Germany Continues Start-Up, SME Financing Programs

August 2022

The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) is resuming its “Central Innovation Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises” (ZIM). It’s the largest initiative of its kind in Germany and is involved in an average of 3500 projects annually.

The program, which began in 2008, was suspended in October 2021 after receiving a record number of applications and exhausting its EUR 620 million funding. The governing cabinet will increase the money available in 2023 to EUR 700 million.

“We assume that there will be lots of applications,” said BMWK Parliamentary State Secretary Franziska Brantner in a statement. “That’s why we’re planning on more money than in the past to be able to catch up.”

Meanwhile, German economic development bank, the KfW, has announced that its venture capital fund for start-ups, Venture Tech Growth Financing (VTGF), will continue into its second round with a volume of EUR 1.2 billion until 2030.

The fund is aimed primarily at high-tech and high-growth companies. The money is part of the government’s “Future Fund,” which will see EUR 8.2 billion invested by the end of the decade.

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