Expo Consultant LT is a non-refundable grant that allows SMEs to obtain the necessary information, consulting and other assistance in the field of export.
The measure Expo Consultant LT is a non-refundable grant that allows SMEs to obtain the necessary information, consulting and other methodical assistance in the field of export, search and screening of potential foreign markets and international trade, and consequently stimulate export growth and increase competitiveness of their businesses. The measure was presented by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania and INVEGA.
SMEs interested in the measure must submit an application to INVEGA. Consultation areas are such as action plan of preparedness for export, export strategy, targeted export market selection and external communication, legal aspects of international trade and certification on foreign markets, technical and manufacturing aspects of export, export risk management.
The maximum budget available per project promoter for the period of grant agreement is 4000€. For SMEs operating less than 3 years up to 85% of the consultation costs calculated at a fixed rate are reimbursed and for SMEs with more than 3 years of experience – up to 50%. The portion of eligible costs of a project not covered by the grant shall be covered from the project promoter’s own funds. Every project promoter shall cover 100% of the consultation costs that may be paid in installments by consultation hours.
Grant disbursements are made by INVEGA to project promoters after INVEGA receives from Enterprise Lithuania a report on consultations provided and paid for.
The sum of allocation is 5,5 M € for the implementation of projects. Additionally, staff costs for administration and team of professional consultants are required.
Evidence of success
During the first 10 months there were 201 applications submitted for 804.000€, 162 applications were approved with a budget of 648.000€. Almost 3000 hours of consultations were provided. This indicates that the measure is at a great demand.
It was also noticed that participating in this measure serves as an “ice-breaker” for SMEs. Afterwards they are more likely to participate in other measures and apply for other grants as they are more prepared and have more experience.
Potential for learning or transfer
One of the biggest advantage of this measure is the simplicity of application for the grant. SMEs often don’t have the human resources allocated to preparation of applications. The application form for Expo Consultant is very simple and the process doesn’t require much time and specific competences.
The idea of this measure is also quite easy to transfer to another region and it also can be applied in various scope – as a full measure or just as a pilot. It depends on the funding allocated.
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