Startup Manifesto beta

Policy Tracker

Track progress in Cyprus

Summary

The government of Cyprus has implemented some policy initiatives in line with the Startup Manifesto recommendations, with the pro-active support of authors of the inspiring national startup manifesto. The country has incorporated the national startup manifesto in the National Policy Statement for Entrepreneurship ratified by the Council of Ministers in December 2015, a concise action plan. Since then, Cyprus rightly positions itself as a good place for any startup to be at the beginning of their lifecycle, as you get the benefit of five times cheaper running and living costs than most other major cities. With a thriving and buzzing supportive ecosystem under the umbrella of Startup Cyprus, Cyprus is evolving into a hot European startup ecosystem driving change, supported by a liberal economy with competitive startup and investment incentives. Its small size makes minimum viable products testing really lean and mean, while funding carries organisations longer with significantly lower rental prices and availability of highly educated talent well versed in English.


To track progress in the implementation of other priorities and actions across countries – visit the interactive Dashboard page

The Startup Manifesto Policy Tracker is a dynamic tool, open to suggestions for improvement and external contributions. If you would like to share with us a country or regional initiative which you believe should be included in this survey, please leave your comment below.


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Institutional Framework

“General regulatory environment for startups”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
0.1 Is there a national strategy in support of startups in place? e.g: http://italiastartupvisa.mise.gov.it/ Yes Ministers of Finance, Energy Commerce Industry & Tourism, Transport, Education and the Under Secretary to the President of the Cyprus Republic have signed the National Startup Manifesto and pledged their support to the vision to StartupCyprus. Indeed the Manifesto was adopted in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship, for enhancing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Cyprus, with implementation actions and metrics. The National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship, adopted and ratified on December 2015 by the Council of Ministers, can be viewed here: http://www.reform.gov.cy/National-Policy-Statement-Entrepreneurship
0.2 Has the country created a national startup manifesto? Yes The startup community and ecosystem under the umbrela of Startup Cyprus (www.startupCyprus.org) has drafterd the national manifesto. Currently in the process of communicating to all stakeholders, Government and private sector for support and inclusion of implementation actions in the policies. Five Ministers have signed the National Startup Manifesto and pledged their support to the vision to StartupCyprus. The national manifesto can be viewed here: http://startupcyprus.org/startup-manifesto/
0.3 Has your country introduced legislation defining startups and providing special status to them (startup status related legislation) eg.: http://www.mise.gov.it/images/stories/documenti/Executive-Summary-of-Italy%27s-new-policy-on-start-ups.pdf. Yes In process - Although startups are eligible under this special Tax Regime, they are not actually defined within it. The definition introduced concerns the Innovative SMEs in general . A relevant definition is being introduced in the Tax law providing incentives for angels to invest in innovative startups and existing SMEs (in line with definitions provided under the EU General Block Exemption Regulation). Similar definition is provided under the Entrepreneurship Innovation Program of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism http://www.mcit.gov.cy/mcit/mcit.nsf/All/640363631A687F1DC2257DC1002A9A20?OpenDocument
0.4 Does the country effectively appliy SME Test (http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/files/docs/sba/iag_2009_annex_en.pdf) to systematically assess the impact of legislation on SMEs? No There seems to be little change in the implementation of the ‘think small first’ principle in Cyprus compared to last year, although the government's efforts have been boosted by the active role of the SME envoy and a special task force at the Office of the President of the Republic. Despite the progress made, fundamental elements of the ‘think small first’ principle still need to be put in place — most importantly, a comprehensive SME test and assessment of impact on business competitiveness. According to the road map agreed with the European Commission, the SME test will be implemented locally towards the end of 2015. Given the need for current and future revision of existing laws in Cyprus, many of which will have a considerable impact on SMEs, this impact assessment should be carried out as soon as possible. http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/performance-review/files/countries-sheets/2015/cyprus_en.pdf
0.5 Is the time taken to start a business equal or below EU target of 3 days? Yes 1 to 3 days http://europa.eu/youreurope/business/start-grow/start-ups/index_en.htm
0.6 Has an E-commerce Directive been fully implemented by the country? Yes The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism monitors implementation of the directive through the Commerce Department (http://www.go-e.mcit.gov.cy/mcit/trade/go-e.nsf/page16_gr/page16_gr?OpenDocument). National Law:http://www.go-e.mcit.gov.cy/mcit/trade/go-e.nsf/page16_gr/page16_gr
0.7 Have measures in support of the principles of a digital single market been undertaken on a national level? Yes National Digital Champion appointed Cyprus Digital Agenda Progress: http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/scoreboard/cyprus Ministry of Transportation & Communications in charge of www.digitalcyprus.gov.cy Digital Strategy - Specific Implementation Action Plan in place- Implementation in progress. Country factsheet: http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/digital-single-market/docs/factsheets/cyprus_en.pdf
0.8 Have provisions enabling new legally challenging business models of sharing economy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharing_economy) such as blablacar, Airbnb, Uber? No

