New initiative will simplify procedures for grant approval.
The Ministry of Entrepreneurship presented on Tuesday the “E-Impulse” grant programme for micro and small business worth 250 million kuna. Entrepreneurship Minister Darko Horvat said it was a grant from the European Regional Development Fund with the individual amounts ranging from 30,000 to 300,000 kuna, reports Večernji List on July 26, 2016.
The project is aimed at encouraging financing of initial investments associated with the establishment of new branches or expanding capacities of existing business units in the manufacturing and services sectors. Grants can be used by legal and natural persons engaged in economic activity, provided they fall into categories of micro and small enterprises. The public call for applications was opened on 21 July and the project applications can be submitted by 30 September.
“The aim of the project is to encourage as many micro and small businesses in the manufacturing and services sectors as possible, which will receive grants to strengthen their competitiveness. Through this programme, we will cover the most vulnerable group of Croatian entrepreneurs – craftsmen and micro companies. The support will amount to 85 percent of eligible costs for micro businesses and 65 percent for small businesses”, said the Minister.
The Minister promised that the procedure for obtaining grants will be as simple as possible – applicants will have to submit just six documents, and starting from next year all requests will be submitted exclusively through online applications.
Unlike last year’s 127 individual grants to entrepreneurs, Horvat expects that this year as many as 2,000 will be awarded, including to manufacturing, construction and IT industries, as well as to support a variety of professional, scientific and technical activities. The Ministry will try to shorten the assessment period from 190 days to just 90 days.
Director of the Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO) Vjeran Vrbanec said that, because of the increased workload for his agency this year, they would seek to hire another 61 people, and that in two to three months the institution would have offices in all Croatian counties.