SME Internationalisation Grant Scheme


Scheme is aimed to support SMEs by part-finance cost to actively participate in International Business Promotion Fairs held outside Malta. The participation should be aimed to the internationalization of the Undertaking by introducing their products/services to international markets or strengthening their international market presence.

The scheme is administered by the Measures and Support Division within the Ministry for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto.

Total scheme budget

 €2 million (annual indicative thresholds of €400,000).

Maximum grant

€10,000 being 50% part-financing of eligible expenditure. Actions should be implemented within 12 months from the date of grant agreement.

Duration of scheme

Operational until 31st December 2020 (subject to availability of funds)

Eligible enterprises

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An enterprise should be of any legal form (including self-employed & family run businesses), however it should be engaged in an economic activity.

Excluded enterprises

  • Undertakings subject to collective insolvency proceedings;
  • Undertakings that have not honored their obligations further to issued recovery order in terms of Co-funded Cohesion Policy 2007-2013, 2014-2020;
  • Agriculture, Forestry and fishing activities. It includes the processing and marketing;
  • Manufacturing, processing and marketing of tobacco and tobacco products.
  • Public entities;
  • Energy generation, distribution and infrastructure;
  • Steel and coal sectors;
  • Shipbuilding sector;
  • Transport sector;
  • Synthetic fibers sector;
  • Financial and insurance activities;
  • Real Estate activities;
  • Gambling and betting activities;
  • Participation at Business Promotion Fairs held inside Malta;
  • Training and mentoring activities;
  • Engaging in an illegal economic activity.

Eligible Actions

Active participation in International Business Promotion Fairs held outside Malta means having a stand and exhibiting products/services at the fair.

The scheme covers part of the costs required to set-up and run a stand to exhibit the products/services, other cost items including travel costs and per diem for up to 2 employees/directors of the Enterprise up to fixed thresholds. 

Eligible Costs

  • ​Participation fee.
  • Rental of the exhibition space/stand.
  • Costs related to the construction and setting-up of the stand.
  • Travel Costs for maximum of 2 employees/directors representing the Undertaking during the fair. Eligible cost is based on 50% of the applicable ERASMUS + standard allowance for travel distance determined by using EC approved specific distance calculator. Guidelines contain specific reimbursement rates for each distance category.
  • Per Diem for maximum of 2 employees/directors representing the Undertaking during the fair. The aid is for a maximum of 8 nights and capped at 50% of the applicable Official Government Class B per diem as published by the Ministry for Finance.
  • Design and printing of branding material. Specific rates apply as indicated in guidelines.
  • Shipment of exhibits.


Ineligible costs include

  • Tax including VAT and other duties;
  • Any other direct or indirect ancillary cost
  • Insurance
  • Costs related to participation at conferences, seminars, one-to-one meetings, and training and activities organized in parallel or at the side of the International Business Promotion Fair.
  • In kind contributions;
  • Statutory fines and penalties;
  • Payments of gifts and donations;
  • Entertainment (including catering, receptions);
  • Foreign exchange and bank charges costs;
  • Bank charges;
  • Overheads;
  • Commissions.

Documents required at application submission

  • Online application submission;
  • Detailed business plan (sections indicated in guidelines) outlining the opportunities being sought and the potential impact for growth that will occur after participation in the business promotion fair;
  • Vat, income tax SSC & FSS compliance certificate;
  • Audited financial statements and/or management accounts of the two fiscal years prior to the year of submission;
  • Other supporting documentation may be requesting by the Intermediate Body.

Assessment and selection of beneficiaries

Applications will be firstly assessed against Gateway (eligibility) requirements. These involve:

  1. 1.Complete application form;
  2. 2.Eligible Undertaking;
  3. 3.Eligible action;
  4. 4.Match financing

Successful applications will be assessed for the below selection criteria:

  1. 1.Extent of need for support;
  2. 2.Excellence;
  3. 3.Impact and sustainability;
  4. 4.Quality and efficiency of implementation

Those applications that at least score 50% of the total selection criteria shall be approved for funding on a first-come-first served basis subject on budget availability


Some other important compliance requirements

  • Expenditure of eligible funding incurred after date of grant agreement;
  • Undertaking should ensure compliance in terms of public procurement, state aid requirements, and equal opportunities. Sustainable development.
  • Eligible expenditure must be procured from external sources;
  • Submission of final implementation report following the completion of the assisted project;

Documentation should be kept at least 10 years from completion date;