Education & Skills

“Make teachers digitally confident and competent to rise to the challenge.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
1.1.1 Does a strategy document exist alone or as a part of a bigger strategic package? Yes Several actions to promote eEducation, improving digital literacy and eskills are promoted under the Digital Strategy for Cyprus adopted in Feb 2012 (measure 16), including training programmes for teachers to further integrate ICT in the teaching / learning process. In addition, the National Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is currently underway, aiming inter alia to enhancing ICT in education.
1.1.2 Has ICT been implemented as a part of the core curriculum? No Coding is not part of the core curriculum. Read more on cross-European comparison: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/eu-code-week-2015/infographic-coding-school-how-do-eu-countries-compare-318506. However, in Primary Education in the “Ολοήμερο σχολείο» and in Secondary and Vocational Education. Link to the Curriculum page www.schools.ac.cy
1.1.3 Are there effective government initiatives in place to encourage the involvement of startups and developers in providing ICT training for teachers and students? No In progress. Issue addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 1. Developing New Skills and Competences - Coding in Schools - Education- Engineering skills, Action Point: 2 and Action Point 3 - Training programs for career advisors and train-the-trainers programs. Recomendation 2. Cultivating Entrepreneurship Culture - Entrepreneurship mindset and startup culture - soft transversal skills, Action Point 5. The Minister of Education has signed the National Startup Manifesto and pledged his support to such efforts. The ecosystem has vouched its support to the effort to run train-the-trainer program. Currently in dicsussion with the Pedagogical Academy to sign the Manifesto and kick-start such collaboration. Moreover, Cypriot Entreprise Link a grass root private initiative via their brain child Hack Cyprus are offering on volunteer basis "Code School" days to kids of private schools at the moment. CEL participates in the Digital Skills Initiative. Specifically for startups NO but the Minsitry of Education has ACTIONS where such outcomes could emerge. CPI actions: Action 1: Teacher coaches for ICT in the school unit and Innovative Schools (website: http://ksep.e-epimorfosi.ac.cy Action 2: Safe internet schools (http://www.pi.ac.cy/InternetSafety/eSafeSchool.html Action 3: Young coaches for the internet (http://www.pi.ac.cy/InternetSafety/YoungCoaches.html Action 4: Seminars, workshops, school interventions for teachers on the use of ICT in the learning progress through the CPI programmes (http://www.pi.ac.cy/pi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=556&Itemid=57&lang=el Action 5: Yearly conferences on ICT (http://www.pi.ac.cy/imeridaTPE2015 (from 2008) http://www.pi.ac.cy/imeridaEAssessment2014)
1.1.4 Are the training initiatives (for teachers) using e-learning tools present in the national programmes and action plans? Yes At the level of the National Digital Agenda http://www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/DEC/DEC.nsf/All/CC79C85E897D29F7C2257A1E0028F3B3?OpenDocument
“Teach our children the principles, processes and the passion for entrepreneurship from young age.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
1.2.1 Has a national system for vocational traineeships in entrepreneurship for 12 - 18 y.o. been established? Yes Entrepreneurship is included in the national curriculum for all schools of Technical and Vocational Education. No specialist entrepreneurship programmes or activities are offered, but all subjects include entrepreneurial components according to need. The National Strategy on Entrepreneurship in Education to 2010 aims to provide entrepreneurship training for all teachers in Technical and Vocational Education http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/files/smes/vocational/entr_voca_en.pdf Relevant discussions and policy drafting in progress. Issue addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 1. Developing New Skills and Competences - Coding in Schools - Education- Engineering skills, Action Point: 1 and 2 The following actions from the CPI Action 1: Young coaches for the internet http://www.pi.ac.cy/InternetSafety/YoungCoaches.html Action 2: Production of short videos by students on Safe internet issues (http://www.pi.ac.cy/InternetSafety/drastiriotites_diagonismoi.html
1.2.2 Have courses / activities aimed at enhancing entrepreneurship skills been introduced as a part of the core curriculum in a primary and a secondary education system (e.g. willingness to take risks, ability and willingness to take initiative)? No Cources and activities have been introduced in secondary education on a voluntary basis by Junior Achievement Cyprus in collaboration with the Minsitry of Education and Culture. Under the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship, JA and/or other similar initiatives, aiming to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset and skills within eductaion, are promoted to be introduced in the core curriculum in the secondary and, as appropriate, in the primary education system. Issue also addressed in the National Manifesto Recomendation1 and 2. Cultivating Entrepreneurship Culture - Entrepreneurship Mindset and startup culture, Soft transversal Skills, Action Points 4 and 5.
“Encourage university students to start a business before they graduate.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
1.3.1 Are there national/ regional programmes that encourage (e.g. with providing co-funding) the creation of startup Incubators / Accelerators? No The Minsitry of Commerce through its structural funds program strategy is proposing a program to support via co-funding the creation of accelerators and clusters. Specifically, ERDF co-funded measures promoted by MECIT to support the operation of BICs (by certifying new or existing structures/networks) and innovation houses, but have not been announced yet. Partially addressed by National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New Financial Instruments, Action Point: 22 and Recomendation 6 Mentoring and Support, Innovative, Shared Workspaces, Action Point 25
1.3.2 Has the country introduced any funding programmes for students who want to translate their business idea into a reality? No
1.3.3 Has the country taken additional measures to promote more actively Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme? Yes http://www.fundingprogrammesportal.gov.cy/easyconsole.cfm/page/prog/prog_id/2710/CL/0
1.3.4 Has the country developed incentives for academics to engage in entrepreneurial activity and stimulate the creation of university spin-offs? No In progress. Part of the recomendations for the National Policy Statement on entrepreneurship
1.3.5 Have support measures to mentor and coach women entrepreneurs at undergraduate level been implemented? No
“Prepare graduates for a radically different marketplace (digital skills + vocational training).”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
1.4.1 Has your country joined the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs with a national/local coalition to promote digital employment? Yes Involvement of Ministry of Commerce and Minsitry of Education - stakeholders involved from the private sector. In collaboration to launch the action plan for Cyprus. Cyprus' National Grand Coalition is also led by the national Digital Champion, Dr Stelios Himonas. More than 30 stakeholders, including the government, have come together in a partnership launched in autumn 2015. It will undertake initiatives, such as enhancing ICT in education and providing training to unemployed, ICT professionals and vulnerable groups. https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/digital-skills-new-national-coalitions-digital-jobs-be-launched-belgium-cyprus-netherlands-and
1.4.2 Has some form of "digital course certificate" confirming ICT skills been introduced as part of a curriculum in the higher education system? No Not part of the curriculum. ECDL is introduced.
1.4.3 Has the Action 68 of the Digital Agenda to mainstream eLearning in national policies been implemented in your country? Yes National Education system currently under massive reform
“Encourage large companies to provide training for the general public (for management, leadership and communication skills).”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
1.5.1 Have the measures to promote / scale up business - universities partnerships within the Knowledge Alliance on a national level been undertaken? Yes Industry - Academia Liaision Offices http://www.liaisonoffices.ac.cy/index.php/the-universities. To be further supported by ESF in the new programming period 2014-2020 (UCY is the coordinator of the new programme, with the participation of 7 Universities, CCCI, OEB and the European Office Cyprus)
1.5.2 Have measure been introduced (such as co-financing by the country) to support provision of specific training (management, sales etc.) by corporates for people already working for SMEs / startups or unemployed? Yes For startups / SMEs via Human Resource Development Authority http://www.hrdauth.org.cy/ Productivity Center of the Ministry of Labor introduced training programs for unemployed graduates.
1.5.3 Have the national programmes to promote business-universities partnerships been implemented to provide work placement as part of the curriculum? Yes Industry - Academia Liaision Offices http://www.liaisonoffices.ac.cy/index.php/the-universities. To be further supported by ESF in the new programming period 2014-2020 (UCY is the coordinator of the new programme, with the participation of 7 Universities, CCCI, OEB and the European Office Cyprus)

