Aid to individual enterprises
Individual enterprises can apply to the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) for aid for their internationalisation projects. Project areas include the development of capabilities required in internationalisation, market mapping, analyses for launching products or services in new markets, business or leadership development, and other similar key development areas. Aid is also available for attending foreign trade fairs or exhibitions.
All grants fall under enterprise development aid provided for in the Act on State Aid for Business Development (laki valtionavustuksesta yritystoiminnan kehittämiseksi 1336/2006). In addition to internationalisation projects, enterprise development aid is available for investments and other key business development projects.
The objective of such aid is to lower the threshold for international access, and to encourage SMEs across industries and regions in Finland to adopt a focused approach to their business development.
Acceptable costs under aid for internationalisation projects include staff wages and travel expenses, use of external services and specialists, and participation in trade fairs and exhibitions. As this aid is intended for improving the capabilities required in accessing international markets, it does not apply to exports and marketing, advertising, setting up of sales or distribution networks, or other running costs in export operations.
The maximum aid amount for internationalisation projects accounts for 50% of approved costs.
Enterprises can apply for aid at their local ELY Centre. Aid applications must be submitted to the ELY Centre before the project is launched.
Applicants must be able to present a viable project and financing plan, as required for discretionary government transfers. During the planning stage and before submitting their application, enterprises are encouraged to contact the finance advisor at their local ELY Centre, for a review of the aid criteria and an initial mapping of the available financing opportunities.
For further information and guidance on the content, criteria, application process, and payment of aid under the Act on State Aid for Business Development (1336/2006), visit the ELY Centres' website