Leader program - co-financing for a company in rural areas
How to get funding for your company located in a rural area? If you want to run a business in the countryside, use the Leader program. As part of the program, you can get up to 300,000. PLN co-financing of business in rural areas or in towns up to 5,000 residents. See who can get funding from Leader.
Assumptions and goals of the Leader program
Leader is an approach to rural development, consisting in the development by local action groups, i.e. the rural community, of a rural development strategy and the implementation of resulting innovative projects combining resources, knowledge and skills of representatives of three sectors: public, economic and social.
The Leader program has the following goals:
building the social capital of villages by activating the inhabitants,
contributing to the creation of new jobs in rural areas.
The Leader program belongs to the Rural Development Program for 2014-2020 (RDP), i.e. it is supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The regulations on associations apply to the creation and operation of local action groups, except that:
- an ordinary member of a local action group may be natural and legal persons, including local government units;
- supervision over local action groups is exercised by the voivodship marshal;
- local action groups may carry out economic activities in the dimensions that support the implementation of the local development strategy and to the extent specified in their statutes;
- the obligatory body of the local action group is the council, elected by the general meeting of members from among its members, which has exclusive competence to select projects to be implemented under the developed strategy;
- at least half of the council members of the local action group are economic and social partners, but a council member cannot be a member of the LAG's internal audit body and its board at the same time.
Who is Leader for?
All persons under the age of 60 and not insured with KRUS can apply for funding under the program. The future entrepreneur must live and be willing to set up his business in a village or town with no more than 5,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the applicant for a grant from the Leader program cannot be entered in the register of economic activity at least one year before submitting the grant application.
If the future entrepreneur has already received funding from the Human Capital Operational Program in the two years preceding the submission of the application for funding from the Rural Development Program, he cannot submit an application for funding from the Leader program.
Moreover, the planned activity must be of a micro-enterprise nature and concern specific non-agricultural activities. Therefore, the entrepreneur cannot employ more than 10 employees, and its annual turnover cannot exceed EUR 2 million.
In the application submitted, the applicant must indicate how many jobs he can create. At the same time, it is worth remembering that a one-man activity is also understood as a full-time job. The number of jobs created primarily affects the amount of funding. The creation of jobs is declared in the business plan. ARMA imposes an obligation to maintain jobs for at least two years. If the entrepreneur fails to meet these deadlines, penalties will be imposed on him, and in the worst case, he will have to return the entire amount of the grant.
The application for co-financing should be submitted to the local action group (LAG), which will then distribute the previously allocated EU funds for a given rural area.
What can the funds from the Leader grant be used for?
Funds received from the Leader program can be used, among others, for:
- increasing the knowledge of the local community in the field of environmental protection and climate change;
- development of entrepreneurship in the rural area, including the setting up and expansion of economic activities and the creation or development of food businesses;
- fostering cooperation between businesses in a rural area;
- development of the sales market for local products and services;
- preservation of local heritage;
- construction or reconstruction of tourist, recreational or cultural infrastructure;
- promoting the rural area.
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Leader program and own contribution
Leader is implemented in the form of a grant, not a grant. This means that the funds obtained from the program are the reimbursement of outlays incurred for the establishment of the enterprise.
This means that the future entrepreneur must have his own contribution, but may apply for a reimbursement of 50% of the costs. Having 20 thousand. zlotys of own contribution, from the Leader program you can get a maximum of 20 thousand. However, the money received cannot finance the purchase of second-hand goods, the purchase of real estate or the goods and services tax.
The Leader program allows you to obtain grants for a variety of activities. To obtain them, please follow the pages of your Local Action Groups and submit your application in time. Rural communities, if not already involved in this activity, may consider whether together they are able to do something "useful" for their community. The list of LAGs is available at the Marshal's Offices of specific voivodeships.