Switzerland, a country of start-ups and entrepreneurs

Nearly 45,000 new companies were founded in Switzerland in 2019. In this record-breaking year, our UBS Start Business package of tailor-made services for young companies got off to a successful start.

There are many aspects to innovation and it is the driver for successful new developments. We are proud to be helping more and more entrepreneurs for whom sustainability is a high priority to make their ideas reality and bring their products to market.

Young companies are not just the result of the Swiss population being so innovative, they are also an important driver of the Swiss economy. Around every twelfth person employed in Switzerland works for a company that was founded in the last decade.

An ecosystem for young companies

As a leading bank for Swiss companies, we are constantly adapting our services to meet their changing needs when it comes to financial and business matters. To position ourselves better in the market for small and young companies, in 2019 – building on the UBS Digital Business package – we launched UBS Start Business, a customer-focused platform for the founders of new companies. For each phase of the start-up process, we offer not only a free banking package but also specific products and solutions aimed at supporting a company’s long-term development. In the initial stages, priority is given to providing basic banking services for start-ups, support from a mentor in producing a future-proof business model and other exclusive start-up services. Later the focus shifts to matters relating to pensions and liquidity planning. Our services now also include bespoke insurance solutions for the founders of companies, provided by Zurich Insurance Group. With this efficient combination of our own banking services and attractive third-party services, we can meet all of the needs of young companies, whether they are tech start-ups or operating in the manufacturing sector.

Environmental issues are a common theme for start-ups

Sustainability is a central concern for many of the young companies that have chosen us as their bank. In our special Circular Economy Incubator program we and our partner, ImpactHub, use our expertise to support young companies that have innovative and environmentally friendly business models aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and the use of resources.

Planted, Impact Acoustic and Yamo are just three of the latest generation of companies that we have supported since they were founded. Their business models, products and positions in the market are very different, so the ways in which we look after them and advise them as they establish and develop their companies are equally diverse.

The four young ETH Zurich food engineers who are behind Planted were able to launch, with just one round of financing, their fully developed product – chicken and beef substitutes made of plant proteins.

Yamo, similarly, uses innovative high-pressure pasteurization technology and sustainable organic ingredients to make a range of baby foods that contain no additives or chemicals. The simple concept of the founders of Yamo is that babies should be given fresh food to eat, not food that is older than they are.

The founders of Impact Acoustic in Lucerne have also made sustainability a trademark of their room acoustics company. They bring together elegant, functional design and recycling by making high-quality bespoke sound insulation products for offices and business premises out of single-use material.

In 2019, we helped several thousand enterprising people to realize their dream of self-employment. We are particularly proud of the fact that so many entrepreneurs for whom sustainability is a high priority have chosen us as their bank.

Supporting Swiss SMEs during COVID-19

We are backing emergency measures adopted by the Federal Council to support Swiss SMEs in conjunction with other Swiss banks. In addition, we are making liquidity of several billion Swiss francs available to our clients with an intact business model and permitting the suspension of amortization. To this end, our corresponding competencies in the regions will be expanded to facilitate quicker decision-making.

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