SME Consultancy Service Grant Scheme
€1 Million SME consultancy services Grant Scheme
The SME Consultancy Service Grant Scheme seeks to support SMEs by part-financing expenditure incurred by businesses for consultancy services procured from external consultancy service providers registered under the scheme, with Grant Thornton being one of these providers.
SMEs generally have limited in-house resources and competences required to conduct studies to assist them in their decision making processes to embark on investment initiatives, and assess their growth and competitive potential. This deficit presents a high dependency on external consultancy services.
The reliance on external consultancy services is even more accentuated when considering businesses facing particular challenges in their operations, primarily arising from market saturation, the need for modernisation and organisation/process re-engineering, where timely intervention through consultancy services can provide the necessary insight to entrepreneurs to take-up adequate initiatives aimed at securing their survival, and future business growth. In this context, this grant scheme was designed to facilitate access to external consultancy services, in order to address the lack of expertise within SMEs.
The consultancy services covered by the grant are meant to primarily address services in relation to formulating and executing the business’ business plan and feasibility study support, including assistance with sourcing financing for such business plan. Consultancy services that are of a continuous or periodic nature, or related to the undertaking’s usual operating costs, such as routine tax consultancy services, regular legal services and advertising will not be considered.
The maximum grant is capped at €4,000, with part-financing eligible expenditure up to 80%.
The grant scheme shall be administered and managed through an open rolling call.
External consultancy services shall be procured to support the decision making process, by assessing and evaluating:
(І) the potential of the beneficiary of re-engineering the organisation, operations, processes and systems of the Undertaking aimed at rendering it more efficient, resulting in the development an Organisation and Operations Review, or a Process and Systems Review; and;
(ІІ) the potential of the undertaking, to undertake proposed investments aimed at the future potential business growth of the undertaking and at rendering it more competitive through any of the following:
- 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.
80% of eligible expenditure up to €4,000.
The scheme covers consultancy services procured from external consultancy service providers registered with the Intermediate Body under the scheme. The consultancy services covered by the grant are meant to primarily address services in relation to formulating and executing the business’ business plan and feasibility study support, including assistance with sourcing financing for such business plan.
Fisheries and aquaculture; primary production of agricultural products; processing and marketing of agricultural products; energy generation, distribution and infrastructure; transport sector; the steel sector; the coal sector; the Shipbuilding sector; the synthetic fibres sector; financial and insurance activities; undertakings that perform intra-group activities whose principal activities fall under classes activities of head offices, or business and other management consultancy activities; real estate activities; and gambling activities.
Grant Thornton has a long and success track record when it comes to assisting clients tap such EU funds and has continued to invest in more human resources to provide the client with a whole range of services from scoping of the project, to grant application and project management.