ESPA: Strengthening the Establishment & Operation of new Small and Medium-sized Tourism Enterprises

ESPA: Strengthening the Establishment & Operation of new Small and Medium-sized Tourism Enterprises
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Program Dates

Start Date: 18/12/2023 and Time: 15:00

End Date: 22/03/2024 and Time: 15:00

The Action aims to enhance tourism entrepreneurship through the creation of new very small, small, and medium-sized enterprises in selected activity codes (KAD) of the tourism sector, encouraging the establishment of new businesses that, in addition to contributing to the growth of the Greek tourism industry's dynamism, will provide quality and reliable services and contribute to the enrichment of the tourism product, as well as to the increase in employment.


Minimum / maximum subsidized investment budget: €80,000 to €400,000.

Action Budget: €160,000,000. The Action is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union and by National Participation.

€35,200,000 for the Transition Regions: Attica and South Aegean

€124,800,000 for the Less Developed Regions: North Aegean, East Macedonia - Thrace, Central Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Western Greece, Crete, Western Macedonia, Ionian Islands, Central Greece, Peloponnese.

Subsidy Rate

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

The subsidy rate can be increased by:

+10% if the investment is made in a remote or fire-affected or earthquake-affected or flood-affected area or small islands (according to Annex X) and / or

+5% with the declaration at the time of submission of the financing application of an employment goal of at least 0.2 FTE, in the first year after the completion of the investment


Under establishment and newly established Very Small, Small and Medium Enterprises, which will operate or are operating in the Tourism sector.

  • Category A. Under establishment. Businesses to be established after the date of issue of the Action's call for proposals up to and including the first disbursement of the subsidy, and which will operate exclusively in eligible KAD throughout the duration of the implementation of the investment plan and until the repayment of the investment, according to ANNEX II ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES (KAD).
  • Category B. Newly established. Enterprises that have not completed 12 months of continuous operation (12 months have not passed since the business start date with the AADE until the date of the Action's call for proposals). It is noted that they must operate exclusively in eligible KAD of the Action, which are included in ANNEX II - ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES (KAD), at the time of submitting the financing application, throughout the duration of the implementation of the investment plan and until the repayment of the investment.

It is clarified that enterprises must have the KAD of investment before the first disbursement.

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

  • The proposed investment plan must concern at least one of the eligible KAD of ANNEX II ELIGIBLE SECTORS OF ACTIVITY (KAD), which the enterprise must have before the first disbursement of the subsidy.
  • To submit a single and unique financing application per Tax Identification Number in the present Action.
  • To gather at least a score of 70 during the self-assessment of the investment plan based on the criteria of Appendix III. It is noted that the submission of the financing application to the OPSKE is not permitted 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 funding declares the Region where the investment plan will be implemented. It is clarified that the enterprise may incur expenses at its headquarters and/or branches, provided all implementation points belong to the same region and the areas / places of implementation have the same intensity of support. Excluded are plans with a place of establishment in the Regional Unit of Mykonos and the Regional Unit of Thera, in the Municipality of Thera, except for the Municipal Community of Therasia, as detailed in Unit 2.2 REGIONS OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACTION.
  • To submit proof of securing the Private Participation of the proposed investment plan in a percentage of at least 60%.

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

It is noted that investment projects with investment KAD "Accommodation" (KAD 55) of the Tourism Sector must follow the following conditions:


  1. Hotels
  • Classification in a category of 4**** (four stars) and above
  • Capacity of Twelve (12) beds and above
  1. Hotel tourist accommodations within traditional buildings provided for in p.d. 33/1979
  2. Organized tourist campsites (camping)


  1. Self-catering accommodations – tourist furnished dwellings
  • Minimum Number of dwellings: Three (3) Note: The total of self-catering accommodations – tourist furnished dwellings must necessarily be incorporated under the same MHTE Brand.
  1. Rented furnished rooms – apartments
  • Classification in a category of 4 keys and above
  • Minimum capacity of Twelve (12) beds

Eligible Expenses

For the formulation of the budget of investment projects to be funded in the Action, the following basic categories of eligible expenses are:

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

Additionally, expenses are supported for:

  1. Certification of Quality Assurance, Environmental Management Systems according to national, harmonized, and other European and international standards,
  2. promotion of extroversion and internationalization,
  3. transport means,
  4. consulting services,
  5. indirect expenses.

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

Submission & Evaluation

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

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

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