Financing Innovative Start-ups Program

In order to support the stimulation of innovation and start-ups in Sofia Municipality in 2018 MGFSME has announced the Financing Innovative Start-ups Program.

The program is a specialized guarantee scheme of MGFSME and was developed in implementation of the Innovative Strategy for Smart Specialization of Sofia.

It is aimed at facilitating the access of start-up innovative enterprises to financial resources in connection with the realization and development of their business projects.

Main thematic priorities are Informatics, ICT and New technologies in creative and recreational industries. The strategic focus of Sofia’s ISIS is to create the necessary prerequisites and conditions for Sofia to become a national and regional center for education, modern research, innovation and entrepreneurship based on ICT. The emphasis is on the following priorities: living in a smart urban environment and mobility; cyber-physical systems; future cloud technologies; future networking solutions; health and a healthy lifestyle; data protection, security and trust; intelligent energy systems and intelligent spaces.

New technologies will also be supported in the creative and recreational industries. The emphasis in this priority is to support the development of the creative economy on the territory of Sofia, which is becoming a major factor for the development of tourism. This includes the arts, the cultural and creative industries where the main factors in the process of creation are individual creativity, skills, talent, as well as the possibilities for reproduction and protection of copyright on the unique cultural element.

Basic requirements for entrepreneurs

To meet the core criteria for a start-up innovative enterprise should be:

  • Created no more than 3 years from the request for warranty support.
  • Which provides or will provide the market with innovative products, services and / or processes.
  • To meet the criteria for small and medium-sized enterprises under the SME Act;
  • Their headquarters shall be on the territory of Sofia Municipality or their business project shall be realized on the territory of the municipality;

Additional benefits will be given to:

  • Projects of women entrepreneurs with a Bachelor’s degree in the field of the project;
  • Projects of persons up to 35 years and of persons over 50 years of age;
  • Projects with a social and ecological effect from the realization of the entrepreneurial innovative idea;
  • Projects that create new jobs for the unemployed.

Eligible innovations

  • Product (product or service) innovation is a good or service that is new or significantly improved in terms of its properties or uses. This includes significant improvements in technical features, components and materials, embedded software, ease of use, or other functional features;
  • Process (process) innovation is a new or significantly improved way of manufacturing or delivering the product. This involves significant changes in technology, production equipment and / or software;
  • Marketing innovation is a new marketing method, including significant changes to the design or packaging of the product, its storage, advertising on the market, or the determination of its sale price;
  • Organizational innovation is a new organizational method in the company’s business practice, in the organization of workplaces or in external relations.


Cover of the guarantee

The MGFSME shares with the creditor bank a part of the credit risk, securing up to 50% of the principal of the loan and up to a maximum of BGN 30,000, regardless of the amount of the principal on the loan granted. The guarantee is ancillary collateral to the principal collateral under the loan accepted by the Bank. The maximum amount under which the MGFSME will issue guarantees under this financial instrument is BGN 600,000.

Eligible Collaterals (individually or in combination)

All eligible collateral under Bulgarian legislation is accepted as collateral.

In addition, the FISP program requires owners of borrowers – legal entities and collateral owners – to be engaged as co-debtors of the loan.

Mechanism to approve the issuance of the guarantee to MGFSME

The MGFSME examines individually each single project applying for warranty support and may assume or refuse to issue a guarantee depending on whether the project meets the eligibility criteria of the FISP Program and the Fund’s Internal Rules.