INOSTART Programme

Project completed

SME financing has been identified as a priority under the Swiss-Czech Cooperation Programme. The pilot INOSTART Programme will respond to the existing gap on the Czech financial market by providing investment loans, which are backed by preferential guarantees and complemented by targeted technical assistance, to start-ups with innovative business plans. Thereby, INOSTART will increase the access to long-term finance for Czech start-up enterprises so that they can enhance their growth, innovation and ultimately their competitiveness potential.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Czech Republic
Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions
Access to external financing for micro-enterprises and SMEs
01.01.2011 - 31.12.2016
CHF  10’000’000

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) constitute the backbone of the Czech economy. In fact, there are approximately 86 SMEs per 1\'000 inhabitants which is by far the highest entrepreneurship rate among all EU Member States. They play an important role for innovation and employment creation, and hence for regional economic development and the globalization of the Czech economy. Recently founded companies with innovative business plans face the biggest difficulties in obtaining funding. Moreover, there are considerable regional imbalances in terms of access to external finance for enterprises.


INOSTART will enable start-up SMEs, which have an operating license for less than three years to apply for an investment credit and related consultancy services in order to implement an innovative business plan.

Target groups

The direct beneficiaries of the INOSTART Programme will be up to 127 innovative Czech start-up enterprises. Further beneficiaries will be the provider of the loans and advisory services, the private Ceska sporitelna Bank, and the guarantee provider Czech-Moravian Guarantee Development Bank.

  • Provision of SME loans
  • Provision of loan guarantees
  • Provision of consulting services

Achieved results:  

  • Promising SMEs gained access to long-term finance, which allowed them to upgrade, grow and expand and to create new workplaces in the most advanced and future oriented sectors of the Czech economy.
  • 46 loans have been granted to innovative Czech start-up entrepreneurs.
  • 101 loan applications were assessed
  • More than 71 advisory services were offered to SMEs.
  • Guarantees worth more than 13.5 million CHF were provided to the eligible entrepreneurs.

Expected results:  

  • Up to 127 loans will be granted to innovative Czech start-up enterprises.
  • More than 100 advisory services will be offered to these SMEs.
  • Guarantees worth up to 34 million CHF will be provided to the eligible entrepreneurs.
  • A critical mass of promising SMEs will gain access to long-term finance, which allows them to upgrade, grow and expand and to create numerous new workplaces in the most advanced and future oriented sectors of the Czech economy.

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
  • Czech Ministry of Finance and Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade

Implementing partner
Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    10’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    10’000’000
Project phases

Phase 1 01.01.2011 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)