Being a part of the European Union gives Maltese entrepreneurs tonnes of opportunities to start or grow their businesses, no matter what industry they’re in or how much experience they have. When it comes to investment schemes specifically, there are three main ones you should read up on: the SME Growth Grant Scheme, the Start-up Investment Grant Scheme, and the SME Diversification and Innovation scheme. All three of these are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, Operational Programme 2014-2020.
Today we’re taking a closer look at the different key parts you’ll need to bake into your next project to make sure your business is perfectly placed to get this kind of EU funding. Grab a pen and paper because we’re about to get things started:
Plan your project
…But not just for the sake of getting EU funds. While making sure your plan is as appealing as possible in terms of your eligibility for investment is important, beware of creating a project solely for the purpose of getting EU funding.
The seasoned experts on the other end – the ones with the power to approve or deny applications – can see through that sort of thing just a few minutes into reading your application. It would be a colossal waste of your time and energy, so just focus on planning your project based on your goals and ambitions first. Clearly outline your strategy based on your wider, more-detailed business plan, and this’ll boost your chances of getting funding.
Focus on sustainability
Any kind of potential investor wants to know that their seed money is going to help build something that’ll stand the test of time. If you look at any EU-funded project under the sun, you’ll quickly realise that they all have a clear vision and roadmap for how their business will maintain sustainability to the point that they’ll benefit from long-term market resilience.
Sustainability also covers the social and environmental aspect of your business. Not only does sustainability give you an opportunity to collect more points that go towards your application – you’ll be giving back to the community that played a part in your business succeeding in the first place, and doing your bit to help the environment by contributing to national strategies and eco targets.
These funding opportunities were created primarily to tap into Malta’s entrepreneurial potential, with the aim of creating further economic benefits and employment prospects in the wider community. When putting your project outline together, remember to consider your short- and long-term growth, and the projected numbers for the kind of talent you’ll need to not only launch your business but create sustained growth further down the line too.
Opportunities to go global
Taking your business to the international stage is a sure sign of success, so be sure to identify any opportunities your project might have to do that and don’t skimp on the details. Whether you’re exporting goods or marketing your product or service to an international audience, it’s worth talking about.
Identify that gap in the market
No matter what industry or sector you’re making waves in, you stand to gain a huge advantage if you’ve discovered a gap in the market and have a product or service that can meet the needs of that gap. Outline exactly what the market is like currently, and what you could bring to the table, complete with all the facts and figures you can get your ambitious hands on. Show them exactly how your proposal helps bridge that gap.
Make a positive impact
One of the best ways to boost your chances of getting funding is to show that your project – and wider business model – can have a positive impact on the industry, economy, or country as a whole. Think of it as paying your good fortune forward; if your business does well, who else stands to gain from those positive results? Are you creating jobs, or helping push the boundaries of the industry you’re in? Are you playing a part in raising Malta’s profile on the world stage? If so, it’s definitely worth mentioning.
NM Group can handle your SME Growth Grant Scheme application and offer advisory on eligible costs. Through our experienced consultants, we continue to achieve a success rate of over 95% for all grant applications. Get in touch today to benefit from this or any other grant or support measure!