Loans and Guarantees

 Smallville AS
Smallville AS
Do you need funding for a profitable project or to further develop your business? We provide loans and guarantees to companies throughout the country that have growth potential.

Innovation Norway offers a range of loans, grants and guarantees to companies in all industries throughout the entire country. As part of the government's new focus on cultural and creative industries, we will also now help to identify more good entrepreneurs and companies with growth potential within these industries. The goal is to release private capital for investment by mitigating the risk in the business.

Start-up loans

Start-up loans are a new loan product for companies that have not previously been in a loan position. Start-up loans can be given once per company during the commercialisation phase.

This loan is tailored for innovative businesses, recorded in the register of entities (companies) as limited companies (AS), and that are less than 5 years old. The company must have ambitions, significant growth potential and be able to provide documentation of a positive confirmation from a market that is willing to pay. Furthermore, you must have plans and budgets for the further development, and plans for how you intend to finance development and growth. You must also have the necessary skills to realise the plans.

Start-up loans are matching capital, which means that they must be co-financed with private risk capital. The purpose is to mitigate the risk to the private capital, and increase the pace of development in the company. The risk exposure is approximately 50/50 between the private capital and Innovation Norway. We can finance up to 60% of the capital requirement, up to NOK 1.5 million in this phase.

The loan must be matched with fresh capital that comes into the company at the same time as the loan. Own investments can not replace fresh capital. The loan is given as a debt instrument. No collateral is taken from the company, but a guarantee of 20% of the loan is required (preferably from the owner or investor).

  • The loan amount is from a minimum NOK 500,000 up to a maximum of NOK 1.5 million
  • No repayments for 4 years
  • Interest free for 2 years, then 4.7% interest
  • Paid in line with the private capital (min NOK 500,000 per tranche)

Innovation loans

Innovation loans are offered primarily to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country and in all industries and sectors, but the offer also applies to large companies. Innovation loans are not limited to specific purposes.

Innovation loans can be used for the top-up financing of corporate and socio-economically profitable development and investment projects, where the company does not have, or can only partially provide, satisfactory security. Such projects could involve establishment, further development or transformation with the main focus being on innovation, growth and internationalisation. In both small and large companies in rural areas, there is also the possibility of top-up financing for investments in buildings, machinery and equipment. Innovation Norway’s involvement must be decisive for the implementation of the project.

Projects that are already underway before we receive a written application for funding can unfortunately not receive loans. We can normally finance up to 50% of the capital requirement.


Guarantees can be given to entrepreneurs and growth companies that are having trouble obtaining operating credit from their bank due to a lack of collateral or a high risk associated with future economic development. A guarantee from Innovation Norway will help improve the financing opportunities for companies in such a situation. In practice, our guarantees are collateral security that is provided to the company's bank in order for the bank to be able to give access to operating credit.

Our guarantees are provided in the form of loan guarantees to the lending bank, and normally guarantee up to 50% of any loss. A simple 50% loss guarantee means that Innovation Norway and the lender share the credit loss equally once all other collateral has been realised.

A guarantee is usually valid for 3 years, and an annual commission of at least 1% of the guarantee liability is usually paid. Unfortunately, we can not support projects that have begun before we receive a written application.