04.05.2023 | News
Nearly 60% of new funding was granted for projects related to circular economy and sustainable business models. After 40 years of operations, Nopef remains a relevant funding source to support new market entry for Nordic SMEs.
In 2022, Nopef (the Nordic Project Fund) granted funding for 35 new projects worth EUR 1.3 million. The majority of the approved projects (57%) were related to circular economy and sustainable business models, a sector that continues to attract strong interest among Nordic small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). A significant part of the new funding was also granted for projects within sustainable construction, sustainable ocean economy and digitisation, AI and data. View Annual Review 2022 here.
All approved projects contribute to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ action plans for the Nordic Vision 2030.
“Nopef’s key objective is to support the programme initiatives in the Nordic Vision to make the Nordics the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. By combining four decades of experience supporting the internationalisation of Nordic SMEs with the environmental expertise of Nefco, the fund manager, Nopef is in a unique position to foster a green and competitive Nordic region,” said Mikael Reims, Vice President, Origination, Nefco.
Supporting market entry for sustainable Nordic solutions
Nopef provides funding for feasibility studies into international establishments, the implementation of commercial pilots and demonstrations of Nordic green solutions.
Feasibility studies related to pilots and demonstration projects continued to see significant demand in 2022 and resulted in nine approved projects, representing 25% of all project financing. The approved projects focus on the demonstration and installation of sustainable and green Nordic solutions in countries such as Brazil, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Uganda.
“In addition to concrete and measurable environmental benefits, the demonstration value and scale-up potential of solutions are important: Nopef prioritises projects that will demonstrate a sustainable Nordic solution in a new international market and create opportunities for further scale-up and growth in the coming years,” explained Reims.
At the end of the year, Nopef had 140 active projects in its portfolio. The active projects are being implemented across 40 project countries, with most based in emerging markets. The success rate of implemented projects in 2022 was in line with targets: during the year, 23 feasibility studies (50% of all completed projects) resulted in the establishment of an international business or a completed investment in the project country.
Collaboration between Nordic countries
Nopef fosters new Nordic collaborations, networks and solutions by giving special priority to projects that include co-applicants and collaborators from multiple Nordic countries. In 2022, 57% of new funded projects included the participation of partners from more than one Nordic country, an increase from 49% in the previous year.
Nopef has continued its collaboration with Nefco to promote further financing options for SMEs. As a result, Nefco approved financing for eight of Nopef’s past and current client companies in 2022 to scale up Nordic green solutions globally. To date, some 70% of clients that have received fast-track loans from Nefco previously conducted a feasibility study with support from Nopef.
“Nefco is proud to continue in its role as the fund manager of Nopef. The continued collaboration and cross-promotion of financing opportunities is likely to speed up the global growth of many Nordic SMEs in the coming years,” commented Reims.
More about Nopef activities and results
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Nopef provides financing for feasibility studies that target the demonstration, scaling and growth of Nordic green and sustainable solutions on global markets, thereby contributing to the Nordic Vision to make the Nordics the most sustainable region in the world. Since its launch in 1982, Nopef funding has supported over 3,200 Nordic small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with a total value of EUR 113 million, resulting in some 1,200 successful international establishments. Nopef is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and managed by Nefco. Read more on nopef.com