300 million Lek grant for Startups. This is when applications close

300 million Lek grant for Startups. This is when applications close

To help new, innovative enterprises, but also to support and further develop existing companies, the State Ministry for Entrepreneurship and Business Climate and the Startup Albania Agency have for several days opened the call for applications from all businesses that want to benefit . The grant made available by the Government for this year is in the amount of 300 million ALL.

The Director of the Startup Albania Agency, Arjan Ymeri, showed in the show "E-ZONE" with Rajmonda Lajthia, the deadlines for accepting applications to benefit from this call, the procedure you must follow to have a successful application , the areas where you can get funding for your startup, its development stages, as well as eligibility and evaluation criteria.

"The call is open to all individuals and entities. The deadline for applications is until March 24. The application itself will be made on the "e-albania" portal, the link for which we will make public in the following days. We recommend that before starting the application, you familiarize yourself with the Invitation Manual published on the official website of the Ministry of State for Entrepreneurship and Business Climate. By clicking on the "Startup" category, you will be introduced to the application form, the budget form, as well as the list of documents needed for each stage. Together with the portal link, we will also publish an explanatory video, where we show how individuals or companies should apply. We are also running individual mentoring sessions where we teach startups how to apply. In addition to the individual sessions, we are also conducting virtual webinars, physical meetings not only in Tirana, but also in the districts, where we show specifically how to fill in the fields of the form and how to apply on the e-albania portal", explains Ymeri.

According to him, one of the features of this year's call has to do with the fact that it is the highest fund ever allocated by the government to this group of entrepreneurs, a full 300 million ALL that will be allocated to startup companies focused on three stages of development. "The focus is on entrepreneurs in general and here we are not only talking about those who are young, they can be of any age, technology, industry. We want to have a variety of applications, from all possible industries", points out Ymeri.

For this year's call, there are six areas where funding support will be focused, such as: Tourism, Agribusiness, ICT, BPO, Energy and Manufacturing. But even if you are outside these fields you will be able to apply to benefit from the grants. Ymeri emphasizes that everyone will be equal in the application. The only favor that will be given in this year's call, is the 5 percent bonus on the points received in the assessment, for the cases of companies that have over 51 percent of female employees.

Regarding the stages of startup development and the documents needed, the head of the Startup Albania Agency adds that: The first phase, which includes the conception of the idea, is financed up to 1.5 million ALL. At this stage, applying individuals do not need to be registered, or to have developed a business. It is enough for them to explain clearly what is the idea for which they want to do business. At this stage, only one document is required for individuals, which is the applicant's judicial status document. Covering costs at this stage will be 100 percent of the grant earned.

For the second tier that is financed up to 4.5 million lek, the applicant must be a registered business that has a prototype developed with some specific data that may not have been released to the market yet, but is very close and needs to be developed further and to generate the first customers. The third band is the case of a company that has gone public, has a trade to some extent measurable through a balance sheet. The aim of the financing of the third tranche, which goes up to 9 million ALL, is the further development of these companies, now not only within the Albanian market, but also outside the borders of the country.

"In the second and third phase, an administrative review will be made, which is related to the creation of the company and the fulfillment of tax obligations. Beyond that, we will go to the evaluation commissions where we will look at the call form and the completed budget form".

For this year's call, there are some costs that are acceptable and unacceptable in the applications that will be made by startups. "This time, among the acceptable ones, we have set the costs of employee salaries up to 25 percent of the grant. This is where the experts they can get can be paid, be it experts in the field of technology, market or marketing. While the ineligible costs are what we call in-kind contributions, which are for the second and third phases. For these, it must be a capital invested by the companies themselves, which in phase 2 is 10 percent, while in the third phase 15 percent. Which means that for the second phase 90 percent of the costs will be covered by the government grant and only 10 percent by the company itself, while in the third phase 85 percent of the costs will be covered by the grant and 15 percent by the company itself. the winning subject", adds Ymeri.

Through this year's call, 55-75 entities will be able to benefit from funding.