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SECO Start-up Fund

Fund is owned by Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). It is an instrument of the Swiss Economic Cooperation and Development that provides startup loans for individuals and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in Switzerland to start a business in a partner country of Switzerland’s development cooperation.
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In many developing countries and emerging markets access to finance is, among regulatory hurdles and economic opportunities, a binding  constraint  to  set up a business. The SECO Startup Fund provides reimbursable loans (up to five years) bearing interest to support the startup phase of investment projects, thereby sharing risks with the entrepreneur. The Fund takes minority positions only and seeks to leverage private capital. The Fund is managed by Financecontact Gmbh in Zürich.

Overall goal

To support private sector investments with Swiss participation in Switzerland’s priority countries in order to promote economic growth and support sustainable job creation.


  • Investment volume by SSF and mobilized private sector investments Increased economic activity by the supported enterprises
  • Support  the  application  of  technical standards
  • Support the application of environmental, social and governance standards

Key outputs

  • Number of loan applications examined
  • Number and volume of loans approved and loans disbursed
  • Number  and  volume  of  loans  reim- bursed

Previous phases results

Since inception, SECO Startup Fund has supported 104 investment projects with a total envelope of CHF 39 million and helped to mobilize an additional CHF 244 million. The share of diaspora investors is relatively high. These investments contributed to create roughly 10’100 jobs, partially in modern areas.

Strategic Domain Economic Development and Employment
Status Ongoing
Implementers Financecontact GmbH
Projects implemented in Global/regional project