencies and individual companies, as well as in important projects.

The consortium will provide local startup founders with an opportunity to get access to various financial sources, to take part in important projects, including large and medium-sized tenders, Azer News reported.

Azerbaijan startups

According to the amendments to tax legislation approved on Dec. 20, 2018, by the decree of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, startups in the Eurasian nation are exempt from profit tax and income tax for three years starting from Jan. 1, 2019.

The amendments affect startups operating in the micro and small business segment and possessing a special certificate that confirms their innovative activities. Startups registered as legal entities will be exempt from profit tax and individual entrepreneurs will be exempt from income tax, according to Trend News Agency.

Last month, the Innovation Agency of Azerbaijan organised the "Falcons Summit" that brought together investors, startups and business executives from different countries. The Summit was held on 24th-26th April 2019 in Baku city and offered an amazing opportunity for future business leaders to establish meaningful and lasting relationships with the government, venture funds and potential investors.