Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) has invited applications for small business grants (Round-II) for “Growth Stage Start Up” maximum to Rs500,000 to each organization on first come first served basis to promote and encourage SMEs sector of the country. The Growth Stage Start-Ups grant is aimed at providing financial support to the entrepreneurs to meet the capital or operating needs of their business, official source said adding that the interested enterprises had been requested to submit their applications by September 27. SMEDA’s Grant Programme offers funding to the eligible SMEs to acquire machinery, equipment required for carrying out the production operation, testing apparatus/ equipment required to conduct product, process inspection or quality testing, office equipment including IT equipment required for carrying out business operation. Furniture and fixtures required for carrying out business operations, raw materials for production of finished goods, stocks for carrying out trading activities, software licensing fees, procurement of customer management software, digital marketing and prototyping or product testing from any accredited laboratory. The project is being executed under SMEDA’s National Business Development Programme for SMEs (NBDP) across the country including provision of small grants, it said. Women, person with disability, minorities, applicants from less developed districts, business related to Information Technology (IT), Food Processing and Tourism sector are encouraged to apply, it said. The applications will be evaluated on the basis of profile of the entrepreneur, profile of the enterprise and expected grant impact, it said.