Guido Lucarelli

Simest has launched a funding scheme, running until May 2022, to support companies with the development or improvement of international e-commerce solutions.

Allocated funds are intended for the development of e-commerce platforms and the funding of communication activities, both proprietary and on marketplaces, with investments of up to 300,000 euro per company.
The scheme is open to Italian SMEs and innovative SMEs, established as corporations and having filed with the Business Register at least two financial statements covering two complete financial years.

E-commerce channels being funded are:

  • Proprietary e-commerce platforms, for the implementation of a digital investment project to create or improve a proprietary international platform
  • Marketplace, with access to a third-party platform for marketing goods or services.


A non-repayable loan of up to 25% of the investment is available, rising to 40% for SMEs with at least one operational branch in southern Italy (Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardinia and Sicily).
For the remainder, and up to 100% of the investment, low-interest funding is provided over a 4 year period.
The minimum sum is €10,000, while the maximum amount that can be financed is:

  • up to €300,000 for a proprietary platform, with a total investment not exceeding 15% of the average revenue as shown in the last two approved financial statements filed by the company
  • up to €200,000 for a third-party platform, with an investment of no more than 15% of the average revenue as shown in the last two approved financial statements filed by the company.

Eligible expenditure

The funds allocated by the scheme can be spent on the creation and development of a proprietary platform or use of a marketplace; specifically:

  • creation, acquisition and setup of the platform
  • extension of software components to enhance functionality (e.g. order management software, payment circuits, cloud services, integration with ERP, CRM, AI and augmented reality)
  • app creation and configuration
  • domain hosting fees, with some limitations regarding hosting certification
  • start-up costs for use of a marketplace
  • fees for use of the platform or marketplace
  • expenditure on investments in data and platform security
  • addition of content and graphic solutions
  • development of browsing data analysis and tracking or consultancy for the development and/or modification of the platform
  • brand registration, approval and protection
  • costs of international product certification.

Moreover, part of the budget may be allocated to marketing and promotional activities, as well as project-related training, among other eligible activities:

  • cost of indexing the platform or marketplace
  • web marketing costs
  • communication costs
  • training for internal staff involved in the management/operation of the platform.


The credit provided must be spent within 12 months of the date of signing the contract with Simest. The duration of the loan is 4 years from the signing of the contract, with a grace period of 1 year and a 3-year repayment period.
Resources are disbursed in two installments: the first 50% paid as an advance; the second - the remaining 50% - paid on receipt of a statement of expenditure incurred.

All further information

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