Public Funding Sources
An incentive to start a company? Why not! Seed capital for growth? Great! A convertible loan to expand the team? Even better! Vouchers for special challenges, such as patent protection, foreign market research? Welcome! The co-investment of a private investor and the Slovene Enterprise Fund that doubles the private investment? Excellent! The Brussels SME instrument for the breakout of the most ambitious and so much more.
Among the first and most important addresses in the search for a public source of funding for startups and scaleups is The Slovene Enterprise Fund, which together with SID Bank and with the support of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, offers financial incentives and assistance. However, there are also other means of funding sources that should be considered.
Key Public Finance Products for Startups
- P2 – 54.000 euros of startup incentive. Read more...
- SK75 - Convertible loan of 75.000 euros for market entry. Read more...
- SI-SK - From 100.000 to 600.000 euros of co-investment money for rapid growth. Read more...
- Vouchers - Simple incentives in small values for small and middle-sized companies. Read more...
- SME Instrument - grants for concept development and product development. Read more...
In addition to these forms of public funding, which were primarily developed for innovative startup and scaleup companies and are most suitable for them, there are other forms of public funding available for all companies to apply for.
All Forms Of Public Funding
- Grants - primarily intended for research and development, human resources and other development investment-oriented activities that are subject to the priorities of national and/or EU programmes and policies.
- Subsidies, loans, guarantees and equity capital - debt and equity financing, insurance for Slovenian exporters, vouchers for SMEs and subsidies for employment of certain target groups.
- Awards - for the winners of public competitions.
- Tax relief - tax credits for investment in research and development, investment in equipment, employment of people with disabilities.
- Public procurement - as a business opportunity.
- Non-financial forms of public support - professional assistance, consulting, mentoring, workshops and training.
As a rule, the funding with EU funds and national resources is carried out on the basis of an approved project, which is submitted by the applicants to the relevant public tender or invitation. About 80% of European funding is provided through programmes managed by the EU member states themselves. The European Commission directly manages the procedures for awarding grants and public procurement for the funds that they manage. Individual rules and procedures are set out in the public tender or invitation.
In this process, pay attention to the application guidelines, conditions and scoring. With your proposal or project, you are competing for resources against other applicants. In the evaluation process, projects with multiple points are selected and according to the amount of funding available.
Grants may also be awarded by project leaders or partners within major EU projects. Examples of this support are startup and scaleup support packages under the My-Gateway project, as well as programmes under the consortiums EIT Climate KIC, EIT Digital, EIT Food, other EIT, Bio-Based Industries (BBI) and Centre for Creativity.
These consortiums enable startups and other companies to get involved through tenders and calls. This is also an opportunity for your business. Information about calls and opportunities is also published on Startup Slovenia.
Other Forms Of Equity Capital
Subsidies, loans, guarantees and other forms of equity capital are kinds of EU financial support for EU policies and programmes. For example, the EU provides businesses of all types with loans for research and innovation. It also gives guarantees to recipients of funds, making it easier for them to acquire loans from banks and other lenders and under better conditions.
In Slovenia, the Slovene Enterprise Fund (SEF) and the SID Bank operate in this area.
Slovene Enterprise Fund (SEF) offers:
- For young companies (up to 5 years) start-up incentives (P2), seed capital (SK75) and venture capital (SI-SK).
- For young, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) older than 5 years, microcredits, guarantees and special incentives.
SID Bank offers:
- Debt financing in the fields of internationalization, technological development, research and innovation, environmental and energy projects, infrastructure and similar fields.
- Equity financing.
- Insurance for Slovenian exporters.
The national governments of the EU member states manage subsidies and other types of financing. Subsidies are available at different levels of co-financing and in different areas:
- Small value incentives through vouchers for SMEs.
- Subsidies for employment of certain target groups and other subsidies.
Prizes are awarded to winners of open competitions in recognition of the accepted challenge or as an incentive, for example, within the Horizon 2020 programme. Industry organizations and interest groups also organize competitions. Therefore, it makes sense to explore the possibilities in your field.
In Slovenia, companies have the opportunity to have tax relief in accordance with the Corporate Income Tax Act (ZDDPO-2). Corporate income tax relief (DDPO) can be claimed for:
- Investments in research and development in the amount of 100%, investments in internal research and development activities and for purchase of research and development services.
- Investments in equipment and intangible assets in the amount of 40% of the invested funds.
- Employment of people with disabilities, apprentices, high school or college students and persons under 26 or over 55 years.
- Voluntary supplementary pension insurance, up to 2.390 euros or up to 24% of mandatory pension and disability insurance contributions for the insured employee.
- Donations up to 0.3% of the taxpayer's taxable income during the tax period.
While public procurement is not directly a part of operation financing, it is a form of public resource consumption and a business opportunity for potential contractors. You can find opportunities in Slovenia on the Slovenian portal eNaročanje and at the EU level at eTendering.
Public institutions, public companies and project contractors also carry out public procurements, where in accordance with the requirements of the procurement, you can compete with other companies as a bidder. To facilitate the understanding of procurement opportunities, we have prepared as part of the My-Gateway project, a special Hitchhiker's Guide on Procurement Opportunities for Startups.
Non-Financial Forms Of Support
The country offers many non-financial forms of support to businesses, mainly as services for potential entrepreneurs and SMEs. These are professional assistance, consulting, mentoring, guidance, workshops and training, strengthening of competencies, opening new business opportunities and sharing good practices. These types of assistance are organized through the support environments and networks across Slovenia.
In this table, you will find a variety of sources of non-financial assistance.
For more information, you can also contact FINA EU TOČKA (080 20 23, firstname.lastname@example.org) that offers assistance for:
- Seeking information on possible sources of EU funding and international financial mechanisms (Norwegian Financial Mechanism, EEA, Swiss contribution).
- Understanding the system and rules for using these resources to support potential applicants and project contractors.
You can also get help from the network of support institutions and the non-financial support networks.