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European Commission Representation in Cyprus
News article28 February 2023Representation in Cyprus2 min read

Commission launches €7.5 million calls to support the integration of Ukrainian SMEs in the Single Market

Today, the Commission is launching two calls for proposals under the joint title “ReadyForEU”, with a total budget of €7.5 million.

Opening of the exhibition of Ukrainian children’s drawings «Mriyu» («I dream»)

The two calls aim at helping Ukrainian entrepreneurs and businesses to benefit from the Single Market. The calls are funded under the Single Market Programme and follow the recent agreement for Ukraine to join the Programme, signed by President von der Leyen and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on 2 February 2023.

The first call, the “Business Bridge”, with a budget of €4.5 million, will provide financial support to Ukrainian small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) affected by the war, in the form of vouchers to access services and participate in trade fairs in the EU. The project will be administered by business support organisations like the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), European clusters network and other organisations.

The purpose of the call is to set up a consortium of business organisations that will select up to 1 500 growth-and sustainability-oriented Ukrainian SMEs to benefit from direct support of up to € 2,500. This direct support will cover the cost to Ukrainian SMEs for business support services such as: market research to identify European partners; legal, organisational or financial advice for setting up a new company or adapting an existing one; help to take part in or travel to trade fairs in the EU; and legal advice on Intellectual Property Rights.

Ultimately, the Business Bridge will not only benefit the companies concerned but can provide alternative markets to EU companies affected by the loss of Russian and Belarussian markets and help the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The second call, the “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs - Ukraine”, with a budget of €3 million, will allow new Ukrainian entrepreneurs to gain business experience in other European countries. This project will be run as part of the already established Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, which has offered over 22 000 entrepreneurs from around Europe, the opportunity to share their entrepreneurial know-how. The established EYE programme saw the highest numbers of Ukrainian entrepreneurs applying (154) and participating (79) in the programme during 2022.

The call will select organisations in Ukraine and the EU, to recruit up to 430 new Ukrainian entrepreneurs and match them with host entrepreneurs in the EU. It will then provide financial support to those entrepreneurs and contribute to their living and travel expenses.

Next Steps

The calls are open as of 28 February 2023 and Ukrainian businesses and entrepreneurs will be able to apply in the final quarter of this year.


The Single Market Programme is a modern, simple and flexible programme, which consolidates a large range of activities that were previously financed separately, into one coherent programme. It is devoted to help the single market reach its full potential and ensure Europe's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. With €4.2 billion over the period of 2021-2027, it provides an integrated package to support and strengthen the governance of the Single Market. Moreover, the Programme will support a better enforcement of Union law and promote the competitiveness of SMEs, including through the Enterprise Europe Networkclusters and Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.

Since its launch in 2009, more than 22 000 entrepreneurs have taken part in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme. Ukraine has been a participating country for several years now, and the scheme was able to continue despite the war.

For More Information

Single Market Programme



Matchmaking platforms support business cooperation between EU and Ukraine:

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Funding and tenders portal


Publication date
28 February 2023
Representation in Cyprus