Access to Talent

“Turn Europe into the easiest place for highly skilled talent to start a company and get a job by rolling out a pan-European startup Visa.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
2.1.1 Has a national startup visa programme to streamline process of setting up a business by non-EU, skilled talent been introduced in your country? No Adressed in National Manifesto Recommendation 3 Availability & Attraction of Talent, Action Points 10 and 11. Relevant actions included in the National Policy Statement for Entrepreneurship ratified by the Ministerial Council in December 2015. The Cypriot Government is positive towards engaging into further discussions and actions on the basis of the Dutch Presidency's proposal for the introduction of a pan European Startup Visa and further guidelines and clarifications to be provided by the Commission.
2.1.2 Has a national policy in support of attracting foreign startups been introduced? Yes Adressed in National Manifesto Recommendation 3 Availability & Attraction of Talent, Action Points 11. Relevant actions included in the National Policy Statement for Entrepreneurship ratified by the Ministerial Council in December 2015.
2.1.3 Has the EU Blue Card Directive (Directive 2009/50/EC) aimed at facilitating the admission and mobility of highly qualified migrants and their family members by harmonising entry and residence conditions throughout the EU been fully implemented by the country? No Adressed in National Manifesto Recommendation 3 Availability & Attraction of Talent, Action Points 10. Relevant actions recomended in the National Policy Statement for Entrepreneurship currently in progress. Currently according to national legislation, quota is set as 0.
2.1.4 Has the country signed bilateral and/or multilateral agreements with non-EU countries facilitating easier / free movement of workers? Yes Only with Australia in 2002. http://www.mlsi.gov.cy/mlsi/dl/dl.nsf/All/F1EF363F05B31679C2256DBA00321209?OpenDocument&highlight=μνημνιο http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/european_migration_network/reports/docs/annual-policy/2014/05a_cyprus_apr_2014_part2_final_english.pdf
“Make it easy for companies to hire outside their home countries in the EU.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
2.2.1 Has a national policy measure in support of making a remote hiring of employees directly across EU possible and less burdensome been introduced (e.g. elimination of residence requirement)? No
“Make it easier for smaller companies to let employees go (special flexibility in human resources management for small companies).”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
2.3.1 Has the country enabled the flexible and reliable contractual arrangements in line with EU common flexicurity principles? No The country shows performance below the EU average with respect to flexible and reliable contractual arrangements http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=10227&langId=en
2.3.2 Has the country adopted the comprehensive life-long learning strategies in support of EU common flexicurity principles? Yes The country shows performance above the EU average with respect to life-long learning strategies http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=10227&langId=en
2.3.3 Has the country implemented the effective active labor market policies to assist job-to-job transition in line with EU common flexicurity principles? No The country shows performance below the EU average with respect to the active labour market policies http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=10227&langId=en
2.3.4 Has the country introduced the modern social security systems’ solutions in line with EU common flexicurity principles (e.g. solutions that would ensure the possibility for temporary workers to accumulate rights and would improve portability of entitlements across firm or branch borders)? No The country shows performance below the EU average in terms of the modern social security systems solutions http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=10227&langId=en
“Bring the best brains back home (EU countries must launch targeted campaigns aimed at bringing their talent back home, through research grants, logistical support and public recognition).”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
2.4.1 Has a national/ regional strategy to attract high-skilled labor through international student recruitment been developed? No dressed in National Manifesto Recommendation 3 Availability & Attraction of Talent, Action Points 10. Relevant actions recomended in the National Policy Statement for Entrepreneurship. Currently according to national legislation, quota is set as 0.
2.4.2 Have initiatives been undertaken at national / regional level that align with the HR Strategy for Researchers and the European Charter and Code? Yes The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING), University of Cyprus http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/index.cfm/rights/strategy4ResearcherOrgs
2.4.3 Has the Researchers Directive (EU Scientific Visa) been fully implemented in the country? Yes http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/pdf/1_EN_ACT_part1_v6[1].pdf http://www.euraxess.org.cy/scientific_visa_package.shtm

