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Even though the economic landscape seems to be improving in the European Union, it is still far from the pre-crisis levels.
While the European Commission provides unprecedented funding opportunities and financial vehicles for SMEs, applying from them can cause a headache. Especially if you are a young founder of a startup or an initiator of a project within one of the EU member states.
To make your life easier, we compiled a list of grants (and a bonus) to make you more financially savvy and aware about opportunities available within the European Union.
Get funding in Europe: 10 grants for your project
1. IMPACT Accelerator 2015
Deadline: October 15th, 2015 at 13:00 p.m (CET) | Apply here
Eligible countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
Associated countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey
Funding: EUR 100,000 per project
IMPACT (Internet Mobile Projects Accelerator) is one of the 16 consortiums selected by the European Commission within the framework of the Seventh Framework Programme. It is made up of ISDI, Buongiorno, Teknologiudviking ApS , Seaya Ventures and a network of entrepreneurs and well-known professionals of the digital European ecosystem.
2. European Capital Innovation Awards 2016
Deadline: November 18, 2015 | Apply here
Funding: 1st prize: EUR 950,000; 2nd prize: EUR 100,000; 3rd prize: EUR 50,000.
European Commission is accepting applications from the cities with populations above 100,000 inhabitants or established in an EU member, or in an associated country for its European Capital Innovation Awards 2016. It will aim to provide European level recognition to those cities that make the most to promote innovation within their communities and thereby improve the quality of their citizens’ lives.
3. The OPEC Fund for International Development Grant
Deadline: Throughout the year | Apply here
Eligibility: All international, national, regional and non-governmental organizations besides the OFID Member States
Funding: Flexible; depends on each individual case
OPEC is an intergovernmental development finance institution established in late 20th century by the Member States of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The OPEC Fund for International development is offering a grant program for international, national, regional and non-governmental organizations. The highest priority is always given to initiatives that benefit the low-income, least-developed countries.
4. CreatiFI Grant Program
Deadline: September 30, 2015 | Apply here
Eligibility: EU/EEA-based startups
Funding: EUR 10,000 per project
Four CreatiFI hubs in Catalonia, Northern Italy, Flanders, and Scandinavia are the central regions that dominate cultural and creative industries in Europe. CreatiFI activities are managed through the key cities within the hubs (Barcelona, Brussels, Helsinki, Trento) enabling direct links to engage creative SMEs and web entrepreneurs in open calls.
5. DO School Connection Challenge: Fellowships for social entrepreneurs
Deadline: October 9, 2015 | Apply here
Eligibility: Participants must be aged between 21 to 31 years
Incubation phase: January 11 – March 20, 2016
Implementation phase: March 21 – January 11, 2017
Location: Berlin, Germany
Are you driven by an innovative vision? Do you have a great business idea but do not know how to get started? Then apply now and join the DO School One-Year Program for aspiring impact entrepreneurs! The 1-year program enables you to spend 10 weeks on campus in Berlin to develop your individual business plan and learn hands-on what it takes to be an entrepreneur by working on a real life group Challenge posed by Messe Berlin, one of the world’s leading trade exhibition companies.
6. EXCITE: an EU project for young entrepreneurs
Deadline: Ongoing | Apply here
Eligibility: Entrepreneurs based in Europe
Dates: From January 2015 through February 2017
EXCITE is a European project for young entrepreneurs under the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program led by Creative Business Network. The main objective of this program is to encourage entrepreneurship and growth in the European Single Market by helping financially young entrepreneurs and at the same time ensuring the exchange between young entrepreneurs and their experienced senior colleagues.
7. OPENAXEL Startup Contest 2015
Deadline: October 31st, 2015 | Apply here
Eligibility: European startups from all sectors
Award: Equity-free support package and a business week in Silicon Valley
OPENAXEL is an extraordinary contest for the most promising and innovative European startups. OPENAXEL is one of the projects of the European Union held under the STARTUP EUROPE HUB umbrella with the main objective to boost the growth of promising startups in Europe.
8. European Employment and Social Innovation Grant
Deadline: November 16, 2015 | Apply here
Eligibility: European social projects
Funding: Flexible; case-by-case basis
Under the European Employment and Social Innovation grant program, “EaSI” is a call for proposals is a European-level financing instrument in 2014-2020 which is directly managed by the European Commission. The objective of this program is to the best possible actions to contribute to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy.
This opportunity provides the applicants with financial support for realization of the European Union’s objectives in the sense of promoting “a high level of quality and sustainable employment, guaranteeing adequate and decent social protection, combating social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions”.
9. CEED Tech Fall Cycle 2015
Deadline: November 1, 2015 | Apply here
Package: €30,000 in seed funding and an opportunity for follow-up grant funding
Program begins: January 2016
CEED Tech is a consortium of five startup accelerators building and scaling global companies from Central and Eastern Europe.
Since 2011, it has launched 111 technology companies from around the world and helped them raise over €11M in seed and venture capital. With its network of over 450 mentors, it guides and connects ambitious entrepreneurs building businesses in data, cloud services, analytics, transactional technologies, FinTech, e-commerce, B2B technologies, IoT, location-based services, and security software.
10. EaSI: Mobility experience for employees
Deadline: October 16, 2015 | Apply here
Eligibility: EU, EEA, EFTA, and candidate countries applicants
Funding: Flexible; Employee cross-border training
Dates: From January 2016
Under the European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation this call of proposals of “EaSI” 2014-2020 is a European-level financing instrument which is directly managed by the European Commission.
BONUS: Erasmus for Entrepreneurs Exchange Program 2016
Deadline: Ongoing | Apply here
Eligibility: EU/EEA-based entrepreneurs
Costs: Fully funded
Are you thinking of starting your own business, or have you recently done so? Or perhaps you are already running a successful business and would like to expand it to new markets, or get fresh ideas on to elevate your business to a new level? The European business network and their financial support can help you exchange knowledge and expand your business.
So the next time someone tells you that there are no opportunities to raise money in Europe, share this article with them.
But wait, there’s more!
Grants are not the only form of funding available. For example, have a look at this list of the best startup accelerator programs in Europe.
Do you already have your project up and running, and want to meet amazing people in your industry? Check out the best European startup events to visit in 2015.
For more business and career opportunities, please check our opportunities section and subscribe to our weekly newsletters.Did we miss any of the important grant programs? Let us know in the comment section below or drop as line via
Did we miss any of the important grant programs? Let us know in the comment section below or drop as line via email.
Thank you, flo_wyler , and you are welcome!