This is the fifth ERDF scheme for SMEs launched this year by the Parliamentary Secretariat for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds.
Overall Scheme BUDGET of € 1,000,000, with indicative annual thresholds of €200,000.
MAXIMUM GRANT of €4,000, PART-FINANCING up to 80% of the eligible costs.
TARGET GROUP: Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME)
Recognising that SMEs generally have limited in-house resources and competences required to conduct studies to assist them in their analysis prior to embarking on investment initiatives, and in evaluating their growth and competitive potential, this Scheme seeks to support the procurement of external consultancy services for the development of a:
- Business Plan,
- Feasibility Study,
- Organisation and Operations Review, or a
- Process and Systems Review,
to support the SME’s decision-taking process, by assessing and evaluating the potential of re-engineering the organisation and operations, or the processes and systems of the undertaking aimed at rendering it more efficient, or the potential of the SME to take on proposed investment initiatives aimed at its potential future business growth and at rendering it more competitive. This could be pursued by addressing any of the following:
- the economic exploitation of new ideas,
- expansion in the capacity of the establishment,
- diversification of the activity of an establishment,
- diversification in the output of an establishment,
- fundamental change in the overall production process of the establishment,
- development of new or improved products, processes and systems,
- investment in new or improved products, processes and systems,
- organisation innovation,
- process innovation,
- the internationalisation of products and services,
- the entry, establishment and expansion into new markets,
- the introduction, upgrading and integration of e-commerce solutions enabling online selling by the undertaking.
This Scheme is managed through an open rolling call for applications with the first cut-off date set for Tuesday 28th February 2017. Applications meeting all the Gateway Criteria will be granted funding on a first-come-first served basis subject to availability of funds. The Gateway Criteria are the minimum requirements which must be met for an application to be approved for funding, being:
- Complete Application form: an applicant organisation must present a fully compiled application form together with all the requested supporting documentation, by the indicated deadline.
- Eligible Applicant organisation in line with these Guidance Notes.
- Eligible Action: the action for which the applicant is asking for support is eligible and at least includes an eligible activity.
- Match Financing: the applicant has submitted evidence as to its capacity to match finance the project from private sources.
Ascend Consulting is one of the consultancy services providers approved by the Measures and Support Division (MSD) being responsible for the administration of this Scheme within the Parliamentary Secretariat for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds.