Financial assistance

Entrepreneurs who are best informed about the financial assistance options may benefit a great deal. Possible financial assistance ranges from startup financial assistance, to help with financing growth projects, to support with going international.

The following are examples of target groups that may be eligible for grants:

  • Small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Startup businesses
  • Businesses with a technology and innovation-orientated profile
  • Production-related service providers
  • Industrial companies
  • Businesses on their way to becoming international
  • Investors and those seeking stockholder equity

The transparency portal ( BMF) German text provides a comprehensive overview of the funding landscape in Austria.


Grant applications must in all cases be submitted to the grant-awarding body before the start of the project.

The WIFI Entrepreneur Service ( WKO)German text, the coordinating office of the national Entrepreneur Service Network (UNS) of the Austrian Economic Chamber ( WKO)German text, offers Austrian entrepreneurs advice, support and information.

The austria wirtschaftsservice (aws)

The austria wirtschaftsservice (Austrian promotional bank) (aws/erp-fonds) is the Austrian bank for providing grant assistance and financing that offers support for businesses at all stages of growth. The aws places a particular focus on assisting small and medium-sized business, the areas of technology & innovation, patent and licence management, stockholder equity, and regional development areas. The services offered for small and medium-sized businesses include the following:

  • Loan guarantees
  • Investment premiums
  • Guarantees for shareholder capital
  • Financing for high-tech startups
  • ERP loans at favourable interest rates for growing businesses
  • Liability assumption for internationalisation projects

Types of subsidy

There are different types of subsidy for different phases of a business:

Grant support is mainly relevant for innovation, research, growth and cooperation projects, investment in environmental measures and the recruitment and training of staff. The amount of the grant is specified in the funding guidelines and is calculated as a percentage of the costs.

In principle, the cash grants do not have to be repaid.

The project costs often have to be interim-financed because many grants are only paid out after the project is completed. For some grants there is the possibility of a payment on account depending on the progress of the project.

Borrowed capital (loans) can be used with preferential conditions (low interest rate, costs of loan processing, application without red tape, etc.). This debt must be secured and repaid.

Subsidised loans are available, for example, for modernisation and expansion investments, innovation projects, R&D projects and internationalisation measures by federal and state funding agencies. In certain cases, borrowing can also be for running costs.

If the collateral offered by the funding applicant for a bank loan is not sufficient, institutional guarantors may be called upon to provide default liability. Guarantees and liabilities are provided by the Republic of Austria and by national companies. The counter-liability makes it possible to offer the financing institution first-class security. The Bank’s lending risk is reduced and lending conditions are improved.

Guarantees and liabilities are available for investment projects as well as for the purchase of equipment or business security. There are differences as regards the term, the liability ratio and the credit volumes to be covered.

For investment loans, liabilities or guarantees of up to 80 per cent of the loan amount are generally available. The cost of assuming a guarantee or liability depends on the risk taken.

Companies in the start-up phase that are unable to implement high-risk innovation projects due to insufficient funding receive support through equity investments by federal or state authorities. Equity investments are also available for financing expansion steps.

This will bring in fresh capital and provide risk capital. There are both open and silent partnerships, the investment conditions are in line with market conditions.

Subsidised management consultancy services and start-up support initiatives are used to transfer specific knowledge for business decisions and planning. Consulting topics include the business plan, strategy, financial planning, marketing, environmental protection, innovation management, etc. The costs of this advice are partly borne by the funding agencies.

Further links


These rules apply to all entrepreneurs from EU Member States in Austria.

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 12 January 2024
Responsible for the content:
  • Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology
  • Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy

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