EU launches digital business, social grant programmes

Huge new pots of public funds are available for Costa companies and communities to dip into – legally – so now’s the time to start thinking of collaborative projects or innovative ways of developing existing ones.

Under its Europe 2020 strategic priorities, the European Commission’s 2014-2020 Work Programme promotes global competitiveness, “smart, sustainable, inclusive growth”, training and job creation by supporting local enterprise and cultural activities.

While many believe they won’t meet funding criteria or are put off by the application process due to lack of time or know-how, last week’s launch of the European Social Fund (ESF, 6-7 February at The Egg, Brussels) promised to bring project grants within easier reach of us all.

Criteria for accessing EU grants are: project collaboration (at least three private or public sector partners bidding), co-financing (partners contribute 50%-85% of project costs), visible outcomes (e.g. safeguarding or creating jobs), and effective project monitoring/evaluation (strong shared management teams).

Initiatives such as Horizon 2020 seek bottom-up business ideas; Creative Europe for transnational Culture and Media projects accepts applications as early as 28/3/14; while the Web Entrepreneurs Challenge, part of the Digital Agenda, has a 23/4/14 deadline.

I can guide groups through the funding process with experience as a personal ESF beneficiary, part of a former ‘European Initiative’ bid writing team in Brussels, and member of a Government Office for London funding advice committee.

European Social Fund – How to participate,

Spain ESF Coordinator: Ministry of Employment & Social Security,

For free initial consultation: