EU grants for small businesses are the only solution for some people to show the world what they have to offer. Getting financial support for small and medium-sized enterprises takes lots of time. In order to save time and not be denied help, there are some simple rules to follow. In this article, we will give you a general picture of what business support you can get.
To begin with, you need to understand and know in detail what your income is, as well as what expenses you have now and might have in the future. It is also important to understand what kind of startups are eligible for grants. Not all business ideas can get financial support. In our article, we will tell you what enterprises can count on assistance, what organizations offer funding, and how to find the right grant for your startup.
Types of Governmental Financial Support
Grants are not the only form of support provided by the European Union. Except for them, there are the following initiatives:
- Loans, equity, and guarantees
- Government subsidies for agricultural businesses
- Public contracts are mostly available for training programs, catering services, IT, and other goods and services. These contracts are provided by local, regional or national governments.
How to Get Funded With a Grant
Usually, before providing support, an organization calls for submissions, which must be made according to EU laws and requirements. For example, if it is necessary to develop and promote eco-friendly sources of renewable energy, the EU may offer a grant for companies that specialize in certain technologies. One example of such an initiative is Horizon 2020. It has been known since 2014. Horizon 2020's main goal was to secure Europe’s global competitiveness. This program is supported by the EU leader and the Parliament.
Except for answering basic requirements, it is great to have a unique project like Finom has. It is an organization that provides a unique service that allows users to combine a business account, invoicing, and accounting software.
Finom Solutions for Managing Finances
Finom has everything you need to simplify the process of accounting. With this service, you will know your financial situation inside and out. That will definitely help you to provide all the required finance papers to get European grants for small business owners. Here’s what Finom offers:
- Have all your finances in one place - connect all your bank accounts to Finom, and all transactions and info will be saved even if you close your bank account in the future.
- All your expenses are categorized automatically.
- Your banking credentials are encrypted using RSA and AES 256 bit. Nobody can get to them without a one-time password.
- Make instant payments or send invoices using not only email but also messengers like Facebook or WhatsApp.
- All transactions are in one place - Finom’s dashboard.
- All invoices are connected with incoming payments.
- Right now, Finom has a Solo plan - it is free for the self-employed and gives access for 1 user to 1 wallet, a virtual and a plastic card, a 500 EUR withdrawal limit, and 50 SEPA transfers.
How to Apply for EU Small Business Grants
Each organization providing EU grants for startup businesses has its own funding program with certain requirements. The best you can do is to visit the official website of the company and get yourself familiarized with them. However, there are several steps common for the majority of EU programs.
- Determine your eligibility
In general, you have to be an eligible recipient of EU funding. In other words, you have to provide the confirmation of at least one of the following things: you are a European small or medium business, the company is non-profit, your age is between 13 and 31, and you are either a researcher or a farmer. It may also work if you are a public body.
- Register your organization
You will have to register your partners as well or apply to the European Commission as an individual.
- Submitting an application form on time
Don’t forget to submit your grant application form, legal entity form, and financial identification papers with your income and expenses during the last two years, as well as the declaration of honor.
- Make sure that all the papers are filled in in the right way.
Check again if you have gathered all the necessary documents. Don’t forget to take a look at the website of the organization you are applying to again. If everything is right, all you have to do is wait for the final decision.
European Union Organizations That Provide EU Grants for Startups
There are plenty of organizations, except for your local financial institutions, that may help you with funding opportunities.
This program has been around since 2014. As it is clear from the title, its aim is to provide international competitiveness as well as equal opportunities for small businesses in Europe. With the help of COSME, you can get up to 150,000 EUR.
The European investment bank is in charge of financing InnovFin. Its goal is to give a helping hand to innovation and technology companies of the modern world. If your application is approved, you may count on at least 25,000 EUR. If you get really lucky or if your digital innovations are extraordinary, you may be given up to 7.5 million EUR.
EaSI’s support is not as huge as InnovFin’s one, but it is up to 25,000 EUR. It aims to support businesses that wouldn’t be able to stay afloat otherwise.
This collaboration of two companies assists small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that focus on improving the day-to-day life of people with innovative products and services.
You may know this organization as SME Instrument. To catch its attention, you need to have a strong business plan and a unique idea useful to society. It is possible to receive up to 2.5 million EUR and mentoring from top experts.
Calles for Third Parties assists SMEs that provide innovative digital products and services.
Organizations That Can Help You Get a Grant
There are some organizations that will be happy to help with accessing funding and consult you all the way to a grant:
This network can give pieces of advice on a range of topics about accessing funding. The European Enterprise Network has a database of partners – manufacturers, distributors, co-developers, and suppliers – and has all it takes to help SMEs grow abroad.
You can contact them via email or phone and ask any question in 24 languages.
Gathering all the necessary papers may be tiring, but it is worth all the effort. Don’t give up! Filling out an online application may open doors to brand-new opportunities for you as a business leader and a person. Right now, there are plenty of organizations to help those who desperately need it.
We wish you all the luck in the world and hope that your dreams will come true one day!