Credit Conditions and Loan Approval Procedure

Eligibility Conditions/Requirements

  • Funding is available for commercially viable companies in start-up- or expansion phase which have been operating in a target country for a maximum of 6 years. SSF does not finance feasibility studies, pilots or prototype development.
  • The investor/borrower can be a company or a natural person. Swiss citizenship is not required but at least one of the borrowers must be resident in Switzerland (Swiss passport or C-residency). There may be co-investors based abroad.
  • The investors/borrowers must give proof of a healthy financial situation and enjoy a good reputation.
  • The investment project can achieve a measurable development effect (creation of long-term jobs, mobilisation of private investment capital, knowhow transfer etc.)
  • The investors/borrowers must give proof of sufficient financial resources as well as management capacity to successfully implement the investment project
  • The investment project could not be realized as planned or at reasonable financial terms without the loan of SECO Start-up Fund.
  • The investment project does not create any socially or environmentally negative effect and meets recognized environmental and social standards

Standard Loan Conditions

  • The SSF covers up to two thirds of the investment costs in the target country, but not more than double the amount contributed by the borrowers/investors and up to a maximum of CHF 500’000. The remaining amount is to be raised by the investors.
  • Interest is paid quarterly. The interest rate is based on the yield on Swiss Confederation bonds (SCBY) for 10-year maturities (click here for more Information), plus a risk premium
  • The risk premium increases every year and is calculated as follows:
    1st year : SCBY + 1.5 %
    2nd year : SCBY + 2.0 %
    3rd year : SCBY + 2.5 %
    4th year : SCBY + 3.0 %
    5th/6th/7th year : SCBY + 4.5 %

    The minimum interest rate in the first year is 1.5%.
  • The contribution from the borrower to the project can be in cash or in kind (property, equipment, materials), but not in working hours. A third party will determine the value of a contribution in kind. This value cannot be higher than the purchase price.
  • The SSF can be used to finance fixed assets (land, buildings, equipment) goods and materials, operating costs and costs of setting up the project, but not working hours of the borrowers. The price of fixed assets should not be higher than the market price.
  • The duration of a loan cannot exceed 7 years from the date of disbursement to the final repayment.
  • The SSF loan must be repaid before the project company pays dividends to its shareholders or pays off any capital from investors.

Required Documentation

  • Complete business plan for an investment project (example for a structure of a business plan) FINANCEcontact also accepts drafts for a first assessment.
  • Latest financial statements of the borrowers and of the investors
  • A copy of the latest tax declaration in case of natural persons as borrowers
  • Application Form filled out and duly signed

Please send documents to