Access to Capital

“Increase private and institutional investment in startups.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
3.1.1 Have provisions for facilitating secure access to alternative sources of funding, such as equity crowdfunding, mezzanine instruments or minibonds (convertible notes) and etc., been set up? No In process. A Law regulating Alternative Investments Funds has beed enacted in 2014. Cyprus Business Angel Network (private initiative) formed. Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New financial instruments, Action Point: 22, and Increase Private and Institutional Investment in Startups, Action Point 23. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship ratified by the Minsiterial Council in December 2015
3.1.2 Have measures to promote public – private investment partnerships in order to address risk-aversion of venture capital, e.g. by creating national co-investment funds between public entities and private investors on a national level been established? Yes Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New financial instruments, Action Point: 22. Relevant action (i.e. for co-investment fund) also included in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship,
3.1.3 Has an effective debt financing system been established by creating well-structured credit guarantees on bank loans on national level in order to enable banks to extend loans to startups that would otherwise not be able to find credit? No Is under consideration. Partially addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital Action Point: 21. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship. Also under review in the context of the ex-ante assessment for financial instruments to be implemented with the support of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) during the 2014-2020 programming period. No RSI and InnoFin SME Guarantees intermediaries: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/guarantees/RSI/Rsi_intermediaries.htm,http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/guarantees/single_eu_debt_instrument/innovfin-guarantee-facility/innovfin-smeg_signatures.pdf The government managed to put in place two financial instruments with the EIB in support of SMEs in Cyprus. A Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund (CYPEF) (EUR 200 million made up of a EUR 100 million loan by the government and EUR 100 million by the participating local banks) establishes a fund mechanism on a risk-sharing basis with banks to support SMEs’ investment and working capital needs.
3.1.4 Has the Late Payment Directive been implemented in the country that reduces the time to pay the invoice and hence the need for short-term financing? Yes The Late Payment Directive has been introduced into national legislation by "The Late Payments in Commercial Transactions Law, Law 123(I) of 2012" http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2014_2019/documents/imco/dv/late_payments_directive_eprs_/late_payments_directive_eprs_en.pdf
3.1.5 Have actions to improve access to finance for startups and SMEs been undertaken? Yes Actions to improve access to finance for SMEs in general (including startups) have been undertaken mainly in the context of the use of EU Structural Funds in Cyprus (e.g. JEREMIE - Funded Risk Sharing Product, Grant Schemes for Youth Entrepreneurship, Business Innovation etc). Risk Sharing Products for SMEs are also promoted under the Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund, with the support of the EIB group (http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/resources/cypef/index.htm). Support to local micro-entrepreneurs and self-employeed was also provided by the Cooperative Central Bank under the EIB's Progress Microfinance initiative. General information on EIB/EIF's relevant activity in Cyprus is provided in the following link - http://www.eif.org/news_centre/publications/country-fact-sheets/EIF_Factsheet_cyprus.pdf.
“Make it easier for high-growth companies to raise capital through public markets.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
3.2.1 Has a national legislation on venture capital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venture_capital) (in support of the EC´s new venture capital framework (http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/docs/2011/venture_capital/consultation_paper_en.pdf) been introduced that enables cross-border financing for SMEs more easily available ? Yes Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New financial instruments, Action Point: 22. The EU Regulation No 345/2013 on European Venture Capital Funds is directly applicable in Cyprus as in all EU Member States from 22 July 2013. A secondary legislation (P.I. 283/2015 - notification by the Minister of Finance) has been introduced in 2015 for the appointment of the Cyprus Security and Exchange Commission (CySEC) as the competent authority for the application of Regulation (EU) 2015/760 on European long-term investment Funds (http://www.cysec.gov.cy/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?guid=943a8eaf-1c8e-4296-a442-bc13f7336192) (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32015R0760&from=EN) 0&from=EN)
3.2.2 Have measures to support business angels friendly environment been introduced on a national level? Yes Tax incentives for investing in innovative SMEs introduced in July 2014 (http://www.cylaw.org/nomoi/arith/2014_1_115.pdf) and currently under review to further promote, amognst others, BA funding. Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New financial instruments, Action Point: 22. Also addressed in National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship
3.2.3 Have tax reliefs on seed and venture capital investments been introduced on national level? Yes Tax incentives for investing in innovative SMEs introduced in July 2014 (http://www.cylaw.org/nomoi/arith/2014_1_115.pdf) and currently under review to further promote, amongst others, seed and VC funding. Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New financial instruments, Action Point: 22. Also addressed in National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship.
3.2.4 Have tax incentives for acquiring startups / on reinvesting profit in startup businesses for investors of a national origin been implemented? No Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New financial instruments, Action Point: 22. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship. There is no tax incentives for startups. But on July 2015 a tax deduction for all companies (foreign and local) has been introduced , irrespective of the nature and domain of their activities. The tax allowance will be accounted on new equity coming into the company multiplied by a Notional interest rate (which is the interest rate of return of the ten-year government bond of the country in which new capital is invested, increased by three percentage points (3%) with a return threshold being the interest rate of return of the ten-year government bond of the Republic on December 31st of the year prior to the tax year, increased by three percentage points (3%).
3.2.5 Has the revised Directive on transparency requirements for listed companies been implemented in the country (Transparency Directive)? Yes http://www.cysec.gov.cy/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?guid=06661ebe-b33c-4cb7-ae87-13d3c712b996 http://www.cysec.gov.cy/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?guid=82797d4c-2d10-45af-a0b1-a7aa2abb7392
3.2.6 Have policies to promote easier access to stock exchange for high growth companies been adopted, such as: a single registration in the home country, and with simplified accounting and reporting (disclosure) obligations? No Cyprus Stock Exchange, which has flexible listing rules and the listing fees are very reasonable and affordable even for really small companies. http://www.financialmirror.com/blog-details.php?nid=1064
“Buy more from smaller businesses.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
