Many very small companies find that a lack of equity capital prevents them from accessing loans. In order to open up better possibilities for such companies to access finance and to increase their risk-bearing capability, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy set up the Micro-Mezzanine Fund Germany with a volume of €228 million.
Small and young companies and start-ups are eligible to apply – and particularly companies that were founded by unemployed people, or are run by women or by people with a migration background. Social enterprises operating commercially and companies with a focus on environmentally compatible production are also part of the target group ("target group companies"). Companies in need of restructuring or a bail-out are not eligible.
How is the funding provided?
The funding is provided as dormant investment by the SME venture capital companies of the respective Länder in which the investment is made. It amounts to up to €50,000 with a term of ten years, and €150,000 for target group companies. The dormant investment may be used for all corporate management purposes. It must be repaid from the seventh year in three equal annual instalments. Applications can be submitted via the SME venture capital company of the respective Land.
- 8% fixed fee p.a., not performance-based, payable retrospectively for each quarter. The fee amounts to 6.5% p.a. for companies with a particularly good creditworthiness when the funds are disbursed.
- Reduction of the non-performance-based fee of 8% or 6.5% p.a. to 4% until 31 December 2023. Companies which receive new dormant investment from 30 July 2021 must pay a fee of only 4% p.a. of the nominal amount of the investment. The usual fee needs to be paid again from 1 January 2024. A one-off processing fee of 3.5% of the investment must be paid when the funds are disbursed.
- Variable profit-sharing, at most 1.5% of the investment.
The Micro-Mezzanine Fund is co-financed by the ERP Special Fund and the. The reduction of the non-performance-based fee to 4% for companies which receive equity capital in the context of MMF II is financed by additional ESF funds. The European Union is making the additional funding possible: in Germany, the European Union provides funding for programmes and projects together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, financed by the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU) in the context of NextGenerationEU.