This week, the Commission announced two calls for proposals aimed at helping Ukrainian businesses and entrepreneurs benefit from the Single Market. The proposals (which are under the joint title of “ReadyforEU"), have a total budget of €7.5 million that is funded through the Single Market Programme.
What is the Single Market Programme?
The Single Market Programme focuses its funding in a number of areas aimed at strengthening the EU single market. Some of its responsibilities include boosting the competitiveness of SMEs, engaging in market surveillance, providing problem solving support to businesses and citizens, and enhancing competition policy.
“Business Bridge” and “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs - Ukraine”
The first call, the “Business Bridge”, has a budget of €4.5 million and will provide support to Ukrainian SMEs affected by the war through vouchers to access various services. Some examples of this are:
- Providing financial and legal advice on Intellectual Property Rights, as well as how to set up a new company or adapt an existing one
- Facilitating travel to trade fairs within the EU
- Funding market research to identify European partners
A consortium of business organizations (such as Enterprise Europe Network) will be responsible for selecting up to 1,500 sustainability oriented SMEs for this program; special attention will be given to support women and social economy entrepreneurs. This will support the recovery of the Ukrainian economy, and help the country integrate into the single market.
The second call, the “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs - Ukraine”, has a budget of €3 million and helps Ukranian entrepreneurs gain business experience in other EU countries. Specifically, the call aims to recruit up to 430 new Ukrainian entrepreneurs and match them with host entrepreneurs in the EU; the program would help fund their living and travel expenses. This initiative will be run as part of the already existing Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme, which has worked with over 22,000 entrepreneurs since its founding in 2009.