In Finland, there are numerous organizations that provide financial services for diverse internationalisation objectives of companies. I have recently been working on projects related to the fields of ICT, sourcing and music. Each of these projects have different China goals but yet, they all can receive financial support from different organisations. I have created a list of the organisations that provide financial support to Finnish companies aiming to expand into China. Please, feel free to share your information if I am missing any organisations or other financing opportunities in my list!
Finnpartnership can allow a grant type of financial support for commercially feasible operations aimed at long-term economic cooperation in developing countries. Financial support can be granted up to 200 000 €. As China is considered lower middle income country, the grant may basically cover 50 % of the approved incurred costs of small and medium sized companies and 30 % of large companies. The financing can not be allowed for export activities.
More information: finnpartnership.fi
Finnfund – Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd
Finnfund provides long-term funding for promising private projects in developing countries. Apart from co-investing with Finnish companies they can provide financial aid for ventures that use Finnish technology, cooperate with Finnish partners on a long-term basis or generate major environmental or social benefits. Finnfund’s financial instruments include minority equity investments, investment loans, mezzanine financing and a combination of these. During the recent years, China has been one of the most important countries for Finnfund’s activities.
More information: finnfund.fi
Finnvera plc is a specialised financing company owned by the State of Finland. The financing may be provided in the forms of loans, guarantees, venture capital investments and export credit guarantees for operations that meet the criteria of profitability. The guarantees can be granted against political or commercial risks associated with the financing of exports.
More information: Finnvera.fi
Finnish Export Credit Ltd (FEC)
FEC is a subsidiary of Finnvera. It is an internationally notified official Export Credit Agency, which administers the interest equalisation scheme for officially supported export credits and domestic ship financing at Commercial Interest Reference Rate (CIRR). The services of FEC include OECD credits, interest equalisation, funding for export credits, and loans. In China, the interest paid to FEC is exempted from withholding tax.
More information: fec.fi
Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centers)
ELY Centers provide advice, training and financing for starting and developing exports and improving staff’s capabilities and skills required in internationalization.
More information: ely-keskus.fi
Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation
Tekes is the main public organization that provides financing for research, development and innovation in Finland. It provides funds for risky projects that benefit the economy and society on a long-term basis. Funding can be granted to companies, universities, research institutions, government organisations, local and regional authorities and other organisations operating in Finland. The funding principles are explained here.
More information: Tekes.fi
Sitra – The Finnish Innovation Fund
Sitra provides corporate funding through its on-going programs, which are focused on new business areas with high risks. The companies must have the opportunity, capacity and will to expand into international markets. Sitra also invests in venture capital funds.
More information: Sitra.fi
Ministry of Employment and the Economy (MEE)
MEE may grant financial aid for joint export promotion projects to joint ventures that consist of at least four enterprises. The budget of 2010 is € 26,6 million. Aid can be granted up to 50% of eligible costs that are listed in the website of MEE. The aid can also be divided so that the small and medium-sized enterprises participating in the project obtain more aid than large companies.
More information: tem.fi
Finnish Industry Investment Ltd.
Finnish Industry Investment invests in venture capital funds and growth companies in all sectors. It co-invests with private investors both nationally and internationally. The amount of the investment can be at most half of the capital and ownership.
More information: Teollisuussijoitus.fi
Nopef – Nordic Project Fund
Nopef provides co-financing for feasibility studies that support export projects and the internationalisazion of small and medium sized companies in Nordic countries. Nopef may contribute with up to 40% to the approved feasibility study costs in connection with international business set up and/or project export.
More information: Nopef.com
Private commercial banks
Private commercial banks may offer loans and other financing services for internationalization purposes of companies. Each of them complies with their own term. More information on the Finnish financial industry can be found on the website of The Federation of Finnish Financial Services.
More information: fba.fi
Numerous associations provide grants for export activities. For example, Music Export Finland (Musex) provides financial support for artists that wish to perform in China. Recently, Finland has boosted its operations in the field of cultural exports.
More information: Culturalexports.fi (A list of member associations can be found under “Support network”)