Friday, May 14, 2010

Subsidies for Spanish self employed autonomos

Free money! The Spanish government may be so short of cash it is being downgraded by the ratings agencies, and being bailed out by the Germans, but there is still plenty of money sloshing around if you know where to look.

There are so many subsidies and programs available for new and existing businesses, either funded by the government, the regional government or the EU, that it's impossible to keep up with them. There is a whole network of government offices in Andalucia whose sole job it is is to guide potential claimants to these bags of loot (these are the CADE offices - see website here).

But there is a snag or two of course. State handouts wouldn't be state handouts without strings attached, hoops to jumps through to get and a bias in the system to certain favoured groups. I attended a seminar at the Marbella CADE office this week to learn about an autonomo subsidy program which I have described in full on the Advoco website -

To be fair it looked fairly straightforward in terms of applying although it is only available for certain times of the year (for the next month and then again in September). There is also a big bias in favour of certain favoured groups. The subsidy starts at €5.000 for an ordinary bloke and climbs steadily with each feature you have which the government deem to be a disadvantage e.g. women (€2.000 more), disabled (€3.000), immigrant (€3.000) etc A bit unfair and patronising maybe? The €11.000 jackpot goes to unemployed, disabled women who have been victims of domestic violence.

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