The Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry (MECI) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are inviting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to apply for grants to procure business advisory services.
The call for expression of interest is open to SMEs registered and operating in the Republic of Cyprus for longer than two full years and aims at supporting 30 SMEs by co-funding business advisory projects with local consultants.
Grants will be approved on a “first applied – first received” approach, provided applicants are eligible and grant approval criteria are met. The deadline for the submission of applications is March 8, 2019. All different types of business advisory services are supported, such as strategy, marketing, organisation, operations, ICT, quality management, energy efficiency etc.
The initiative is part of Advice for Small Businesses (ASB), a three-year programme implemented by both parties since May 2017 to support Cypriot SMEs improving competitiveness, strengthening performance and boosting growth. The programme is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). So far, the programme co-funded 56 business advisory projects with local consultants and 19 of them have already been completed.
Anna Filipova, National Programme Manager for the ABS programme in Cyprus, said: “In total, the Advice for Small Businesses (ASB) programme foresees to assist over 120 SMEs over the course of three years, to improve their competitiveness and strengthen their performance by providing financial support in the form of grants for the engagement of local consultants or international industry advisers. We look forward to receiving new applications for grants and helping more small businesses to grow and prosper.”
On behalf of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Senior Trade and Industry Officer and SME Envoy of Cyprus, Constantinos Karageorgis, added: “We acknowledge that access to know-how is one of the challenges small businesses are facing in Cyprus and therefore encourage them to apply for the grants of the programme. Given the EBRD’s expertise in this area, we are confident these grants will have a positive impact on the performance and development of these businesses”.
For more information on eligibility criteria, grant disbursement rules, necessary supporting documents, the timetable to be followed and other clarifications relating to the call and the application process, interested SMEs can refer to EBRD ASB Cyprus (+357 22 39 55 08, [email protected]).