What kind of agencies offer support to SMEs?
There are few different agencies which support SMEs in Iceland e.g.. ICI, development agencies in the country
and other advisory and accounting offices. Each agency has a different role and focuses on businesses of
different size, potential or area of focus.
There is some variety of supports for enterprise of all kinds in Iceland. These include access to finance,
management development, mentoring supports, business development programs, market supports and trade
promotion. Some of these supporting institutes are state supported and other private owned.
Is it clear to the SME where they should go for support?
It is not clear to SME’s where to go for support in Iceland. SMEs can receive basic information on ICI webpage,
they though need a better online tool which sets out the variety of supports available to all enterprises across
Is there one agency which is the first place for businesses to go?
In Iceland ICI plays the role of the ‘first-stop-shop’ support service for micro and small businesses. ICI receives
revenues both from public and private partners. ICI is located in each region. ICI provides advice and direction,
to anyone who wishes to start or expand a business. ICI can also provide or point out funding for projects that
meet certain criteria (generally with regard to export potential) and other non-financial supports such as
training and mentoring.
Local development agencies also play an important role for SMEs.
Companies with clear high growth potential can be fast-tracked to the next level of support available from ICI
to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets through Enterprise Europe Network
(EEN). Promote Iceland also assists Icelandic companies seeking to grow internationally through competence
building programs as well as international events, such as trade fairs, press trips, and trade delegations. This is
done in close cooperation with Icelandic embassies and consulates abroad, as well as bilateral chambers of
commerce. They can provide funding, links and supports for companies – from entrepreneurs with business
propositions for a high potential start-up through to large companies expanding their activities, improving
efficiency and growing international sales.
Are business supports restricted to certain types of business, or enhanced for certain types of SMEs (e.g. only available for manufacturing or for exporters)?
There is a particular focus on research and development and on businesses with export potential.
Are there special supports for RE businesses?
Iceland is in a unique position, about 85% of total primary energy consumption in Iceland is derived from
domestically produced renewable energy resource. There are specific research and development fund for RE
owned by the government.
Business supports available in Finland are described in more detail in the coming pages under the following themes:
- Financial Support (grants, loans, equity investment)
- Taxation or welfare supports or concessions for businesses
- Soft supports e.g. mentoring, training, specialist advice, networks
- Research and Development supports
- Social and Community supports (focused on not for profit)
- Other- e.g. Incubation space or office space