Also involved in the presentation were general secretary for industry Spiros Papadopoulos and special secretary for competitiveness Spiros Efstathopoulos, who are responsible for implementing the programmes. The development minister underlined:
“The new government recognizes the important role played by small and medium-sized enterprises in promoting development, strengthening competitiveness and increasing employment. Our aim is to create greater opportunities and more choices for all. This is our choice. Choosing to support businesses. Choosing equal opportunities (on the basis of common rules) for all.
In the new era, competitiveness is the main prerequisite for development. Businesses cannot wait. It is our decision to support them directly through the Operational Programme for Competitiveness. To this end, we are constantly promoting measures and decisions that create new possibilities, new prospects. This programme is spearheading development. It is a basic tool for promoting entrepreneurship, technological improvement, and the creation of new jobs. That is why we have modified the Operational Programme for Competitiveness. We have improved the procedures for executing the programme and allocating resources. We are making every effort to accelerate the take-up of all the programme’s resources. We are speeding up the procedures for its implementation. At the same time, to support small and medium-sized enterprises, we are already promoting measures favourable to entrepreneurship and competitiveness.
First, a review of mechanisms and a reallocation of programmes under CSF III, looking towards the private economy and self-financing..
Second, a reduction in business operating costs, by cutting red tape and administrative costs, and shortening the procedure for granting licences to businesses.
Third, instituting and applying a new, effective development law that is compatible with Community legislation.
Fourth, wider participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in Community programmes (trade).
A basic feature of the New Economic and Development Policy is the implementation of an integrated policy to support small and medium-sized enterprises. We are supporting new entrepreneurship and boosting small and medium-sized enterprises.
Today I am presenting the third cycle of a programme whose objective is to improve the competitiveness of small and very small manufacturing enterprises by supporting integrated 2-year business plans aiming at their technological and organisational modernisation.
The integrated business plans are intended to achieve specific business objectives, and include actions such as the introduction of new technologies into the production process, the improvement of existing production equipment, the development of quality assurance systems, the development of information systems, the application of electronic commerce, etc.
The implementation of the Action has been assigned to seven (7) Intermediary Management Bodies (IMBs) which are responsible for managing and monitoring the implementation of the programme.
For the manufacturing sector, business plans with a total budget of between 28,000 and 440,205.43 euros are eligible for inclusion in the programme. The level of public funding is 40% of the total approved budget.
In the implementation of Action 2.7.1 (“Support for Integrated Business Plans from Small and Very Small Enterprises”), three cycles have been announced. The duration of the business plans for all the cycles is 24 months, with the possibility of a 6-month extension.
For the third cycle, of the 1059 proposals submitted, 288 were rejected because they scored less than 50, and for other reasons.
The remaining 771 proposals were approved for regional and central distribution of a total budget of 163,105,137.96 euros, and created approximately 1140 new jobs throughout Greece.
In the second cycle, 511 proposals were approved, with a total budget of 114,950,052 euros, creating 907 new jobs.
In the first cycle, 591 proposals were approved, with a total budget of 132,422,600 euros, creating 955 new jobs.
Some detailed tables follow:
1. Figures on business plans in the first, second and third cycles [pdf]
2. Business plans by region, prefecture and sector [pdf]
3. Statistics including the number of proposal and new jobs [pdf]