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The SECO Start-up Fund (SSF)

provides loans

  • of up to 50% of investment costs; max. CHF 500'000 per Project
  • for repayment within 5 years
  • to investors with domicile in Switzerland
  • for start-up business Projects and first expansion phase
  • to companies in selected countries with economies under development or in transition


The SSF is a developmental loan instrument established by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO. The management of the fund is delegated to FINANCEcontact in Zurich. The SSF promotes private sector investment projects in countries with economies under development or in transi­tion. The projects must be commercially viable and meet recognised environmental and social standards.

Investments in developing and transition economies involve business risks beyond those generally en­countered in Western countries. The aim of the SSF is to share financing and risks with the investor. It does so by co-financing the initial investment phase within its first 3 years. Financing by the SSF is in form of a loan, which must be repaid within 5 years.

Priority Countries

Asia

Indonesia
Vietnam
Bangladesh
Indonesia
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nepal

Africa and Middle East

Egypt
Ghana
South Africa
Tunesia
Benin
Burkina Faso
Mali
Morocco
Mozambique
Niger
Tanzania
Chad

CIS

Azerbaijan
Armenia
Georgia
Moldova
Kyrgyzstan
Tajikistan
Ukraine
Uzbekistan

Latin America

Bolivia
Colombia
Cuba
Haiti
Peru

South East Europe

Albania
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Kosovo
Macedonia
Serbia

Exceptions for projects in other countries can be considered, if a project can produce an outstanding development impact. Such countries must belong to the “least developed” up to the “lower middle income” countries as listed by OECD.