The SECO Start-up Fund (SSF)
- 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
- maximal amount of the loan: of up to two thirds of the investment costs in the target country; maximally two times the amount contributed by the borrower/investor, maximally CHF 500'000 (all three criteria must be fulfilled)
- for repayment within 7 years
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 and first expansion phase. Financing by the SSF is in form of a loan, which must be repaid within 7 years.
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.