Over the past 20 years, SOFIEX, the investment agency of Extremadura, has supported the creation of 125 business projects in its dual role as a venture capital organisation, generating investments of close to €1.07bn and 10,200 jobs.
SOFIEX acts as a financial partner, sharing in the social capital of companies, whether new or expanding, with a unique offering in the market which it adapts to the requirements of each business. Its shareholder participation can reach 49% in projects that are business viable, with real objectives in growth and employment creation.
Likewise, it offers all types of disinvestment facilities of the capital provided to the constituted companies. In this sense, the exit conditions of the shareholder on behalf of SOFIEX are agreed on upon entering the company, allowing the business to buy back the shares whenever it finds it opportune to do so.
Extremadura is also classified as a ‘convergence region’ by the EU and, by consequence, any business project receives the maximum grants by Regional Economic Incentives. The autonomous community has a large range of grants for businesses: promotion of employment, employee training, subsidised loan interests and help in technological implementation.
In an age of technological and industrial changes, SOFIEX has consolidated its outstanding position in the promotion of Extremadura as the place to invest.
Extremadura enjoys a privileged strategic location within the Madrid-Lisbon-Seville triangle, which gives access to nine million habitants within a 90-minute drive. The region borders Portugal, and it is the entry and exit point of products and investments to the Atlantic ports, interacting permanently with the national and international import and export sector.
Connected by highway with Madrid and Lisbon, as well as with the north and south of the Iberian peninsula, Extremadura has a daily air connection with Madrid and Barcelona as well as flights to Bilbao, and a multitude of connections that connect it with the rest of Europe. It also enjoys a wide range of train links and will shortly be connected with the high-speed Madrid-Lisbon line that will reinforce the logistic platform.
Situated between two of the most important rivers in Spain, the Tajo and the Guadiana, Extremadura constitutes one of the most important water reserves in the country, which makes it a great producer of hydraulic power and a region of high agricultural productivity. The breeding of the Iberian pig in the unrivalled pastures of Extremadura is well known, but the production of beef and mutton is no less important.
The Iberian Energy Market relies heavily on Extremadura’s support, as it boasts an extensive electrical network in transport and distribution. The region enjoys more than 2800 annual sun hours, which are converted into renewable energy that contributes towards making Extremadura a supplying region in energy, providing 10% of the national total. The region also invests in sustainable alternative energies such as biodiesel and bioethanol.
Similarly, in the past few years, leading companies from Extremadura have established themselves at a national level in different sectors, such as steel and production of bottles and packaging (in particular glass and cardboard). In addition, Extremadura offers important mineral resources and ornamental stone, principally granite, slate and chalk.
Extremadura has a high percentage of skilled labour, which includes university graduates as well as students with vocational training. With a university population of more than 25,000, the region offers the possibility of training in 119 specialist courses through 19 faculties.
The region also has technological centres of national and international prestige that establish synergies with companies and training centres in investigation, technological development and the creation of value.
Extremadura is uncrowded, encouraging a lifestyle in harmony with the environment. Nevertheless, all the most important services are within reach, including an extensive network of schools and a wide range of courses offered by universities; first-class health services; a variety of cultural and leisure activities; and excellent gastronomy. To add to this, housing costs compare very favourably with average incomes.