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Factsheet for measure EE-2001-1/2581 – measures in Estonia

Entrepreneurship related measures by the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency

Ettevõtluse ja Innovatsiooni Sihtasutuse ettevõtluse valdkonna meetmed

Country Estonia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 2001
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/Innovation
Author Ingel Kadarik (Praxis Center for Policy Studies) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 15 November 2022)

Background information

The Estonian Business and Innovation Agency (EBIA, until 2022: Kredex) provides entrepreneurship related measures to support the development of companies as well as job creation. Loan guarantees offered help companies to develop and increase their possibilities to obtain a loan from the bank. Loans can finance investments and working capital of starting businesses, enabling fast growth and development.

Content of measure

There are six main measures in the package, which have slightly different eligibility criteria due to the nature of the measures, targeting both starting and already sustainable companies with growth in mind.

Start-up loan ( stardilaen ) aims at helping a new company whose collateral assets are either difficult to estimate or are not sufficient for a bank loan. The maximum amount of the loan is €100,000 and the maximum term is five years. Eligible companies are maximum three years old and with maximum 250 employees. The entrepreneur is responsible for the loan: the joint and several liabilities correspond to 25% of the loan amount.

Business loan guarantee ( laenukäendus ) enables a guarantee of investment and working capital loans, leasing transactions and bank guarantees. EBIA prefers to guarantee projects that result in a company expanding, with new jobs being created or a growth in export. The extent of the EBIA guarantee is up to 80% of the loan amount (for construction companies up to 60%) but not more than €5 million in case of SMEs and €1.5 million in case of large companies.

Capital loan ( kapitalilaen ) is meant for sustainable companies that are growth-oriented and which banks are not prepared to finance due to their low rate of self-financing, operating in a 'risky' sector or having insufficient collateral. EBIA provides capital for the entrepreneur to use. Subordinated loans will conditionally enhance an enterprise’s equity capital which, in turn, enables the enterprise to borrow additional amounts and to develop more quickly. In addition to providing financing that would be otherwise unavailable, the KredEx does not interfere in the management of the enterprise, unlike the case with risk capital funds. The maximum amount of the loan is €2 million and up to 67% of the financed project, but it cannot exceed the company’s equity at the moment of disbursement of the loan. The loan term is generally 3-5 years but can be up to 10 years.

Industry loan ( tööstuslaen ) is designed for SMEs in the areas of processing industry, mining industry, production, transfer and distribution of electrical energy and waste processing and disposal. The loan helps if a bank loan or leasing is used for an investment, but the entrepreneur lacks the required capital for self-financing. It is a subordinated loan that helps to increase the own contribution of the project to the credit institution. The amount of the loan can be up to €2 million, but not more than 40% of the project cost.

Export loan ( ekspordilaen ) is meant for companies wishing to finance export transactions of goods manufactured in Estonia. The export loan helps if a company wishes to offer a long (at least two years) payment term to a foreign buyer. The maximum amount of the loan is €3 million with the term of 2-10 years.

Regional loan ( regionaallaen ) is meant for SMEs making investments outside of the two largest towns in Estonia (Tallinn and Tartu). It is a subordinated loan that helps to increase the own contribution of the project to the credit institution. The maximum amount of the loan is €500,000 but not more than 50% of the project cost with a term of up to 15 years.

Use of measure

In 2021, Estonian Business and Innovation Agency (previously Kredex) guaranteed and financed a total of 511 companies in the amount of €128 million (501 companies and €373 million in 2020 and 411 companies and €77 million in 2019). This made possible for the companies to include additional financing from banks in the amount of €183 million (€481 million in 2020 and €150 million in 2019). The numbers for 2020 and 2021 include COVID-19 related extraordinary financing.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions



  • 30 December 2010: KredExi roll Eesti majanduse arengus (The role of Kredex in the development of the Estonian economy) (
  • 11 December 2013: Ekspordilaenu tingimused (Conditions of the export loan) (
  • 16 October 2015: Kapitalilaenu tingimused (Conditions of the capital loan) (
  • 22 March 2016: Stardilaenu väljastamise tingimused (Conditions of the start-up loan) (
  • 04 March 2022: Regionaallaenu tingimused (Conditions of the regional loan) (
  • 23 March 2022: Ettevõtluse ja Innovatsiooni Sihtasutuse majandusaasta aruanne 2021 (Business and Innovation Agency's annual report 2021) (
  • 01 May 2022: Tööstuslaenu tingimused (Conditions of the industry loan) (
  • 25 August 2022: Laenukäenduse tingimused (Conditions of the loan guarantee) (


Eurofound (2022), Entrepreneurship related measures by the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency, measure EE-2001-1/2581 (measures in Estonia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.