The COVID-19 pandemic has affected society in ways that will impinge on business beyond the current situation. Businesses have a chance to improve their performance and grow by taking the opportunity to enhance their processes, embrace digital technology and implement sustainable solutions. The Change to Grow initiative supports businesses kick-start transformation processes that lead to growth, sustainability, and optimised performance.

The scope of this incentive is to support self-employed persons, micro enterprises, and small and medium-sized enterprises (hereafter collectively referred to as SMEs) to realign their business activity, restructure their employees, product and/or service portfolio, optimise the use of technology and embrace green technology and practices. SMEs with a vision to develop can seek support from external advisors to assist them in carrying out significant changes that will enable them to accelerate development, address sustainability and improve market access.

Eligible activities

To be eligible for support you must meet all the criteria established below:
a. The applicant must be a self-employed person, or a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise having at least one full-time employee (full-time self-employed persons are considered to meet this criterion).
b. Applicants engaged in activities specifically excluded under the de minimis Regulation may not benefit from this support.

Phases and support

The Change to Grow initiative will support an Advisory Stage and a subsequent Implementation Phase to any recommendations pursuant from the advisory. Eligible undertakings may benefit from a maximum grant of ten thousand Euro (€10,000) disbursed as a reimbursement of seventy-five percent (75%) of eligible costs incurred.

Change to Grow is a de minimis measure. The total amount of de minimis aid granted to a single undertaking shall not exceed the amount of €200,000 (or €100,000 in the case of single undertakings performing road freight transport for hire or reward) over any period of three consecutive fiscal years.

Qualifying Advisory Services

The Corporation shall consider supporting advisory services in areas that address a strategic shift in the operation of an enterprise, such as:
a) Digitisation of business processes
b) Performance optimisation
c) Process improvements
d) Environmental performance and sustainability
e) Implementation of quality systems
f) Product process certifications
g) Customer handling procedures
h) Pricing analysis
i) Market positioning
j) Human resource optimisation
k) Other actions as may be justified by the applicant

The advisory service must be provided by an individual or a team led by an individual who meets one of the following criteria:
a) holds a post graduate university degree in a scientific, technical or behavioural science area (such as engineering, information technology, industrial psychology and economics);
b) is a warranted accountant;
c) holds a post graduate degree in business studies, business administration or equivalent (as may be determined by the Corporation);
d) has served a minimum of five (5) years in a CEO, COO, or top management position in a reputable organisation (as may be determined by the Corporation).

The advisory service provider must agree to an hourly charge-out rate. The advisory service provider will be required to maintain time sheets depicting the work done in favour of the Beneficiary and to compile a report highlighting the main recommendations and eligible costs that the Corporation may consider supporting during the Implementation phase

The advisor or advisory team leader must meet the above parameters. To simplify the on boarding of advisors, The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise, and Industry, established a directory of eligible advisors, which is available for download. However, an applicant is not restricted to choose an advisor from this list.

Eligible cost

The Corporation shall consider eligible costs having a value of at least five hundred Euro (€ 500) that are identified in the Advisory Report and that cover the following areas:
a) investment costs in tangible assets;
b) procurement of off-the-shelf software solution (including new licenses);
c) new subscriptions to Software As A Service (SaaS) solutions, covering a period of up to twelve (12) months;
d) one-off services or the initial engagements covering a period of three months of service providers addressing new solutions to which the Beneficiary had no prior access.

Ineligible costs

Support may not be provided in respect to:
a) items or services procured from parties related to the beneficiary;
b) items or services (excluding advisory approved under this scheme) procured from the advisory service provider or parties related to the provider;
c) costs related to ongoing continuous or periodic activities;
d) costs related to export activities;
e) costs related to the undertaking’s usual operating costs, such as routine tax consultancy services, regular legal services, or advertising.

For assistance in submitting your application, contact the Malta Business Agency team by filling out the form below.