3.3.1 Have the measures been implemented to promote procurement from SMEs (for example by make it easier for startups and SMEs to access government procurement market by lowering barriers to entry and lessening administrative burden of the process, or by promoting procurement from smaller companies by corporates)? Yes -National Manifesto Recommendation 4 Government as an enabler, Action Point 16. -Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship. -Principle 5: Adapt public policy tools to SME needs: facilitate SMEs’ participation in public procurement and better use State Aid possibilities for SMEs. Policy Action: Set up electronic portals to widen access to information on public procurement opportunities below the EU thresholds. Actions already in place: An e-Procurement Platform has been set up since 2009, serving all Economic Operators in Cyprus and abroad. The platform operates at no cost to businesses for all types of Competitions and for all types of procedures (the registration to the system is free of charge for all economic operators). All the notices have to be published electronically through the system. The system notifies automatically all registered economic operators upon publication of a Competition and reduces transactional cost of participation in Public Procurement by more than 50%. The introduction of this measure also enhances equal treatment and transparency that make Public Procurement a more attractive Market. The use of e-Procurement renders information dissemination faster, administrative burden is alleviated and significant time savings during tendering procedures are created. The system offers a multi – functional search engine and a feature for automatic automation for Economic Operators upon publication of a notice. • As an extension to the e-procurement system, the e-catalogues and e-ordering modules were developed. These cover the creation of an e-catalogue within the context of Framework Agreements or for simplified procedures, supports the Request for price update and single ordering process and facilitates direct ordering under an electronic catalogue. The Economic Operators are allowed to upload catalogue template including product description/ download template, upload of product images (incl. related, complementary, replacement items, discounts, etc.). The use of these modules have drastically reduced administration costs associated with participation in public procurement competitions and receiving and processing orders from the public sector. The use of e-catalogues and e-ordering renders information dissemination faster, the bureaucracy reduced and creates significant time savings during the ordering and delivery procedures. • All contracting authorities upload obligatory their tender documents electronically to offer SMEs better and easier access to all information related to competitions. Futhermore, an electronic marketplace for low value purchasing is being set-up offering the opportunity to SMEs to create free of charge their electronic catalogues to be in a position to receive orders Foreseen Actions: It is foreseen that for competitions published after 1 September 2015, with an estimated value exceeding EU Thresholds electronic submission of tenders will be obligatory. Actions are also pursued to enrich the product categories featuring in the electronic market (eAgora) Policy Action: Encourage the contracting authorities to subdivide contracts into lots where it is appropriate and to make sub-contracting opportunities more visible Actions already in place: • Whenever appropriate, contracting authorities are encouraged to sub-divide contracts into lots. • Ex – ante checks of contract notices and recommendations, if appropriate, to opt for division into lots. • Whenever appropriate, tenderers are allowed to tender for an unlimited number of lots. • In the standard tender documents prepared by the Public Procurement Directorate of the Treasury of the Republic (PPD), it is explicitly stated that economic operators may rely on the capacities of other entities regardless of the legal nature of the links which the economic operators have with them in order to be compliant with the requirements set by the contracting authority. Within this context, the PPD has prepared a Template for the Declaration of other entities. • All Framework Agreements procured in Cyprus are subdivided into lots in accordance to the homogeneity of the products needed. Foreseen Actions: The Public Procurement (PP) reform package which consists of 3 legislative proposals and will have to be transposed into our national law by 16 April 2016, accommodates various provisions targeting in facilitating greater access to public procurement by SMEs. Some of these provisions are: - In case a contract is not divided into lots, the contracting authority will have to provide an indication of the main reasons for its decision either in the procurement documents or in a report, namely Individual Report, which Member States will have to prepare and submit to the Commission every 3 years. - In this Individual Report, Member States will also have to provide information on the level of SME participation in public procurement Policy Action: Policy Action: Remind the contracting authorities of their obligation to avoid disproportionate qualification and financial requirements Actions already taken: • The Best Practice Guide which has been prepared by PPD provides guidance on most of the SME’s friendly approaches covered by the European Guide on SME’s. Within this context it includes guidelines on the parameters that a contracting authority should have in mind when setting the selection/award criteria for a contract (parts 2.7.5 and 3.2.3.2). The aforementioned Guide is available on the website of the Public Procurement Directorate of the Treasury of the Republic) in the Greek and English languages. (http://www.publicprocurementguides.treasury.gov.cy/). • The Guide also accommodates standard tender documents for supplies, works and services contracts for each procedure separately which also provide guidance and alternative wordings on the selection of qualitative criteria. • Due to the difficult financial times, the Public Procurement Directorate of the Treasury of the Republic (PPD) has circulated guidance notes to all contracting authorities / entities encouraging them not to request the submission of any bank guarantees (participation or performance) in their tendering procedures unless there are duly justified reasons for doing so. • Ensuring equal terms to sub – contractors by including in the standard tender documents a provision for a direct payment by the contracting authority to the sub contractor in case of a payment delay by the main contractor. The amount paid to the sub – contractor is deducted from the amount due to the main contractor. Foreseen Actions: According to the PP reform package, any requirements regarding the financial capacity of the economic operators should be proportionate to the subject matter of the contract as such requirements often constitute an unjustified obstacle to the involvement of SMEs in public procurement. For this reason, contracting authorities will not be allowed to require economic operators to have a minimum turnover that will exceed twice the estimated value of the contract value except in duly justified circumstances. In addition: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/performance-review/files/countries-sheets/2015/cyprus_en.pdf
