Who can apply?
We award Exhibition Explorer grants to groups of at least four SMEs who are participating in a major trade fair in their sector that is held abroad. Funding requires at least four eligible applications for the same event. When four applications have arrived in Business Finland, we will process the applications. The SMEs in the group need to have a true desire to grow and internationalize their business.
What do we fund?
In general, we award Exhibition Explorer grants only for B2B events. When evaluating projects, we take into account the innovativeness and novelty value of the products and services that your company exhibits at the fair.
We primarily grant funding for participation in trade fairs of high global importance, including events targeted at key growth markets. When evaluating projects, we pay special attention to the impact that the funding will have on the growth of your company's international business.
Exhibition Explorer grants are intended for joint international trade fair projects by SMEs, which:
- Improve the companies' internationalization capacity by entering the export markets.
- Promote the launch of a new export business or open a new market area.
- Increase exports to old market areas.
- Diversify the structure of exports.
- Promote the market entry of enterprises and new innovations, or otherwise foster the internationalization and international competitiveness of companies.
Amount of funding
You can receive a Exhibition Explorer grant covering up to 50% of the eligible costs of the project. A grant of up to €30,000 per trade fair can be approved for individual companies. Payment in advance is not possible.
Terms and conditions of the funding
- Your company is an SME registered in Finland.
- Your company is seeking to grow and internationalize.
- Your Asiakastieto rating Alfa is at least A.
- Your company already has established business operations, i.e. turnover for at least one full financial year.
- Your company has a credible basis to run a profitable, long-term export business.
- Your company has no tax liabilities
- Your company has no payment default entries and is in the prepayment register.
- Your company has sufficient funding to cover the project and other operating costs. When planning self-financing, you should note that our grants are paid in arrears on the basis of actual and paid costs, unless otherwise indicated in the decision.
- Before your company applies for a Trade Fair grant, you should review the total amount of funding your company or corporation have received that is subject to the de minimis rule.
- One-person businesses are ineligible for trade fair grants, as are companies based in Åland.
We use a simple cost estimate in Exhibition Explorer funding. Costs that are eligible as direct costs in the funding include substantial audit costs associated with services purchased in connection with the fair stand and project:
- Registration costs
- Floor area rent costs
- Design and decoration costs
- Technical orders
- Rented structures
- Erection of the stand, i.e. construction costs
- Project audit costs
In the application service, only include the services to be purchased and other possible costs in the project cost estimate. Leave your wages and personal expenses off, as they cannot be funded. The funding requested by Business Finland is 50% of the cost of purchased services. Up to 20% may be eligible for other costs.
The beneficiary must arrange its accounting so as to facilitate the itemization of costs incurred from the project for outsourced services, and the verification of their connection with accounting and the cost statement.
Other costs incurred by your company from trade fair participation can be approved based on a flat rate, which is up to 20% of the sum of the above costs. Other costs can include travel, freight and interpretation costs, possible costs related to a consultant/administrator, and marketing costs associated with the trade fair. These other costs do not need to be itemized in the accounts.
As an exeption, creative industry projects (e.g. the music industry, the audio-visual sector), that have mainly participation and travel costs but no significant costs associated with the fair stand, may be eligible for funding.
In general, the minimum government grant approved for joint projects is €5,000. (Calculated by aggregating all grants awarded for parallel applications.)
As a rule, we can approve only the costs that are incurred by your company after your project application has been made. The exceptions are trade fair reservation and registration costs, which may be accepted even if they were incurred before the project application was submitted.
A cost related to a trade fair project will be viewed as incurred when your company receives the service you have purchased (i.e. the service is performed). For example, costs associated with hiring floor space are viewed as incurred when you gain the use of the floor area, i.e. in practice on the first day of building the stand. Since the deliverable must occur during the project, you must mark the time, for example, from the application to the end of the trade fair as the project period.
How to apply
Applications for Exhibition Explorer grants must be made in a coordinated manner and parallel applications for the same project must have a common name (usually the name of the trade fair event). Apply for trade fair grants via Business Finland's online services.
No application period is set, which means that you can submit applications at any time.
Other funding opportunities
Individual firms can apply for development grants covering trade fair project costs from their own ELY Centres. Policies on this vary somewhat by region.