ESPA: Strengthening the Establishment and Operation of new SMEs

ESPA: Strengthening the Establishment and Operation of new SMEs
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Program Dates

Start Date: 18/12/2023 at 15:00

End Date: 22/03/2024 at 15:00

The Action concerns the support of investment plans for newly established and emerging SMEs (excluding those in the retail, catering, and tourism sectors), which will invest their own resources in the activity they intend to undertake and will create new jobs.


Minimum / maximum subsidized investment plan budget: €30,000 to €400,000.

Action Budget: €190,000,000. The Action is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union and by National Participation.

€41,800,000 for Transition Regions: Attica and South Aegean

€148,200,000 for Less Developed Regions: North Aegean, Eastern Macedonia – Thrace, Central Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Western Greece, Crete, Western Macedonia, Ionian Islands, Central Greece, Peloponnese.

Subsidy Rate

The subsidy rate for financing applications is uniform for all eligible expenses of the investment plans and amounts to 45% of the subsidized budget.

The subsidy rate may be increased by:

+10% if the investment is made in a remote or fire-affected or flood-affected area or small islands.

+5% with the declaration at the time of submission of the financing application of an employment target of at least 1 FTE, in the first year after the completion of the investment.


Newly established and emerging Very Small, Small, and Medium Enterprises, which will operate or are operating in the eligible NACE codes of the Call (Annex II ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES – NACE).

  • Category A. Under establishment. Enterprises that will be established from the date of issue of the Call for Action until the first disbursement of the subsidy and will operate exclusively in one or more eligible NACE codes, throughout the duration of the implementation of the investment project and until the repayment of the investment.
  • Category B. Newly established. Enterprises that have not completed 12 months of continuous operation (12 months have not elapsed from the start date of the enterprise in the AADE until the date of the Call for Action). It is noted that they must exclusively operate in eligible NACE codes of the Action at the time of submission of the financing application, throughout the duration of the implementation of the investment project and until the repayment of the investment. It is clarified that enterprises must have the investment NACE code before the first disbursement.

Beneficiaries must, among other things, meet the following eligibility conditions:

  • The proposed investment plan must concern at least one of the eligible NACE codes of ANNEX II: ELIGIBLE SECTORS OF ACTIVITY (NACE), which the enterprise must have before the first disbursement of the subsidy.
  • To submit a single financing application per VAT number.
  • To score at least 70 in the self-assessment of the investment plan based on the criteria of Annex III. It is noted that submission of the financing application to OPSKE is not allowed if the above condition is not met.
  • To declare as the place/places for the implementation of the actions of the present Action exclusively in one Region of the Country and in areas where the same intensity of support applies. The application for financing declares the Region where the investment project will be carried out. It is clarified that the enterprise can implement expenses at the headquarters of the enterprise and/or in branches thereof, provided that all implementation points belong to the same Region and the areas / places of implementation have the same intensity of support.

It is noted that the submission of the financing application requires the submission of proof of securing the Private Participation of the proposed investment project of at least 60%

The overall participation conditions of the beneficiaries are presented in detail in the Call for Action.

Eligible expenses

For the formation of the budget of the investment plans to be financed, the following basic categories of eligible expenses are:

  1. Buildings, facilities, and surrounding area
  2. Machinery – Equipment
  3. Digital Equipment – Software and software services

Additionally, expenses for the following are enhanced:

  1. Certification of Quality Assurance, Environmental Management Systems, according to nationally harmonized as well as other European and international standards,
  2. promotion of extroversion and internationalization,
  3. transport means,
  4. consulting services,
  5. design of logo and corporate identity,
  6. indirect expenses

The date of eligibility of expenses is defined as the date of the Call for Action

The deadline for the completion of the funded investments is twenty-four (24) months from the date of issue of the Approval Decision.

Submission & Evaluation of Financing Applications

The financing application is mandatorily submitted electronically through the Integrated Information System for the Management of State Aids (IISMOSA). Financing applications, in which all the mandatory fields of IISMOSA have not been completed, will not be able to be submitted.

For the evaluation of the financing applications, comparative evaluation will be applied.


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