3.3.2 Does the country make use of European Code of best practices facilitating access by SMEs to public procurement contracts? Yes Actions already in place: (i)Alleviating Administrative Burden: - The various certificates for the Personal Situation of the candidate or the tenderer are requested to be submitted only by the successful tenderer or candidate. At the stage of submission of tenders or of the request to participate in a restricted procedure, a self – binding declaration certifying the tenderer’s/candidate’s personal situation is requested. A template of such declaration is included in the standard tender documents. - Tenders / Requests to Participate can be submitted electronically through the e-procurement system. - The tender dossier of a specific competition as well as any other information concerning the procedure to be followed can be found on the e-procurement platform. - Standard tender documents have been prepared so that on the one hand procurers will be enhanced in preparing the tender dossier and on the other the economic operators, being familiar with the tender documents through time, will be saving time and money in preparing their proposals. (ii)Improving the quality and understanding of the information provided: - A help desk is specifically established for the provision of information on public procurement law and on the award procedures as well as for advising the contracting authorities on various issues. - Within the context of the effective implementation of e – procurement, another help desk has been set up which provides assistance to the contracting authorities as well as to the economic operators. - Under a 4 – year training programme ran by PPD, the training needs of the various contracting authorities / entities were satisfied. The training programme provided guidance not only the legislative package on public procurement but also on the whole cycle of a tender procedure (identifying the needs, carrying market research, drawing up the appropriate technical specifications/selection criteria/terms of reference and in general the tender documents, carrying out the evaluation, award and execution of the contract). The targets of this initiative was to provide guidance to the contracting authorities/entities on how to design an award procedure so that the administrative burden carried by the economic operators will be minimised, all economic operators will compete on equal terms and contracting authorities will end up with a contract that will actually satisfy their needs. Foreseen Actions: The PP reform package, among others, provides for: (i)Alleviating the Administrative Burden deriving from the production of a number of certificates: -Requirements related to the submission of certificates concerning the exclusion and selection criteria will be limited through the use of a European Single Procurement Document consisting of an updated self – declaration which - economic operators shall not be required to submit supporting documents, where the contracting authority having awarded the contract or concluded the framework agreement, already possesses these documents. - economic operators shall not be required to submit supporting documents or other documentary evidence where and insofar as the contracting authority has the possibility of obtaining the certificates or the relevant information directly by accessing a national database in any Member State that is available free of charge, such as a national procurement register, a virtual company dossier, an electronic document storage system or a prequalification system. (ii) Ensuring access to relevant information: -The mandatory use of electronic means of communication and information exchange at all stages of procurement procedures will lead to increased transparency, cheaper communication, faster dissemination of information, decreased administrative burden, easier access to the various information and time savings.
3.3.3 Has legislation been implemented to make sure that at least some percentage of the administration procurement goes to "innovative" solutions (so called "innovative public procurement")? No Relevant legislation introduced - in progress The Public Procurement (PP) reform package which consists of 3 legislative proposals and will have to be transposed into Cyprus national law by 16 April 2016, accommodates various provisions targeting in facilitating greater access to public procurement by SMEs. Some of these provisions are: - In case a contract is not divided into lots, the contracting authority will have to provide an indication of the main reasons for its decision either in the procurement documents or in a report, namely Individual Report, which Member States will have to prepare and submit to the Commission every 3 years. - In this Individual Report, Member States will also have to provide information on the level of SME participation in public procurement
3.3.4 Is SMEs' share in the total value of public contracts awarded above EU average (29% in 2013)? Yes Cypriot SMEs managed to secure a significantly higher percentage of public contracts (47% versus 29%) .http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/performance-review/files/countries-sheets/2014/cyprus_en.pdf http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/publicprocurement/docs/modernising_rules/smes-access-and-aggregation-of-demand_en.pdf
“Institute an E-Corp: a new type of cross-European corporation. ”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
3.4.1 Has the Council Directive Council Directive 2001/86/EC supplementing the Statute for European Company fully adopted by the country? Yes Adopted in national legislature http://www.cylaw.org/nomoi/enop/non-ind/0_113/sub-division-sd312a9cf2-b856-f347-0aee-702f5fb49193.html http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=2453&langId=en
3.4.2 Has the Service Directive (Directive 2006/123/EC of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market) been fully implemented by the country? Yes Adopted in national legislature N76/I/2010 http://www.mcit.gov.cy/mcit/mcit.nsf/0/7F7C1484F04F8D00C2257641004743B7/$file/enimerotiko%20simeioma_IMI%20SYSTEM.pdf http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/services/services-directive/implementation/index_en.htm
“Tax share options as capital gains, not income, to attract talent to startups (special tax regime for startups).”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
3.5.1 Have national regulations been developed in support of easing up early startups regulatory burden (e.g. preferential tax scheme on share options for employees in order for startups to attract talent without big initial investment in salaries)? No In progress. Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New financial instruments, Action Point: 22, 23. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship. No such regulations been developed but the tax benefit of the 50% exemption on the compensation of an individual that was a non-domicile of Cyprus before the beginning his employment, when this income exceeds €100,000 annually is a remarkable tax incentive for the employee. As well as Extension has been introduced of the 20% exemption on taxpayer income until 2020, in relation to employment that began within and after 2012, with a maximum time period of five years, the exemption shall relate to a maximum amount of €8,550 from the salary of an individual that was a non-domicile of Cyprus before the beginning his employment.
3.5.2 Does the government have a differential tax rate for companies according to their age or the size of their profit? No http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/gen_info/economic_analysis/tax_structures/2014/report.pdf
3.5.3 Has the government implemented an ‘Entrepreneurs Relief’ tax break to reduce the capital gains tax on selling all or part of the business? Yes There is no Entrepreneurs Relief tax break. But there is a capital gain relief for the disposals of any business assets, provided those assets have been acquired from 16/7/2015 to 31/12/2016. Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New financial instruments, Action Point: 22. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship
3.5.4 Has the government introduced any other early stage tax relief for entrepreneurs and their employees? No No specific legislature. But the tax benefit of the 50% exemption on the compensation of an individual that was a non-domicile of Cyprus before the beginning his employment, when this income exceeds €100,000 annually is a remarkable tax incentive for the employee. As well as extension has been introduced of the 20% exemption on taxpayer income until 2020, in relation to employment that began within and after 2012, with a maximum time period of five years, the exemption shall relate to a maximum amount of €8,550 from the salary of an individual that was a non-domicile of Cyprus before the beginning his employment.Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 5 Access to Capital - Developing New financial instruments, Action Point: 22. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship.

