Funding programmes and initiatives for entrepreneurs

With a view to reinforcing and developing the national entrepreneurship ecosystem, IAPMEI provides a range of specific incentives and support programmes for entrepreneurs.

In the area of Innovation and Competitiveness, IAPMEI develops and takes part in a variety of programmes and initiatives that help to identify opportunities to innovate, manage innovation and invest in Research, Development and Innovation (R+D+I). It also provides specialised information on investment and funding incentives in support of innovation and competitiveness.

In the area of Competitiveness Clusters and with a view to stimulating and supporting the emergence and consolidation of collective efficiency strategies, of which clusters are an example, IAPMEI supports these collaborative networks that encompass sectoral business lines and promote value chains. IAPMEI promotes networking among competitiveness clusters, ensuring the dissemination of national and international information relevant to their operation.

There are also three distinct areas with information on initiatives for entrepreneurs:

The ePortugal portal provides information on how to initiate, manage and close your business.

The Government launched the Startup Portugal+ Programme, presented in July 2018, to give fresh momentum to the initial strategy and respond to emerging challenges. In addition to consolidating measures from the original programme, new measures were presented:

  • Startup Voucher: support for developing projects in the ideas stage. This envisages the provision of various technical and financial tools to help 18 to 35-year-old entrepreneurs to set up new innovative companies.
  • Momentum programme: Support for recent higher education graduates and final year students who received social action grants during their courses and who, on completing their studies, wish to develop a business idea.
  • Incubation Valley: support for companies in their first year of business in the area of entrepreneurship, by contracting incubation services provided by certified incubators. The support includes management, marketing, consultancy and legal support services, support for digitisation and intellectual property protection and support for applications for entrepreneurship and innovation tenders.
  • Pitch Voucher: the Pitch Voucher promotes the strengthening of the relationship between start-ups and large undertakings. Through the Startup Centre platform, undertakings can raise technological challenges and start-ups can respond with innovative solutions.
  • Entrepreneur Training: courses for entrepreneurs and their teams, 90% co-funded through the COMPETE funds. This measure makes it possible to increase the training provided by incubators and respond to the needs identified by entrepreneurs, equipping them to develop their business through a start-up.
  • InovGov: bringing start-ups closer to the public sector, promoting their services and products among public sector managers and providing them with information on how to apply for tenders in different business areas.
  • Open Kitchen Labs: making available the premises and facilities of the network of 12 Tourism Schools throughout the country to start-ups that wish to carry out tests and trials on products, services and concepts in the catering sector.
  • InovCommerce: tendering for the presentation of entrepreneurship projects in the area of commerce that may help to stimulate innovation in the sector.
  • Energy Challenge: financing of technology-based start-ups for developing innovative ideas and projects in the energy sector that help to resolve existing challenges and have strong market and internationalisation potential.
  • International co-investment funds: establishment of an international co-investment fund to promote and attract venture capital funds in Portugal, originating from multilateral international institutions.
  • ADN Startup Scheme: establishment of a financial support scheme for start-ups and micro enterprises in business for less than 4 years and with a minimum of 15% own capital.
  • KEEP- Key Employee Engagement Programme: tax incentives to support the retention of workers in technology companies that have been in business for less than six years.
  • Co-investment instruments with incubators and accelerators: establishment of co-funding lines with incubators and accelerators, in a model identical to the schemes developed for co-investment with Business Angels and venture capital. This mechanism facilitates access to capital by entrepreneurs and promotes the emergence of incubators that share the success of start-ups.
  • Capital + acceleration: creation of a funding line for new capital subscriptions to speed up the growth of start-ups.
  • Funding lines for technological projects in Tourism: establishment of funding for technological projects in Tourism, particularly innovative solutions in the area of digitising tourist experiences and projects based on virtual reality, enhanced reality and artificial intelligence.
  • Call MVP — Minimum Viable Products: for projects involving new ideas, technologies, products or services envisaging the creation of an MVP and its commercialisation on the global market. Emphasis is placed on Digital, Engineering and Manufacturing sectors.
  • METRO Accelerator for Hospitality powered by Techstars: launching of an international acceleration programme with Techstars focusing on the use of technology in the hospitality sector (accommodation and food services).
  • Company space for start-ups: creation of an answering point for foreign entrepreneurs with bilingual support (Portuguese and English), ensuring a quick and easy company formation process.
  • Tech Visa: creation of a visa for technological and innovative companies in the global market that seek to attract highly qualified staff from non-Schengen countries.
  • Hackathons in Business and Tourism: hackathons to speed up digital transformation in the Business and Tourism sectors, calling on Portuguese and foreign start-ups to resolve technological challenges identified in these sectors and increasing the visibility and recognition of start-ups.
  • Tourism Innovation Centre: creation of a centre to stimulate tourism involving the sector’s various national and international stakeholders. The Centre’s mission will be to support the development of new business ideas, project experimentation and the empowerment of business in the area of innovation and the digital economy.
  • Digital Single Market Think Tank for Europe: establishment of a think tank to analyse and design measures to help start-ups to raise their profile in the European market, significantly speed up the creation of the Digital Single Market and consolidate Portugal in leading an innovative policy for digital entrepreneurship in Europe.

Organisations responsible for managing programmes and initiatives


In line with national and community public policies in the area of entrepreneurship, innovation and SME competitiveness, IAPMEI promotes a broad range of programmes, initiatives and services to support this segment.

IAPMEI’s involvement in this area focuses on support to entrepreneurship, stimulation of business innovation and innovation management and the promotion and monitoring of collective efficiency dynamics, particularly clusters, collaborative networks and technology transfer.

Assistance services

For more information or if you need help, please contact IAPMEI:

  • phone: 808 201 201 or 213 836 237, at working days from 9h to 18h
  • e-mail:

Startup Portugal

Startup Portugal is a public-private think tank tasked with comparing government initiatives which are compatible with a prosperous entrepreneurship community. This forum acts as a link between government, entrepreneurs, incubators and accelerators by identifying the needs of the ecosystem. It helps to design and implement public policies and private initiatives that continually react to the community and attract the best foreign talent, founders and investors.

Startup Portugal was established in 2016 to implement the strategy to support development and entrepreneurship in Portugal. In 2016 and 2017, Startup Portugal implemented a variety of measures, such as Startup Momentum, Startup Voucher, Incubation Voucher, Creation of the National Network of Incubators and Accelerators, the Seed Programme and various co-investment funds with business angels and venture capital undertakings.

In 2018 the Portuguese Government announced a new set of initiatives and an improvement in the National Entrepreneurship Strategy entitled Startup Portugal +, making further public funds available.

Assistance services

For more information or if you need help, please contact Startup Portugal:


Applications for Compete2020 programmes must be registered on the Simplified Access Platform [SAP].

To apply for the incentives presented through the Financing Portal, undertakings must register and submit applications via Balcão2020.