This Grant Scheme is aimed at encouraging and supporting enterprises to increase their competitiveness by adopting e-commerce through online sales in their daily operations.

Target Group

  • Micro Enterprises
  • Small Enterprises
  • Medium-sized Enterprises

Information and Communication Technology is central for socio-economic development and businesses can greatly benefit from its application. Embracing ICT through online selling can open up new markets for SMEs and encourage a more entrepreneurial and innovative mind-set, as well as result in better employment opportunities.

In this context, e-Commerce represents an opportunity for businesses to exploit their potential to increase their market share and reach new markets. Statistical data indicates that enterprises in Malta have not as yet taken advantage of the island’s strong IT infrastructure and the extensive possibilities it offers SMEs, particularly in facilitating their internationalisation efforts by reaching new clients and markets through online selling.

When considering the local scenario, notwithstanding the fact that most enterprises are IT-enabled, e-commerce remains relatively low and local businesses are still transitioning to e-commerce. In fact, enterprises conducting online sales currently stand at 14%.

Eligible Actions

The measure shall support investment towards the design, development, implementation and delivery of an e-commerce website and/or a mobile application, or an upgrade of an existing website or mobile application to enable online sales/bookings. The end product shall result in an e-commerce website/mobile application having a content management system and must comply with current industry standard e-commerce security practices. The e-Commerce website/mobile application will incorporate an online payment gateway and support at least basic analytics as follows:

  • Design, development, implementation and delivery of an e-commerce website and/or mobile application to meet the needs of the beneficiary SME.
  • Development, implementation and delivery of all technical elements to enable the function of the website and/or mobile application including a Content Management System (CMS) for use to upload content, secure online payment integration, including an online graphical product or service catalogue.
  • Development, implementation and delivery of all technical elements to allow the successful integration of a payment system including appropriate electronic communication channels.
  • Integration of appropriate web analytics software to allow SMEs to generate data reports on web traffic to and from the website and/or mobile application.
  • Creation of a design for the website and/or mobile application that is in line with the brand identity of the SME.
  • Registering and hosting of the site on secure servers.
  • Compliance across all website and/or mobile application design and development with at least W3C Level A accessibility guidelines.

The final e-commerce product shall include acknowledgement of the support received from EU Funds in line with EU Commission Regulation 821/2014 and in line with the Guidelines for Implementation issued by the Intermediate Body.

On project completion, the beneficiary undertaking will provide the Intermediate Body (IB) with an authenticated report, drawn up by the Service Provider, outlining the level of service provided from a technical perspective and its resultant output in line with these Guidance Notes and outlining adherence to the following mandatory requirements:

  1. Open Web Application Security Project OWASP (https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Main_Page)
  2. PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Standards (www.pcisecuritystandards.org) for online card payment processing
  3. Data Protection Legislation
  4. An application security audit should be submitted once the site is live, which may be conducted using automated test applications, which would at least include the following requirements:
    1. Cross Site Scripting Prevention
    2. Injection Flaws
    3. Malicious File Execution Attacks
    4. Insecure Direct Object Reference
    5. Cross Site Request Forgery
    6. Information Leakage and Improper Error Handling
    7. Broken Authentication and Session Management
    8. Insecure Cryptographic Storage
    9. Failure to restrict URL access

Eligible Costs

To be eligible the end product shall be an e-commerce website/mobile application that will include a Content Management System that must comply with the current industry standard e-commerce security practices, will incorporate an online product/service catalogue, a shopping cart, a payment or booking system and an integrated e-commerce payment gateway enabling online payments and support at least basic analytics.

The following costs can be considered eligible:

  • Domain name registration
  • Hosting fees
  • Content Management System (CMS) software including required licenses
  • e-commerce Website and/or Mobile Application design in line with the brand identity of the organisation
  • Shopping Cart integration
  • Other Set-up fees (including setting up and configuration of the CMS system, system design, customisation and development, integration with payment system/s, implementation of the required security features, testing and go live).

This Scheme is demand driven and managed through an open rolling call, which can be found here. The list of service providers can be found here.

Documents related to Growth can be found below:

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