The Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) has launched a call for applications for funding under the ‘New Opportunities LT’ instrument. The aim is to encourage micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to increase the export of their products, to focus as much as possible on the search for new foreign markets and to develop existing ones.

The LBSA will accept applications for project funding until 22 March.

The measure has a budget of EUR 5 million, with a maximum amount of funding of EUR 300,000 and a minimum of EUR 100,000 per project. The maximum possible share of the project funding is up to 90% of the eligible project costs for the applicant, and up to 70% of the eligible project costs for the final beneficiary SME.

‘The last few years have been a struggle for survival for many businesses with the effects of Covid-19 hitting small businesses in particular, which have received millions of euros in subsidies from the state. A number of companies are currently facing export difficulties, especially those whose business is linked to the Chinese market’, notes Saulius Merkys, Acting Director of the LBSA.

According to Merkys, the funds will allow companies to present their products more widely in foreign countries and in international exhibitions, fairs and business missions in Lithuania, to find new business partners and markets for their products, and to reorient their export directions.

The measure is open to business associations, chambers of commerce, industry and crafts, cluster coordinators, Public Institution Rural Business and Market Development Agency and the agency Keliauk Lietuvoje (Travel in Lithuania).
The final beneficiaries are SMEs whose total sales structure consists of at least 50% of sales of their own production of Lithuanian origin.

‘I would like to point out that the applicant has to participate in the project with at least five SMEs’, says Gintarė Kuncaitytė, Head of Business Promotion Projects Division of the LBSA.

She also mentions that salaries, travel and transport costs of the project staff and registration fees of the project promoter as a participant in an international exhibition (where the project promoter participates in an international exhibition as the final beneficiary) will be considered as eligible costs.

Costs of participation of final beneficiaries in international exhibitions, fairs, outgoing and incoming business missions and other costs listed in the description will also be considered as eligible costs.

A total of 571 projects were funded under the previous calls for proposals for the ‘New Opportunities LT’ measure implemented by the LBSA. Of these, 305 projects have been completed with almost EUR 16.2 million and 266 are ongoing with just over EUR 13.1 million in EU investment.

More information on the call, published today, can be found here.

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