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Market Explorer 

Buy expertise to grow your business in a new international market

Who can apply?

The Market Explorer funding service is designed for SMEs and mid-cap companies that are seeking new international markets for their products, services, or business models. The company may be in its early stages of internationalization or already operate internationally. 

The company must also have an innovative product or service idea or business model which it needs expertise in order to export to new international markets. The company's product must be at least in the piloting phase. The target market and/or customer segment investigated in the project must be new to the company.

What do we fund?

You can use Market Explorer funding to buy new information and expertise to help your company make progress in a new international market. The funding is designed for expenses incurred from purchased expert services. In addition, other costs will be accepted up to the amount of 20 percent of the sum of purchased services (From 1.10.2020). It is not necessary to itemize these other costs. The maximum amount of Business Finland funding is €5,000–10,000, covering 50% of the total costs of the expert services. company or a group of companies may receive Market Explorer funding for a total of three times.

When?

  • Your company is in early stages of internationalisation or wishes to survey a new potential export market to an existing product, service or business model.
  • Your company needs external expertise for planning international operations and to survey new target markets.
  • Your company's financial situation is solid and you have already secured your own part of the funding.
  • There are enough resources and a wide range of skills available for development. We do not award funding to single-person businesses. At minimum, your project team must consist of, for example, one full-time person and two half-time persons in Finland.

When not:

  • Your company is a large enterprise, a private trader, a public or non-profit organisation or a company registered in Åland.
  • Your company has tax liabilities, for which it has not made or adhered to a payment plan
  • Your company is not in the prepayment register
  • Your company's rating Alfa is below A.
  • Your company's line of business is not eligible for de minimis funding (primary agricultural production, fisheries and aquaculture).
  • The de minimis quota common to your company and Finnish companies belonging to the same group or under the same authority has been exceeded
  • Your company's main sector is retail 

What can the funding be used for?

You can use Market Explorer funding to buy expert services to support your company's international growth. The service provider can be a company, research organisation, information dissemination organisation or an expert (an individual). The service provider can also be from abroad.

You can find expertise from e.g. Business Finland's Expert Search.

Examples of purchased services

  • Internationalisation plan and strategy.
  • Survey of business opportunities, preconceptualisation.
  • Market survey of an existing product in a new market, and a survey of localisation needs.
  • Analysis of markets and the competitive situation.
  • Survey of retailers and distribution partners.

What not for:

  • Sectors which are excluded from Explorer funding (primary agricultural production, fisheries, and aquaculture).
  • Expert services unrelated to the creation of capacity required in international operations:
    • General business consulting services
    • professional services related to product development
    • Operational sales and marketing services
    • Staff training 

Become a customer to Business Finland

Business Finland's services are meant for companies seeking rapid business growth and bold renewal in the international market.

Become a customer

Funding levels 

Amount of funding

Funding is applied in advance and the project start date may not be earlier than the date the application is submitted to the electronic system. The amount of Business Finland funding is EUR 5,000–10,000, covering 50% of the purchased expert services. Your company pays 50% of the expert services expenses. Payment in advance is not possible.

Payment and reporting of funding

The funding will be paid on the basis of the reported cost following the completion of the project. No financing is paid in advance. The enterprise must have sufficient funding to cover the costs of the project and other business costs. When planning self-financing, it must be taken into account that Business Finland financial support is paid retrospectively against actual and paid costs, unless otherwise stated in the decision.

In its final report to Business Finland, your company details what expert services have been purchased, how much they cost and from whom they were obtained. The maximum duration of projects is one year.

How to apply for funding

Apply for funding via Business Finland's online services. When you submit the application, your company must have a preliminary idea of the service provider of the expert services. Your company may change service providers during the project if it is necessary in order to reach the objective.

Enter purchased services in the budget in the application service. In addition, other costs will be accepted up to the amount of 20 percent of the sum of purchased services (From 1.10.2020). It is not necessary to itemize these other costs. Funding provided by Business Finland accounts for 50% of the purchased services.

Please note that your company and the service provider you selected may not be linked as associated companies (see further details in section 3.5 of the General Terms).

We aim to process applications within two weeks of receiving them.

De Minimis grant

Market Explorer is de minimis support, defined by the European Commission for small development projects. The maximum sum of de minimis aid that can be granted to one company over the current and two previous fiscal years is €200,000. The company must assess how much de minimis funding it has received in previous years at the application stage. Such aid is granted by a range of public organisations in addition to Business Finland, such as Finnvera and the ELY Centres.

Online services

You can apply for funding, report on the progress of your project and create a cost statement through the Online Service. As a new feature, changes to projects are now applied for through the Online Service. All documents related to your project are also available via the Online Service.

Go to the Online Service

Q&A