The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us to drastically change the way we work. It has highlighted the importance of digital skills and its infrastructure. But many SMEs often need help setting themselves up in this digital environment.

In Slovenia, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology has developed a new voucher scheme to allocate funds to SMEs in seven thematic areas, including digitalisation. It has been incredibly popular, especially during these unusual times.

How does the voucher scheme work?

The new voucher scheme in Slovenia resulted from an improvement to the country’s 2014-2020 Operational Programme. It was inspired by a good practice from Ireland identified as part of the TRINNO project.

Through the scheme, SMES can apply for incentives of between 300 to 10,000 EUR. They also get free online support to prepare their applications.

The scheme:

  • Is quick to process
  • Has no deadline
  • Offers a maximum co-financing amount of 60% of eligible costs
  • Allows a maximum of three vouchers at the same time (or 30,000 EUR payments annually)
  • Will offer 22.5 MEUR over five years

The best part? Everything from the application process and receiving support to conducting training can be done online.

The results

The new voucher scheme has performed beyond expectations. Since the first call was launched in January 2019, the Ministry has already approved 2,742 applications and allocated 10.8 MEUR in funds.

The scheme has proven to be a dynamic, fast and simple way of allocating funds to SMEs.

Want to know more?

During this year’s ‘Europe, let’s cooperate’, we interviewed Anita Molka from the Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia. See what she had to say about the voucher scheme.

You can also read about other measures to help relaunch your region: