Market Explorer funding is intended for over 5 years old SMEs and midcap companies that have their own product, service or business model that is at least in the idea or pilot stage. The solution must have a credible competitive advantage in the international market. With Market Explorer funding, you get information about a new international market for your company.
After the Market Explorer project, you will know the market situation and can initiate operational measures to take your solution to the international market.
The Market Explorer funding is provided as aid which your company does not need to return at a later time. The funding is designed for covering expenses incurred in purchasing expert services, and for salaries of the company’s own international business experts. The people working for the project can be old employees of the company or people hired for the project. In addition, other costs will be accepted up to the amount of 20 percent of the sum of the purchased services and salaries.
The amount of Market Explorer funding is EUR 5,000–40,000, covering 50% of the total expenses of your project. Therefore, the total budget of your Market Explorer project may range from EUR 10,000 to EUR 80,000.
No Market Explorer funding is paid in advance, so the company must have sufficient financing to cover the costs of the project and other business costs. The maximum duration of a Market Explorer project is one year. A company or a group of companies may receive Market Explorer funding several times. When granting funding, it is taken into account whether previous Market Explorer projects have led to international business.
What the funding cannot be used for
Business Finland will not grant funding if:
Market Explorer funding is de minimis aid. The maximum amount of de minimis aid that a company can receive over the current and two previous fiscal years is EUR 200,000.
The company must assess, at the application stage, how much de minimis funding it has received in the previous years. Companies belonging to the same group or controlled by the same party (for example, same majority owner) are considered one company. Such aid is granted by a range of public organizations, such as Finnvera and the ELY Centers.
The funding terms and conditions describe the costs that Business Finland can fund, how we monitor your project costs, and how you should report on the progress of your project.
Send your application and attachments via our online service. You can also keep track of the processing of your application in the online service.
In the application form, you will be asked to set 2–5 measurable targets for your project. The targets must be related to the concrete outcomes of the project and the development of your company's business. The project targets will be recorded in the funding decision and Business Finland will monitor their completion. The accomplishment of the targets has a significant impact when applying for potential follow-on financing from Business Finland.
Please describe the targets in the form "outcomes of the project upon its completion".
Examples of project targets:
As a part of your application, we will ask you to submit a project plan. You can either type your plan in the application form, in the field ("Project realization: Please describe the intended use of the funding you are applying for") or attach it to the application in a separate file. If you do not already have a project plan, you can use the project plan template.
Please detail at least the following items in your project plan:
Attach an income statement no more than two months old and a balance sheet from the current financial period with your Market Explorer application.
Business Finland can accept costs starting from the date the application was submitted, at the earliest.
Eligible costs within a Market Explorer are:
Indirect personnel costs
30% of the salaries paid will be accepted as indirect personnel costs.
Expert services related to exporting your product, service or business model to a new international market.
The division of costs into purchased services and salaries has not been defined.. The work of the company's own staff and the expert services to be purchased must form a purposeful and credible whole that promotes the company's international growth.
Services purchased within the same Group will be accepted as invoiced. Purchases from other associated companies are not considered acceptable costs.
Purchased services unrelated to the creation of capacity required in international operations cannot be accepted as project costs, for example
Other costs will be accepted up to the amount of 20 per cent of the amount of purchased services and salaries. Other costs do not need to be itemised.
Plan a project and define its goals. Ensure the sufficiency of self-financing.
Submit your application through online services. Submit the additional information requested.
Business Finland will assess your application and notify you of its decision. Read the decision and its terms and conditions, and approve the decision in online services.
Arrange project accounting. Notify Business Finland of any changes.
Report your project's implementation and costs. Attach the additional information requested with your report.