Estonian Minister of Regional Affairs Madis Kallas (SDE) has signed the Southeast Estonia Entrepreneurship Support Measure, which aims to promote innovation and productivity among small and micro-enterprises operating in Valga, Võru and Põlva counties.
"The counties of southeast Estonia have lagged behind other counties in terms of gross domestic product, or GDP, as well as in productivity of their industrial and service sectors. Therefore, southeastern Estonia faces greater challenges to keep people of working age and their families in the region," said Kallas.
From 2019 to 2021, the Southeast Estonia Entrepreneurship Support Measure was funded via the state's national regional development program. The government later decided that the source of funding would be changed and the measure financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the structural funding period between 2021 and 2027, which also led to the introduction of a new regulation.
While previously there were specific times when businesses could apply for financial support through the measure, Minister of Regional Affairs Madis Kallas (SDE) said that now businesses will be able to do so whenever they are ready.
The size of the grants available have also been increased. Whereas before they ranged from €10,000 to €50,000, they will now be between €20,000 and €60,000. Another important change is that support will only be given to entrepreneurs who have been in business for at least three years. Previously, support was available for entrepreneurs who had been in business for at least two years.
Small and micro-enterprises in Southeast Estonia are able to apply for support through the measure.
The Estonian State Shared Service Center is expected to begin accepting applications in November, after which they will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.
Editor: Michael Cole