Access to finance27 October 2009
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 07 June 2012
An overview of the sources of finance available to SMEs in Finland.
Several options are available to businesses seeking financing, loans, guarantees or additional working capital. Support and advice can be obtained from both public and private organisations.
You may apply for support and financing when setting up your new business, or before then. The concept of an operable, viable business idea and business activity is key. This will be assessed by the funder on the basis of the business plan prepared by the entrepreneur. Free support and advice is available for this from publicly funded organisations. For example, funding may be awarded for the procurement of production equipment.
EnterpriseFinland is a service for businesses and people who are interested in entrepreneurship, coordinated by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. It is free to users and brings together in one place all the statutory and publicly funded products and services aimed at businesses. It also offers a telephone helpline, electronic forms and other electronic administration.
Funding can be awarded, for example, for new factories and production plants. A new business owner may also be granted individual start-up money and training. Start-up money can be granted for a maximum of 18 months to support the launching of a new business.
Adult employment training (vocational training) is used to support workers' professional training. Training is free for students.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy website contains information on funding for businesses.
The Foundation for Finnish Inventions searches for, evaluates and assists the development of inventions and innovative business ideas.
The Finnish National Fund for Research and Development, Sitra, is an independent public fund focusing on programmes which influence Finnish competitiveness and economic growth. The areas covered include public health care, nutrition and energy.
The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) finances challenging research and development projects. It allocates some EUR500 million to development projects each year.
Finnvera is a financing company owned by the state of Finland which grants loans, guarantees and export guarantees to Finnish companies.
Access to EU funding
There are many EU programmes and funding methods. They can be found on the Ministry of Employment and the Economy website.
Employment and Economic Development Centres (T&E Centres) are regional centres offering advisory, development and financing services to small businesses. They can also provide expertise on EU funding. Since the start of 2010, their services have been provided by the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres).
The Finnvera Guarantee serves as a guarantee for loans issued by banks, finance companies or insurance companies, for example for the following forms of financing: promissory note credit, credit accounts, credit limits, bank guarantees (supply guarantees, other liability commitments), bank guarantee limits (supply guarantees), factoring and instalment financing.
The Federation of Finnish Financial Services (FK) is an interest group that represents finance companies and employers that operate in Finland and are part of its membership. Many corporate members of the FK have both banking and insurance operations.
The Finnish Venture Capital Association's purpose is to develop the capital investment sector.
Finnish Industry Investment Ltd is a state-owned capital investment company, which promotes Finnish business activities, employment, and economic growth. It does this by investing funds accumulated from the sale of state property.
Business support organisations can advise businesses on how to find financing.
Source: Your Europe