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accelerating internationalization

For whom?

Tempo funding is intended for Finnish limited liability companies: startups, SMEs and mid cap companies aiming for international growth that have the desire and ability to build their expertise and solutions into an international success story in innovative ways. Innovation can mean a lot of things, not just the technical implementation of a product or service. The result to be achieved must have a credible advantage over potential competitors.

Tempo-funding is always based on consideration.

At the start of the project the company must have a competent team and credible funding for implementing the project.
The sufficiency of the cash flow financing is assessed on a case-by-case basis. If the company has no retained earnings or cash flow financing based on previous financial years, a demand for equity financing is a possibility. In practice, this means at least EUR 30,000 in equity funding as the project's own funding. Accumulated earnings are eligible for equity to exceed the threshold only from the official and full accounting period.

Acceptable equity funding includes, for example:

  • Investments in share capital or a SVOP fund (invested unrestricted equity fund) paid to the company in cash
  • Subordinated loans

Before drawing up a project plan and the actual application, we recommend having a discussion with one of Business Finland's experts. Find out here how to become our customer.

In order for your company to get the best possible benefit from Tempo funding, we recommend that you critically evaluate the development needs related to the company's competence and business in relation to the company's growth vision for 3–5 years. If these needs have not been identified yet, we also recommend learning more about the following services as needed before a potential Tempo project plan:

  • ELY Centre's development services
  • Business Finland's innovation voucher, if the study is related to the company's new product, service or business
  • Business Finland Market Explorer, for studies on international markets new to the company


With the funding, your company can improve its potential for international growth in various ways, test the functionality of its business concept, obtain feedback from potential customers, and investigate demand in a new international market.

In a Tempo project, the main focus is on developing the capabilities related to the company's international growth, not product development. Product development costs can only be approved as a small part of the project to gain customer insight and feedback. If the focus of the project is on product development and the company has a sufficient idea on its global competitiveness, you should learn more about Business Finland's research and development funding.


  • Your company's objective is significant international growth, and the competence and development needs related to the objective have been identified and your company is a limited company.
  • Your company has a realistic idea of its competitive advantage in the market.
  • You understand what need your product or service idea meets.
  • You have identified the potential clientele and earnings model.
  • You have estimated the size and business potential of the target market.
  • Key employees are committed to the company and its growth strategy.
  • 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.
  • The company has a credible funding plan and the prerequisites for profitable business and growt

When not?

  • If the company form is not "limited liability company"
  • The company does not have its own innovative product or service idea
  • The company/group has already taken advantage of the Tempo or Kiito funding
  • The company's team is not sufficiently committed and competent prior to Tempo
  • The company does not have the necessary equity funding of its own
  • The company does not have a justified view of its competitive edge and growth potential in the international markets
  • The project targets operative work/the company's ordinary operations
  • The project focus is on product development
  • Your company has tax liabilities, for which it has not made or adhered to a payment plan

Please note! This list is not all-encompassing. Please read all the instructions on this page carefully!

What can the funding be used for?

With Tempo funding, we promote activities with the aim of making the company's growth vision reality. The project should include a balanced mix of market surveys, collection of early customer feedback, and the development of the business model, technology and the company. A significant portion of the project costs should consist of expenses other than research and development expenses, such as

  • preparation of an internationalization strategy
  • market analyses
  • testing of demand for the product and service concept
  • piloting of the product and service concept among customers
  • market validation
  • test marketing
  • development of management, practices and the organization in the point of view of internationalizational growth
  • analysis of growth funding
  • drawing up an IPR report and patent analysis

In addition, Tempo funding can be used for the participation costs of business accelerator programs and the costs of MAPs (market access programs). Further information


During the application stage, we will agree on 2-5 clear and measurable goals which are based on the stage of internationalization of your company. We evaluate what concrete is achieved at the end of the project and what business objectives are set for the project, for example:, for example:

  • Realization of customer pilots
  • Growing the company's turnover
  • Increasing the number of customers
  • Development of internationalization processes
  • Strengthening the partner network
  • Making progress with funding arrangements
  • Strengthening the team, advisers and/or Board of Directors
  • Setting up or launching an significant development project

Goal achievement will be an important factor when considering possible funding for the next stage of the project.
Usually a company is granted Tempo funding only once. In exceptional cases, such as pivoting or participation in a business accelerator program, discretionary Tempo funding may be granted a second time. In practice, pivoting is a situation where a company has completely abandoned its old business and is heading for a new business area.

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

Amount of funding

The maximum amount of Tempo funding is EUR 50,000. Funding from Business Finland covers 75 percent of the project's total budget, which is in maximum EUR 66,667. This funding constitutes a grant which does not have to be paid back.

We will pay 70 percent of the funding (up to EUR 35,000) after the funding decision, and the remainder in conjunction with the project's final report. For Midcap, the entire funding will be paid in conjunction with the final report.

Company's own funding

Your company must have sufficient funding of its own for the project's completion.

We require at least EUR 30,000 in equity financing as the company's own funding for the project (either through investments, subordinated loans or as results of realized accounting periods). In addition, the company must have confirmed self-financing during the project.

Note! In Tempo funding, the share of public funding is exceptionally high (75% of costs). Therefore, the self-financing of the project must be entirely from private sources and for example, no Finnvera funding can be used as self-financing for a Tempo project.

How to apply for funding

Get in in touch with your contact person in Business Finland before submitting the actual application, in order to find the most suitable financial service for you. Find out here how to become our customer.

Send the application, including attachments, via the Online Service. In the application, you must describe the current state of the business; its personnel, resources and future growth vision; the goals and costs of the project; and the work involved.

Project plan

A project plan is required for the application. The plan can be either entered directly in the application form fields, or attached to the application as a separate file. If necessary, you can use the Tempo project plan template as the framework of your project plan..

Financial information on the company

The following attachments must be provided with a Tempo application:

  • An income statement no more than two months old and a balance sheet from the account ledger for the current accounting period

For decision-making purposes, we may also request additional information as required.


At the end of the Tempo project, the company must report on the project's results and how well the targets were achieved. There have been changes in reportin procedures; please check the reporting details from your Funding terms and conditions. For more information please contact the persons named in the funding decision and in the Online Service. 

Reports must be submitted via the Online Service where you can also find the Funding terms and conditions.

Eligible costs

Costs can be approved from the date when the application was sent. Eligible costs include:

  • Pay and purchased professional services in accordance with the project plan.
    • A maximum of EUR 19/h (EUR 3,000/month) can be budgeted in the project for the salaries of the startup's owners, if their holding is at least 10 percent.
  • Indirect personnel costs
    • Indirect personnel costs may not exceed 30 percent of the wages paid.
  • Purchased services
    • Purchased services must be itemized.
    • Services purchased from interested parties will not be accepted
    • Purchased services must be put out to tender in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, if the sum of a single purchase or series of linked purchases is EUR 60,000 or more.
  • Other costs will be accepted up to the amount of 20 percent of the sum of wages and purchased services. It is not necessary to itemize these other costs.

We do not fund

  • expenses incurred during the routine activities of the company
  • costs incurred in supporting of exports or export marketing
  • direct investments in building distribution channels
  • vocational education

Tempo funding is a form of the de minimis aid

Tempo funding is subject to the terms of the de minimis grant. The maximum sum of de minimis aid that can be granted to one company over the current and two previous fiscal years is EUR 200,000.

Your company must assess how much de minimis funding it has received in previous years at the application stage. Such aid is granted by many public organizations, such as Finnvera and the ELY Centres.

Frequently asked questions about Tempo funding