Access to finance13 November 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 17 July 2012
In Slovakia, there is a wide range of programmes, funds and loans available for the support of enterprise, which may be divided into public sector financial instruments and private sector financial instruments.
The Operational Programme 'Competitiveness and Economic Growth' is the basic document setting out directions and specifying support for the development of innovation, industry, tourism and other selected services in order to exploit growth potential while respecting sustainable development.
Companies may obtain support from a whole range of programmes, funds and credit, under the sponsorship of various departments.
These can be divided into public sector and private sector financial instruments.
Public finances are the main instrument of economic policy through which the government influences economic development. The Ministry of Finance governs the provision of grants through the Decree on the Provision of Grants:
Slovak Guarantee and Development Bank, a.s. (Slovenská záručná a rozvojová banka) provides various guarantee, contribution and credit programmes for businesses. It also has experience in providing financial support through EU funds, especially in the form of long-term investment loans.
It provides credit and bank guarantees for credit mainly to businesses.
The regulations on State support for businesses are set out in the Act on Investment Support. Support for initial investments and job creation is provided in the following forms:
- subsidies for purchasing long-term tangible and intangible assets,
- income tax relief,
- contributions for newly-created jobs,
- transfers of immovable assets or the exchange of an immovable asset at a lower price than the general asset value.
In the government department of agriculture , State support targeted mainly at SMEs is provided in the form of grants and subsidised services and goods. The support is governed by the Decree on Certain Agricultural Support Measures.
In addition to the above options, the public sector offers a range of other instruments supporting business development, for example loans at lower rates under the Micro-loan Programme.
Unlike the above operational programmes, one of the conditions set by the supranational and bilateral programmes is the creation of a supranational or bilateral partnership.
Supranational programmes which either directly or indirectly support businesses in Slovakia include the following operational programmes: INTERREG IIIC, INTERREG IVC, Central Europe, South East Europe.
You can find more information on bilateral cooperation programmes and the INTERREG IIIC and INTERREG IVC operational programmes through the links on the Ministry of Economy website - EU section.
Access to EU funding
The range of public sector financial instruments and the amount of finance provided by them have gradually increased since Slovakia joined the EU.
In the 2007-13 programming period, Slovakia can fully benefit from EU funds. The greatest contribution to the increased financing has come from the Structural Funds (European Regional Development Fund - ERDF, and the European Social Fund - ESF) and the Cohesion Fund.
For the 2007-13 programming period, a total of 11 operational programmes have been put in place, including 'Competitiveness and Economic Growth' (CEG) which is aimed at business support and development, Other programmes on Education and R&D also contribute in this area.
There are also operational programmes for agricultural and rural development and for fisheries. You can find outlines of the programmes and links to their administrative and intermediary bodies at:
For the programming period 2007-13, 21 Community programmes are available. Of these, the Second Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme and the Seventh Framework Programme for R&D cover business support and development.
You can choose from a wide range of banking products to finance your business activities.
An alternative to bank financing is the use of venture capital, whereby an investor provides a company with financial resources. In doing so, the investor is granted the temporary status of partner. The Fund of Funds ensures all venture capital funds operate correctly.
Modern forms of funding include:
- venture capital - risk capital provided by professional companies for the start-up, development or transformation of private firms that can demonstrate growth potential and are not quoted on the stock market,
- Private equity - the capital is used in specific situations such as restructuring companies, especially, change of ownership or where necessary funding to finance the acquisition of another company, Mezzanine funding - involving a level of transfer between equity and foreign capital. Providers of mezzanine have the right to regular interest payments from their contribution to the business (as with foreign sources), but at the same time they become temporary co-owners,
- Business angel capital - is capital from informal private investors, who are usually experienced managers and leading businessmen.
Specific forms of funding include:
- Leasing - instead of purchasing fixed assets the process is accelerated by leasing in return for periodical payments,
- Factoring - buying up short-term receivables which mainly result from supplies of goods to end users and supplies for manufacturers,
- Forfaiting - buying up receivables payable in the future which result from exports of goods or services without the possibility of recourse by the exporter, but guaranteed by certain bank payment instruments.
Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.
Source: Your Europe