Data Policy, Protection & Privacy

“Revise and normalise data protection laws (unified data protection law in Europe).”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
4.1.1 Is the country complaint with the General Data Protection Regulation GDPR (only valid after approval of the regulation)? Yes yes
4.1.2 Has the country developed programmes to encourage the reuse of data in public and private sector? Yes The project «Supporting Public Sector to implement amended Directive 2013/37/ΕU and promotion of the further use of public sector data» which is funded through the Structural Reform Support Service aims to implement part of the National Action Plan for the Re-Use of Public Service Information in Cyprus. Addressed in National Manifesto Recommendation 4 Government as an Enabler, Open Data, Action Point: 15. and in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship. The national open data portal is already operational. http://www.data.gov.cy. Cyprus position on the epsi PSI Scoreboard was recently revised upwards and is now in the middle of the table. The Cyprus PSI Team expects this to improve further after the delivery of planned PSI dedicated events this year. http://www.epsiplatform.eu/content/european-psi-scoreboard
“Remove the requirement for data providers to store information in any given country. ”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
4.2.3 Has the country developed a specific Cloud Computing Strategy? No
“Make government data public.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
4.3.1 Has the Public Sector Information Directive been fully implemented in the country? Yes New 2015 legislation. https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/implementation-psi-directive-cyprus
4.3.2 Does the national law of the country provide for a general obligation for public sector bodies to allow re-use of Public Sector Information? Yes The new law (passed in 2015), makes the opening up of public data for re-use the default case for PSBs documents that are accessible (i.e. documents that access to them is not prohibited by any other law) (Articles 3 and 4 of the 2015 legislation are relevant) https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/implementation-psi-directive-cyprus (including English translation) Αddressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 4 Government as an Enabler, Open Data, Action Point: 15. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship. A relevant project is under implementation by the relevant government department. http://www.data.gov.cy
4.3.3 Does legislation adopted in the country prohibit Public Sector Information holders from granting exclusive rights to re-sell or re-use data to any legal entity? Yes http://www.dataprotection.gov.cy/dataprotection/dataprotection.nsf/legislation_gr/legislation_gr?OpenDocument
4.3.4 Has the country taken part in the Open Government initiatives, such as Open Government Partnership (OGP), to drive best practice in knowledge sharing and promote integrity and trust in data management? No Αddressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 4 Government as an Enabler, Open Data, Action Point: 15. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship. http://www.opengovpartnership.org/countries
4.3.5 Has the country improved policies and practices on Open Access to better allow access to data and re-use of data generated by scientific research? No see European Commission, European Research Area Progress Report 2014 http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/eraprogress_en.htm. Even though there is no nationwide policy or national awareness activity related to Open Access within the research community in Cyprus, the Cyprus NOAD (UCY Library) has established a collaboration mechanism among researchers, institutions, funding organizations, EC National Reference Point, repository managers, librarians and the librarians association – a real human network that ensures that the idea, spirit, approach and practices compliant with Horizon 2020 Open Access (OA) mandates will continue to spread and be served. Open Access awareness activities are implemented mainly through the Project OpenAIRE & OpenAIREplus, which is represented by the University of Cyprus Library since 2009. https://www.openaire.eu/cyprus/noads/oa-cyprus
“Make governments think digitally (unified technological platform).”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
4.4.1 Has the country built analytical tools to make use of governmental digital records and data in order to deliver insight in support of better deliverables, better policies and better decision making processes (for example use of health data to identify trends, preventive actions)? No
4.4.2 Have the country aligned national interoperability frameworks with the European Interoperability Framework? Yes 79% National Interoperability Framework (NIF) - European Interoperability Framework (EIF) alignment  http://ec.europa.eu/isa/documents/publications/2014-report-on-state-of-play-of-interoperability.pdf
4.4.3 Has the country joined the European Cloud Partnership initiatives in order to advance towards joint procurement of cloud computing services by public bodies based on the emerging common user requirements? No

