Access to finance - Austria06 October 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 18 May 2012
There are various types of direct state support in Austria for the promotion of business as well as one-off subsidies, interest subsidies, low interest loans, state equity capital financing, state assumption of liabilities and state guarantees.
Under certain circumstances, the state supports investments for the purposes of modernising companies and improving their competitiveness. It also supports investments that will help to secure or create jobs.
The legal foundations for state support for the promotion of business are:
There are various types of direct state support for the promotion of business including:
- one-off subsidies;
- interest subsidies;
- low interest loans;
- state equity capital financing;
- state assumption of liabilities;
- state guarantees.
The key governmental body for promoting and financing companies is Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (AWS). It supports companies throughout all phases of growth.
AWS’s promotional activities are aimed towards small and medium-sized enterprises, start-up companies, innovative, technology-oriented companies, production-related service providers, industrial firms, investors and equity capital seekers.
Support is provided to companies throughout all phases of growth: from foundation via growth to international expansion. Promotion takes the form of assumption of liabilities, procurement of low-price ERP loans, various subsidies as well as consulting.
Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (AWS) also procures low interest loans for companies, particularly those operating in the areas of industry, trade, agriculture, forestry, transport and tourism.
The Austrian Business Agency (ABA) is the Federal Republic of Austria’s consultancy for companies investing on a transnational scale. It provides comprehensive information about Austria as a centre of commerce, arranges the necessary contacts and assists in the completion of formalities such as submitting grant applications.
Both the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth (BMWFJ) and the Austrian Public Employment Service provide advice about subsidies.
The Subsidy Compass is a service offered by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT). It provides free, comprehensive support throughout Austria for access to subsidies for research and technology.
The ‘Research creates jobs’ innovation support programme provides targeted support for small and medium-sized enterprises. The use of current research for business is supported by the ‘innovation cheque’. Companies can apply annually to the Austrian Research Promotion Agency for this assistance which entitles them to use the services of research institutions free of charge.
The Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF) and the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) provide information about accessing research subsidies available to companies, initial advice and continuative links.
The founder programme for young, innovative, technology-oriented companies (JITU) provides targeted support and funding for young companies, particularly within the hi-tech sector. It also offers management and consulting services. The aim of the programme is to reduce the risks involved in setting up a business and to provide capital for innovative enterprises. The target group encompasses all sectors with a particular focus on information and communication technologies, physical sciences, nano-technology, clean-tech and life sciences.
The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is Austria’s central organisation for the promotion of fundamental research. It is dedicated to all the sciences and uses the standards of the international scientific community as its benchmark.
The Austrian Research Promotion Agency a national funding institution for applied industrial research. It supports Austrian businesses, research institutions and researchers with a comprehensive range of services, from the management of public funding programmes to consulting services in all phases of technology development and product innovation.
The subsidy database of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber provides an overview of potential direct state subsidies.
The Business Start-Up Service of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber provides support for founders, successor establishments and franchisees.
The WIFI enterprise service is the coordination centre of the national enterprise network (UNS) of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.
Private funding opportunities
The Austrian Venture Capital Association (AVCO) is the point of contact for questions concerning private equity and venture capital in Austria and provides information and expertise on the Austrian risk capital market. It also represents the interests of the risk capital industry.
The Österreichische Hotel- und Tourismusbank provides funding for the tourism sector.
Business Angels Austria facilitates contact between potential investors and businesses seeking equity capital financing. It supports projects in all sectors and all phases of business development, although its particular focus is on businesses in the early stages of development.
Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.
Source: Your Europe