European Union Aid Programme
for Turkish Cypriot community
Innovation, Technological Development, Quality Standards – keys to enterprise competitiveness
EU Grant Support Team
The overall objective of the EU-financed Grant Support Team, also known as the Programme Management Unit (PMU), is to provide technical assistance to the design, assessment, implementation and monitoring of grant scheme projects in line with EU rules within the scope of the Aid Programme.

The Grant Support Team is responsible for actions such as support to the development of grant scheme guidelines, assessment of grant applications, capacity building activities for project applicants and beneficiaries, assistance to grant beneficiaries during project implementation and the monitoring of grant projects in the civil society, community development, human resource, private sector development and rural development sectors.

Other activities include updating and maintenance of two websites ( and, establishment and maintenance of the Monitoring Information System and supporting programme visibility activities.

Capacity building activities include support to SMEs, civil society organisations, schools, rural micro-enterprises, local communities, NGOs and farmers in all procurement processes (supplies, works, services), project management, contract administration and reporting.

Technical assistance to build the capacity of local stakeholders (including business support organisations) and enhance the competitiveness of the private sector (TAPS Project)
The overall objective of the 17 months TAPS project, starting in November 2015, is to promote the development of the private sector away from its reliance on the public sector; and to prepare micro, small and medium-sized enterprises for reunification, including the future adoption of EU rules and regulations and making them aware of good practices in various sectors.

Expected results of the TAPS project include:
  • The policy, planning, implementation and coordination capacity of relevant bodies carrying out functions in the public interest as well as their organisational and managerial capacity and that of business support organisations (BSOs) active in support to SMEs and generally in support of the development of the private sector are strengthened;
  • Dialogue and coordination among the private sector, the relevant bodies active in the public interest, civil society (BSOs in particular) and other relevant stakeholders involved in the development of the private sector is improved;
  • The regulatory framework for developing the private sector (in particular SMEs) is strengthened;
  • Entrepreneurship is encouraged;
  • Competitiveness of SMEs is strengthened and trade facilitated;
  • The feasibility and conditions for the setting up of an incubator(s) / innovation centres /clustering / business development centres are better understood and their governance supported; and
  • The three Chambers dealing with private sector development (Commerce and Trade; Industry; Artisans and Shopkeepers) operate with increased effectiveness in matters of quality and service delivery towards their members.

Sustainable Economic Development and ICT Sector Programme (SECOND Project)
The overall objective of the Sustainable Economic Development and ICT Sector Programme (SECOND Project), undertaken between June 2010 and September 2013, was to support the economic and social development of the Turkish Cypriot community in a sustainable manner.

The SECOND Project consisted of two components:
  1. Component 1: To prepare businesses for compliance with the EU acquis, to contribute to the growth of the private sector and to the diversification of the local economy, and to improve the quality of business services available to the private sector by means of:
    • A more conducive environment for economic development measured by the number and quality of business support services, number of privatised public enterprises, etc.; and
    • an expanded private sector meeting EU standards as measured by an increased number of firms with business plans showing compliance with the EU acquis, increased employment, increased productivity in supported firms and increased investment in firms.
  2. Component 2 – ICT: To increase the take-off of ICT technologies and competences across all sectors of society by means of:
    • increased take-up of ICT technologies;
    • establishment of a more competitive and innovative ICT sector;
    • increased synergy between SMEs and the ICT sector; and
    • contribute to converting a greater number of Turkish Cypriots into “e-citizens”.

Key results included:
Component 1:
  • Support to the preparation of a private sector development strategy;
  • SME competitiveness improved: design of a model database for SMEs completed, over 40 specific trainings delivered, more than 300 individual consultancy sessions provided. ‘A Practical Guide to Marketing for SMEs’ and ‘A Guide to Entrepreneurship’ published.
  • Local product and export promotion services delivered, including the publishing of handbooks for Meat Producers, Dairy Producers, Bakery Producers and Traders on EU Food Safety and Hygiene Standards.
  • Business service organisations supported, including a broad range of Chambers and Associations supported through consultancy and trainings;
  • Business to business networking supported through several networking meetings organised with the participation of over 100 young and women entrepreneurs, business people and various stakeholders. ‘A Guide to Effective Networking’ published.
  • Barriers to investment identified and recommendations provided;
  • Research and development (R&D) supported through the development of the Innovation, Research and Development Plan for the northern part of Cyprus;
  • Sector specific marketing initiatives provided: Nicosia Old Walled City Downtown Initiative and Famagusta Old Walled City Initiative deployed with the contribution of over 15 stakeholders.

Component 2:
  • E-Business/E-Commerce Strategy development designed/supported;
  • E-governance programme supported. Pilot project document for implementation of e-Governance Strategy for local bodies designed;
  • ICT usage in SMEs and in the bodies carrying out functions in the public interest enhanced by conducting trainings, providing consultancy and a study visit to the Estonian e-Governance Academy;
  • Regulatory framework supported through development of the ‘Information Society and Media Chapter Framework Summary Document’ and by supporting the preparation of a Cyber Crime legal text;
  • ICT production sector supported/developed through training programmes and the development of the ICT Sector Development Strategy with the contribution of several stakeholders;
  • ICT education to citizens supported through development of ICT Curricula Requirements Report;
  • Number of people ECDL certified increased; over 20 individuals participated in ECDL training programme;
  • ICT awareness increased through the development of the project website, booklets on ‘Secure ICT Uptake’, ‘Introduction to the Internet World’ and conducting of and participation to ICT awareness raising events.

Analytical work undertaken by the World Bank
The overall objective of the Economic Analysis Programme for Growth and Sustainable Development is to assist with the development process to further economic convergence within Cyprus.

The specific objectives of the programme are to: (i) fill knowledge gaps on macroeconomic developments in the northern part of Cyprus; (ii) elaborate for the Turkish Cypriot economy suggestions for selected priority areas based upon economic and sector analyses; and (iii) enhance local understanding of constraints impeding development and reforms through intensive outreach and consultation.

Reports can be accessed under the Documents section of the website.

Market Mapping Study
The overall objective of the project was inter alia i) to develop market maps for three niche food products and the eco-tourism sector that help identify policy issues that may hinder or enhance the functioning of a value-chain; ii) identify the bodies and organisations providing the services (such as market information and quality standards) that the different value-chain actors need in order to make better informed decisions.

The project included extensive market mapping for carobs, artichokes, and honey using a value chain analysis including value chain actors, the enabling environment (infrastructure and policies, bodies with public functions and processes that shape the market environment) and service providers (the business or extension services that support value chain operations).

Service quality in the eco-tourism industry was measured using a Correspondence Analysis (CA) connected with SERVQUAL index.