In the facing of instability time for start-ups and SME businesses, the Norwegian Government announced a NOK 4.5 billion support program. The project aims to enable these companies to go through a period of market turbulence, by pandemia - coronavirus (COVID-19) impact.
A state-owned company and a national development bank, the most important instrument for innovation and development of local enterprises and industry Innovation Norway received an additional NOK 4.5 billion in the Government's crisis package presented 27th of march. The funds will go to development projects in innovative start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and growth companies across the country.
“The Government's proposal gives us greater opportunity to support the business community by increasing our framework by almost 60 per cent. We have the expertise and systems, and we will do what we can to assist companies in a very challenging situation,” says Håkon Haugli, CEO of Innovation Norway.
NOK 4.5 billion worth support package
With these grants, Innovation Norway can contribute further to the national benefit with instruments that complement the other measures the government has already introduced. The package represents an increase in Innovation Norway’s framework of NOK 4.5 billion. It is distributed as follows:
NOK 2 billion to innovation grants, i.e. grants towards development activities in small and medium-sized enterprises, which are assumed to have large market potential.
NOK 500 million towards established grants, i.e. entrepreneurs and start-up companies with innovative business ideas that have market and growth potential but reduced access to equity.
NOK 1.6 billion increase in the loan limit for innovation loans. Innovation loans can be used to commercialise new solutions, strengthen working capital, and to promote internationalisation.
NOK 300 million to interest fund support, which gives Innovation Norway the opportunity to grant interest-free periods for our customers.
NOK 50 million to a scheme for private innovation environments. This is in order to secure environments that have been built up over several years, including but not limited to incubators, coworking spaces and accelerators.
Contribute to a viable business sector
With this initiative, Innovation Norway can help relieve more companies across the country during this demanding period.
“Innovation Norway becomes an important part of the Government's rescue package for business and industry. We are ready to take on new tasks, and do what we can to meet the challenges facing Norwegian businesses. It is important that we think ahead to ensure viable and innovative companies also when the situation is normalised,” says Gunnar Bovim, Chairman of the Board of Innovation Norway.
Innovation Norway will revert with further details about the measures next week.