Gain new knowledge and expertise to help advance in a new global market.
The Explorer funding service is intended for small and medium-sized enterprises and Midcap companies (maximum group-level turnover of 300 million euros) in all sectors, with the exception of industries excluded from de minimis funding (primary agricultural production, fisheries and aquaculture).
Companies that are seeking new export markets for a product, service or business model by hiring an expert. 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 target market and/or customer segment investigated in the project must be new to the company.
Talent Explorer funding can be used to hire an expert in order to obtain new information and expertise to help your company make progress in a new international market. The funding is intended only for the costs of hiring an expert. The maximum amount of funding granted by Business Finland is 20,000 euros and may cover up to 50% of the expert's employment costs (salary costs and including indirect employee costs and possible travel expenses) for the first 6 to 12 months. In other words, the maximum project cost is 40,000 euros. A company or a group of companies may receive Talent Explorer funding for a total of three times.
One of the goals of Talent Explorer funding is to bring international experts to Finland. Therefore, the Talent Explorer expert works from Finland, but traveling and short-term stays in the target market are possible. The person must be subject to Finnish labor legislation, he or she must be covered by Finnish social security and the taxes on the salary must be withheld in Finland.
You can find help for finding an expert from Business Finland's Talent Boost program.
Talent Explorer is a suitable funding service, when
your company is in its early stages of internationalization, or you wish to obtain more expertise and knowledge to help your company grow internationally by utilizing a hired expert to analyze a potential export market for your current product, service or business model
your company needs the help of an expert to plan international operations and survey new target markets
your company’s financial situation is solid and has already secured its 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 team must consist of, for example, one full-time person and two half-time persons in Finland.
Your company cannot receive Explorer funding, if
Explorer funding can be used to hire an expert to support your company's international operations. The hired expert may be an individual with specific experience or expertise related to your company's potential new export market, such as a foreign national who has graduated from or is a graduate thesis student at a Finnish university or university of applied sciences.
Hiring an expert for carrying out various activities to promote internationalization in a new export market, such as
Your company's current employees' salary costs or travel expenses, materials, supplies, rents and machinery and equipment purchases.
Sectors which are excluded from de minimis funding (primary agricultural production, fisheries and aquaculture).
Outsourced expert services.
Costs incurred in supporting exports or export marketing.
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 maximum amount of Explorer funding granted by Business Finland is 20,000 euros and may cover up to 50% of the employment costs (salary costs and possible travel expenses) for the first 6 to 12 months of work performed in Finland by the hired expert. Your company must pay a minimum of 50% of the employment costs of the hired expert. In other words, the maximum budget for an Talent Explorer application is 40,000 euros.
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.
This funding constitutes a grant which your company does not need to repay.
Funding will be paid after the project has ended and the final report submitted. In the final report, your company must report to Business Finland on how the goals agreed in the funding decision were achieved. The funding period is typically between 6 to 12 months. The maximum duration of projects is one year.
There are also development grants by ELY Centres. It can be awarded to SMEs for a development project under a broader internationalization strategy, which may include, for example, the salary of a new key person, attendance at fairs or trips related to internationalization measures. Development grants are not available in Uusimaa.
Talent 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.
One of the subjects of funding is students who have graduated from University on Applied Sciences or Universities in Finland or are in the final stage. An expert can also be a person with similar training, who has 1-3 years of experience in business development in a desired new market, for example a foreign citizen already living in Finland. The employee may also be a Finnish or foreign expert with similar expertise.
The hired expert is expected to promote the company's internationalization, and their expertise must be compatible with the project's goals. Their expertise may relate to the language or culture of the target country, or they may be an expert in international business, for example. Expertise related to procedures, networks or the industry is considered an asset.
A hired expert cannot work abroad only. Your company will pay a minimum of 50% of the costs of an expert working from Finland.
The target countries are not limited in terms of number or location. The target market may also be a large city, as long as it will provide desirable benefits to the company.
No, it cannot be used to fund retail businesses. The company must make the products or services it sells.
The minimum limit is 20,000 euros, as a smaller budget is not considered to be effective enough.
A company or group can receive Talent Explorer funding up to three times, and the same restriction applies to Market Explorer funding. We do not recommend that a company or group have several Talent/Market Explorer projects running at the same time. If the company’s financial and human resources are in order, funding for parallel and successive projects may be granted in some cases.