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työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö

Business development aid and the aid to develop the operating environment of enterprises

The purpose of the aid to enterprises is to generate new business, to promote the growth and internationalisation of SMEs and to strengthen innovation in enterprises. The aid is granted by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres). The aid is discretionary and based on a project plan presented by the applicant. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) participates in the financing of business development projects and the projects aimed at developing the operating environment of enterprises.

Business development aid can be granted for major development and investment projects launched by an enterprise so that it can

• strengthen its management and marketing skills

• develop new or upgraded products, services or production methods

• improve its internationalisation and export skills

• explore new markets and business opportunities

• seek growth by investing in machinery, equipment or buildings


The aid to develop the operating environment of enterprises can be granted to non-profit corporations in the public and private sector and foundations for projects the purpose of which is to directly impact the operating environments of SMEs or the development prerequisites of businesses. 


The aid can be granted for

• surveys that are necessary for carrying out business operations

• developing services needed by enterprises

• promoting cooperation between enterprises

• other projects improving the operating environment and development prerequisites of enterprises

Applicants should already contact experts at their local ELY Centres during the project planning stage. The experts will provide additional information about project financing opportunities, the application procedure and the criteria for granting the aid.

For more information about the content of the aid, granting criteria, application procedure, aid payment process and the necessary forms, visit the website of your local ELY Centre.

Page last updated: 13.01.2015

Further information

Heikki Vesa      heikki.vesa(at)

Sirpa Hautala   sirpa.hautala(at)

Kari Alanko       kari.alanko(at)