Thought Leadership

“Initiate a mentality shift across Europe in terms of how we define success - promoting entrepreneurship.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
5.1.1 Does the country conduct any PR and media campaigns at national/regional level aimed at promoting entrepreneurship (e.g. by appointing a role model, an entrepreneur in residence” to promote entrepreneurial culture etc.)? Yes Αddressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 2 Cultivating Entrepreneurship Culture, Action Point: 5, 6, 7, 8. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship. The Cyprus Entrepreneurship Competition. CyEC aims to nurture entrepreneurial culture among young scientists in Cyprus and challenge them to transform their ideas into real business opportunities and to leading companies of tomorrow. Over 100 teams have taken part in the annual competitions completed thus far. In its seven year history, CyEC alumni have successfully launched startup companies, some with significant investments and revenues. http://www.cyec.org.cy The startup ecosystem of Cyprus has come together to promote entrepreneursial culture via inspiration, educational and media campaigns (www.startupcyprus.org) Grassroot organizations part of Startup Cyprus are promoting: Startup Academy (www.startupcy.org), Cypriot Entreprise Link (Insights Conference), Founder Institute Cyprus Chapter (www.fi.co), Cyprus Startup Live etc. Startup Cyprus is a founding member of the European Startup Network.
5.1.2 Does the country actively promote women entrepreneurship through specifically targeted mentoring and networking programmes? Yes Some (EU supported) women mentoring programmes implemented in Cyprus in the past few years and a representation in the European Network of Female Entrepreneurship Ambassadors http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/promoting-entrepreneurship/we-work-for/women/support-networks/index_en.htm
5.1.3 Have the legislative measures been introduced to improve policies allowing second chance for entrepreneurs? Yes The new Insolvency Law of Cyprus. The relevant bill passed into law in early April 2015. The provisions of this bill cover natural and legal persons. It is geared at giving, under certain conditions, a second chance to bankrupt, legal or natural persons to start again. The life-long stigma of bankrupt entrepreneurs is also dealt with. Based on the new law, cooperative and honest entrepreneurs are discharged from bankruptcy three years after they have been declared bankrupt. http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/performance-review/files/countries-sheets/2015/cyprus_en.pdf Αddressed in National Manifesto Recommendation 2 Cultivating Entrepreneurship Culture, Action Point: 6. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship.
5.1.4 Does the government support the mentorship programmes for startups either through funding, introductions, provision of space, supplying mentors or creation of networks? No Addressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 6 Mentoring and Suport, Action Point: 24. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship. Expected to be particularly promoted with the operation of the new Entrepreneurship Support Center (within 2016).
“Appoint a Chief Digital Officer for every country in the EU. ”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
5.2.1 Has a Digital Champion been appointed in the country? Yes Dr. Stelios Himonas http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/digital-champion-cyprus
5.2.2 Is the Digital Champion or an equivalent figure (“Chef Digital Officer”) empowered with the practical means to execute Startup Manifesto on a national level (budget, recognition, political support)? No http://www.cyprus-digitalchampion.gov.cy/DigitalChampion/Digitalc.nsf/page04_en/page04_en?openDocument
“Create a 'best practices' repository.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
5.3.1 Has the country taken steps to promote and showcase the best practices (for example, by creating a resource to share best practices´ in promoting digital entrepreneurship or actively promoting best practices on a national / regional level)? No Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship.
“Establish a Digital European Forum.”
Number Indicator Completed Evidence
5.4.1 Has an association that actively promotes recommendations of the European Startup Manifesto at the national level been launched in the country? Yes StartupCyprus www.startupcyprus.org
5.4.2 Does the country have actively engaged entrepreneurs, policy makers and officials in European Digital Forum? Yes In progress. Close Stakeholder engegement launched with reform effrorts. Αddressed in National Manifesto Recomendation 4 Government as an Enabler, Action Point: 20. Addressed in the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship.

Latest Updates

New information
In Action 4.2 in Spain Remove the requirement for data providers to store information in any given country.
Updated on 2016-03-16 23:57:17 by Kasia Jakimowicz
New information
In Action 4.1 in Latvia Revise and normalise data protection laws (unified data protection law in Europe).
Updated on 2016-03-16 11:23:59 by Kasia Jakimowicz
New information
In Action 4.4 in Latvia Make governments think digitally (unified technological platform).
Updated on 2016-03-16 11:23:59 by Kasia Jakimowicz
New information
In Action 4.3 in Austria Make government data public.
Updated on 2016-03-16 10:58:39 by Kasia Jakimowicz
New information
In Action 1.1 in Austria Make teachers digitally confident and competent to rise to the challenge.
Updated on 2016-03-16 10:51:00 by Kasia Jakimowicz
New information
In Action 1.5 in Cyprus Encourage large companies to provide training for the general public (for management, leadership and communication skills).
Updated on 2016-03-16 10:47:06 by Kasia Jakimowicz
New information
In Action 3.1 in Belgium Increase private and institutional investment in startups.
Updated on 2016-02-26 16:29:13 by Kasia Jakimowicz
New information
In Action 3.5 in Spain Tax share options as capital gains, not income, to attract talent to startups (special tax regime for startups).
Updated on 2016-02-22 15:41:03 by Kasia Jakimowicz
New information
In Action 3.3 in France Buy more from smaller businesses.
Updated on 2016-02-22 13:38:21 by Kasia Jakimowicz
New information
In Action 2.3 in Latvia Make it easier for smaller companies to let employees go (special flexibility in human resources management for small companies).
Updated on 2016-02-22 13:33:43 by Kasia Jakimowicz