The Seed Co-Investment Fund, an early stage investment fund, is important for the development of innovative enterprise, and EUR 2.5 million is planned for its investments, Deputy Minister of Entrepreneurship and Crafts Mario Turalija said on Tuesday at a ceremony marking the launch of the Fund.
Investment funds are earmarked in the budget of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Venture Capital Project of the Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovation and Investment (HAMAG-BICRO), which is financially supported by a World Bank loan.
The Fund will secure co-financing for innovative small enterprises in Croatia through conditional loans which are approved subject to private investment in the recipient's equity.
Those interested will be able to apply from April 13 to September 1, and eligible projects will be co-financed with between EUR 30,000 and EUR 300,000, with a project duration of up to 24 months.
"Start-ups are Croatia's future and the objective is to strengthen this sector. This Fund is welcome and necessary and the aim is to support this sector with 2.5 million euros," Turalija said.
The World Bank’s Country Manager for Croatia, Carlos Pinerua, said that to be successful it was necessary to take risks, but that it was also necessary to have an idea and to commercialise it.
HAMAG-BICRO Deputy Board Chairman Boris Guina stressed the importance of support to young entrepreneurs, noting that it was necessary to create a positive climate to show that Croatian companies could be successful. He said that HAMAG-BICRO offered easier access to financing and expertise, and had financed 309 projects with HRK 306 million (EUR 40 million) to date.