€7.5M EU scheme aims to help Ukrainian SMEs benefit from the single market

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The European Commission has launched a new €7.5 million grant scheme to help Ukrainian SMEs integrate and benefit from the single market.

The so-called ReadyForEU scheme comprises two calls for proposals directed to Ukraine-based businesses and entrepreneurs: the Business Bridge and the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs — Ukraine. The calls follow the country’s recent entrance into the singlemarket programme, which is also providing the funding.

“ We’re offering tangible financial support for small Ukrainian businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Business Bridge

With a budget of €4.5 million, this action offers financial support to SMEs affected by the war, in the form of vouchers. These will enable the companies to access services and take part in trade fairs in the EU.

A dedicated consortium of business organisations will select up to 1,500 growth- and sustainability-oriented Ukrainian SMEs, which will receive up to €2,500. The grant’s purpose is to cover costs related to business support services, such as legal, financial, or organisational advice.

According to the Commission, the call will not only support companies involved as well as boost the reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy, but also provide alternative markets to EU businesses, following the loss of the Russian and Belarusian markets.

The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs — Ukraine

With a budget of €3 million, the second call aims to enable new Ukrainian entrepreneurs to gain business experience in other European countries.

It will select organisations in the Ukraine and the EU to recruit up to 430 entrepreneurs and match them with host entrepreneurs based in the bloc. It will also provide them with financial support and contribute to their living and travel expenses.

This action will be implemented as part of the already existing Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme.

“Europe is committed to supporting Ukraine’s successful integration in the single market,” Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said in a statement. “With today’s calls for proposals, we are offering tangible financial support for small Ukrainian businesses and entrepreneurs to build new partnerships with other European companies and expand into the EU.”

Ukrainian SMEs and entrepreneurs will be able to apply in the final quarter of this year.

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