STAND Up!: Call for applications open for textile and fashion entrepreneurs to access international markets in the Mediterranean!


STAND Up! continues its programme of activities and development of services to support eco-innovative entrepreneurs in the textile and clothing sector. On this behalf, STAND Up! officially launches a call for proposals to give early and growth stage entrepreneurs opportunities to access international markets in the Mediterranean area. In this opportunity, sustainable entrepreneurs will get the connections they need to expand into an overseas market and explore business and networking opportunities.

The call for applications, named “Soft-landing Voucher Scheme”, aims at accelerating job creation and stimulate connection between Southern and Northern Mediterranean through the selection of 20 ventures in total. These start-ups will be selected to participate in the activity from the 5 project partner countries, which are: Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Spain and Tunisia.

The call is open to early-stage and growth-stage start-ups with an existing product or service. Candidates should have a sustainable and innovative business, potential of scalability and growth and a clear plan to access regional markets. A minimum of 4 sustainable and circular ventures will be identified per country to deliver 4 vouchers about 4,000€ each.

The soft-landing vouchers scheme will provide the opportunity to access international markets in the Mediterranean region, establish an overseas sales presence, boost international business development, connect with local industry players and meet stakeholders from the region.

The “Soft-landing Voucher Scheme” also call offers the possibility to the selected companies to choose the territory where to implement the soft-landing activity and to access the local market with their business. The eligible territories where the soft-landing activity should be applied are located in the ENI CBC Med cooperation area. As for the technical support, selected start-ups will be matched with a Hosting Organization operating in the indicated country and identified following the specific needs of the individual ventures.

The Hosting Organization, in charge of coordinating the activities and services provided on site, will be an active actor in the field of innovation and services for entrepreneurship such as Business Innovation Center, Incubator, University Science Park and Business Support Agency. In addition, it will assist in promoting exchange with experts and professionals in the field of start-up business, identifying new suppliers and establishing a commercial presence abroad, suggesting possible partnership opportunities and facilitating participation in events and trade fairs.

The “Soft-landing Voucher Scheme” is open for textile and fashion start-ups that meets the following criteria:

  • Early-stage/Growth-stage start-ups in the textile and clothing industry
  • Venture with a potential scalability, innovative and economically viable
  • Venture with a prototype or product/service ready in the market
  • Venture with an environmental and social impact
  • Venture with a unique value proposition and sustainable business model with clear revenue streams

Among the selected participants, at least 50% should have participated in the capacity building and incubation phase. The call also guarantees priority to young people under 35 years of age and to ventures/start-ups developed by women without age limits.

Deadline to submit applications in Italy, Lebanon, Spain and Tunisia: 31st March 2022

Deadline to submit applications in Egypt: 15th of April 2022

Link below to apply for the “Soft-landing Voucher Scheme” call, according to your country:

Egypt - SEKEM Development Foundation:  CALL CLOSED

Italy - Prato Textile Museum Foundation:   CALL CLOSED

Lebanon - Berytech Foundation:   CALL CLOSED

Spain – Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC):   CALL CLOSED

Tunisia - CETTEX Textile Technical Centre and CITET Tunis International Centre for Environmental Technologies:  CALL CLOSED