Questions and answers

Questions and answers about Nopef funding

Which project countries can we apply for?

Nopef supports projects implemented in countries outside the EU/EFTA area. As a general rule, a funding application should typically concern one single project country.

Can we apply for funding even though we are already established in a project country?

Nopef primarily supports projects aimed at international establishment in a new market where the applicant company has not yet established a permanent local presence.

Exceptions can be made, however, if the project entails a significant investment and risk for the applicant, an expansion to a business area not related to its existing operations, or an establishment in a different geographical region of the country not supported by existing market presence.

What is the minimum size of companies that can apply for funding?

There is no defined lower limit, but applying companies must have been operational for at least one year and have their own personnel and commercialised products or services. In addition, applicant companies must have solid finances and sufficient resources to invest and start operations in the project country.

Is Nopef funding offered as a grant or a conditional loan?

Funding from Nopef is provided as a conditional loan that is converted into a grant fully or partially when the project has ended. If the project results in an international establishment, the disbursed conditional loan is fully converted into a grant. If the project does not result in an international establishment, the applicant company receives half of the max. funding amount as a grant.

How long/comprehensive must the application to Nopef be?

All the points on the application form must be completed and full answers given to the questions described on the form. As a rule of thumb, the detailed description of the company should be at least 1 page and the project description at least 2 pages.

What other documents must be appended to the application?

The most recent audited financial statement with an auditor’s report and a certificate of registration. Relevant project agreements, letters of intent, financing decisions, product sheets or presentations can also be appended.

How much support can we obtain?

Nopef can grant up to EUR 50,000 for a single project, subject to a maximum of 50% of the approved costs in the feasibility study budget.

Can companies make a joint application?

Although only one company can be the main applicant, a number of companies can participate in a project as co-applicants. The loan agreement is made only with the main applicant, which also receives any disbursements of funds. Co-applicants can, however, include their costs in the budget and receive compensation directly from the main applicant.

What should be included in a status report?

The status report can be brief and to the point but should describe the main project progression during the reporting period in question and planned project activities during the following 12 months. If no disbursement is required, it is not necessary to provide a cost report in conjunction with the status report.

When is a project considered as having been realised?

A project is considered as having been realised once the applicant company has started activities in the project country through a registered subsidiary, joint venture or comparable form of establishment.

The establishment must be documented with copies of the certificate of registration, invested share capital, signed shareholder agreement, employment contract, lease contract, completed investments or deliveries, auditor’s statement or other comparable documentation. Nopef decides whether the project can be considered to have been realised in line with the fund’s Standard Terms and Guidelines, based on the documentation received.

If the project aims at an international demonstration project or pilot installation, the projects can be considered to be realised when investments have been carried out in equipment, installations or facilities in the project country and documentation confirming the implementation of the project can be presented.

Can we revise the feasibility study plan during the course of the project?

Yes, Nopef accepts that a feasibility study may change during the project and that incurred costs will differ from the budget provided in the original application. Nopef must, however, separately approve big changes affecting the project’s overall objective.

What does environmental interest mean?

All projects for which financing is granted must have a verifiable potential to create direct or indirect positive environmental effects.

Examples of eligible projects are those involved in sales, production or delivery of solutions or technology for improved energy-efficiency, reduced consumption of resources, cleaner and safer production processes, environmentally friendly products, waste management or recycling, renewable energy or other solution within the field of climate and the environment.

The application must include a clear description of the project’s environmental interest, with descriptions of earlier reference projects and/or actual estimates of the positive environmental impacts that the project will deliver.

What does Nordic interest mean?

All projects that Nopef finances must contribute to Nordic added value. The projects must contribute to, for example, increased competence and competitiveness in the Nordic countries, and economic growth in the form of jobs, turnover, exports and investment. Added value also includes contributing to showing and developing Nordic affinity, or having participants from two or more Nordic countries and the project positively impacting on gender equality in the Nordic countries and the project country.

Can we apply for additional financing for planned investments?

Yes, projects approved for funding by Nopef have the potential for additional loan or equity-type financing from Nefco (Nordic Environment Finance Corporation). Visit Nefco’s website or contact us for further information.