The objective of this first window is to offer grant finance to eligible privately-owned enterprises in order to accelerate the improvement of their competitiveness in international markets.
It is a Firm-Level Support to priority sectors (leather and leather products, textiles and garments, and agro-processing) through a Matching Grant Scheme. Eligible private sector enterprises will receive reimbursements in the form of cash grants from the fund to cover a substantial proportion of the implementation cost of an integrated Export Development Plan.
Eligible firms shall be entitled to grants at the following levels:
a. For grant payment up to an initial cumulative grant total of the equivalent of US $100,000 per firm, the proportion of eligible costs that shall be supported by the grant shall be 75%.
b. For additional or second and last grant payments up to a cumulative grant total of the equivalent of US $200,000 per firm, the proportion shall be 50%.
c. Firms that have received grant funding in Phase 1 will also be eligible to receive up to $200,000 in ECF funding in Phase 2, with a grant portion of 50% for all funding.
d. Firms that have not received previously funding from ECF will be given priority over those who have benefited from the first phase.
e. The grant support can also cover expenditures on capital expenses of less than 50% of the total requested support. Except in exceptional circumstances, these expenses should either (i) directly relate to the recommendations of the technical assistance or (ii) support green growth. Such activities will be clearly defined in the Letter of Grant Agreement (LGA).
External services such as in-factory consultancy or temporary management services can be supported on a temporary basis only for up to 12 months where firms can make a strong case for requiring such a duration.
Any private firm employing under 250 persons, which is either currently involved in production for export, or plans to move into production for export, and that is operating in the leather, textiles and garment or agro-processing industries, is eligible.
Any private firm employing 250 persons or more, currently involved in production for export and operating in the leather, textiles and garment or agro-processing industries, is eligible, so long as it currently exporting at least 50% of its output [on the basis of the most recent available formal annual accounts.]