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Entrepreneurship support to boost business

Have a business idea but don’t know where to get the funding you need to move forward? There are supports for entrepreneurship that can help.

Investment is one of the main obstacles to starting a business, but there are entrepreneurship support in Portugal that can help solve this problem.

For those who have just finished higher education, are unemployed or simply do not have all the necessary capital to implement an idea, there are solutions. We present you some.


The Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP) offers some support to entrepreneurship, ranging from the project to financing, in order to make it possible to create your own company.

Recipients and requirements vary according to the nature of each support.

entrepreneur business

Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment Support Program

O PAECE – Program to Support Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment of the IEFP, comprises the following measures:

  • Support for the creation of small-scale, for-profit companies that generate employment and contribute to the dynamism of local economies;
  • National Microcredit Program;

The measures provided for in the Program to Support Entrepreneurship and the Creation of Employment itself are each aimed at different recipients.

Support for business creation

It is intended for those registered at the Job Centers, in one of the following situations:

  • Unemployed registered for 9 months or less, in involuntary unemployment or registered for more than 9 monthsregardless of the reason for registration;
  • Young people looking for their 1st job aged between 18 and 35 years oldinclusive, with a minimum of complete secondary education or qualification level 3 or attending a qualification process leading to obtaining that level of education or qualification, and who have not had an indefinite employment contract;
  • Who has never exercised professional activity on behalf of others or on their own account;
  • Self-employed whose average monthly income, in the last year of activity, is lower than the guaranteed minimum monthly salary.

National Microcredit Plan

This is a measure aimed at all people with an entrepreneurial profile who are unemployed, with special difficulties in accessing the labor market and at risk of social exclusion.

Support for self-employment by recipients of unemployment benefits: single amount

It is intended to recipients of unemployment benefits who submit a project that allows you to create, at least, your full-time job.

This measure allows you to benefit from the advance payment of the value of unemployment benefits, in a single amount, in isolation or, even, in accumulation with subsidized and guaranteed credit (MICROINVEST or INVEST+).


Support for the creation of companies and the National Microcredit Plan

  1. The business creation project cannot involve, in the initial phase:
  • Creation of more than 10 jobs;
  • A total investment of more than €200,000.
  1. In projects that include the purchase of share capital or the transfer of an establishment, the company whose capital is acquired or the company transferring the establishment cannot be held in 25% or moreby spouse, common-law partner or family member of the promoter up to the 2nd degree in a direct or collateral line.
  2. The company referred to in the previous number cannot, either, be owned in 25% or more by another company in which the subjects referred to in the same number hold 25% or more of the respective capital.
  3. O project must present economic and financial viability.
  4. THE realization of the investment and creation of jobs must be completed within one year from the date on which the credit is made availablewithout prejudice to extension by agreement of the banking entity, the mutual guarantee society and the Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional, IP

Support for self-employment by recipients of unemployment benefits

For this measure, only requirements 2, 3, 4 and 5 above are applicable.

Invest Young

The program aims to promote entrepreneurship as well as job creation and economic growth through the following measures:

  • Financial support for investment;
  • Financial support for self-employment of the promoters;
  • Technical support in the field of entrepreneurship to reinforce skills and to structure the project, as well as its consolidation.

The recipients of this support are those who meet the following requirements:

  • Young people registered as unemployed in the IEFP;
  • Age over 18 and under 30 (at the date of application);
  • They have a viable business idea and adequate training for business development.

O IEFP takes responsibility and takes the initiative to provide adequate training for business development to project promoters.who do not have it, and whenever it deems necessary.

entrepreneurial woman seeing support to create her own job

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The IAPMEI presents three Incentive Systems which correspond to three domains of business development: Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Qualification and Internationalization of SMEs and Technological Research and Development. The objective is to enhance the development of national companies, making them competitive.

The financial incentives available can take two forms: Non-Refundable Incentivel (non-refundable, through the fulfillment of objectives defined in the contract); and Refundable Incentive (interest-free loan, subject to repayment conditions defined in the contract).


There are some initiatives and competitions that promote entrepreneurship and the creation of ideas in Portugalpromoted, namely, by higher education institutions and banks.

An example of this is the “Ideas in a Box” contest.

A studio for the production of animated series and films, kits for the homemade preparation of dog biscuits or a product to control infections caused in bivalves and fish. These were some of the projects presented among the twenty winners of the seventh edition of the “Ideias em Caixa” competition, promoted by CRIA – Division of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer of the University of Algarve (UAlg), in partnership with ANJE and NERA, with the support of CRESCAlgarve 2020.

Six first prizes were awarded, one for each area of ​​the competition – Research and Technological Development – ​​R&DT; Cultural and Creative Industries and Information and Communication Technologies – ICC/TICE; agrifood; Health and wellness; Renewable energy; and Mar – and 14 honorable mentions.

Twenty ideas that will benefit from specialized technical support in the elaboration of business plans, in the search for financing and facilities, as well as various support services sponsored by companies in the region.

The six best received a check for 5 thousand euros each, through funding from CRESC Algarve and with the high sponsorship of Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

The seventh edition of Ideias em Caixa received 144 applications, involving 265 promoters, the vast majority with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral qualifications.

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