🇫🇮 CHANGES TO EXHIBITION EXPLORER AND GROUP EXPLORER FUNDING SERVICES

February 22, 2024
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Exhibition Explorer funding is aid for participation in international BtoB trade fairs held outside Finland. The funding is intended for SMEs and midcap companies that want to increase the export of their own products or services. The renewed Group Explorer funding is intended for groups of 4–10 SMEs and midcap companies to explore significant joint business opportunities in international markets.

LIMITATION ON MAXIMUM GRANT FOR EXHIBITION EXPLORER

Exhibition Explorer funding has been reformed so that a maximum of EUR 15,000 (previously EUR 35,000) per trade fair project can be granted to a single company. Grants are awarded for up to 50% of eligible costs, which now applies not only to SMEs but also to midcap companies (previously for midcaps up to 40% of eligible costs).

The decrease in the maximum grant per project can be compensated for by companies joining forces and funding by participating in trade fairs at joint stands. Funding will continue to be granted both to separate stand or joint stands of companies.

The basic condition for granting funding will continue to be, with certain established exceptions, that at least four Finnish SMEs or midcap companies apply for Exhibition Explorer funding for the same trade fair. In the future, there will no longer be a minimum requirement for the number of SMEs in such a group.

WE WANT TO PROTECT THE TRADE FAIR PROJECTS OF SMALL COMPANIES DESPITE THE REDUCTION OF THE TOTAL POT

Last year, Business Finland had a funding authorization of EUR 6 million available for the Exhibition Explorer and Group Explorer projects, but this year the authorization is only about EUR 4.9 million.

Contrary to what was anticipated during the preparation of the Government Decree on the granting of Exhibition Explorer and Group Explorer, the new decree does not impose extensive restrictions on the terms and conditions of support for companies compared to the previously valid terms and conditions.

By limiting the maximum amount of aid per project, we wanted to ensure that we would be able to continue funding the trade fair projects of as many small companies starting export operations as possible.

“Due to the limited number of Business Finland’s grant authorizations, we had to look for alternative solutions to ensure that there would be enough funding for different trade fairs and different companies throughout the year. By limiting the maximum amount of aid per project, we wanted to ensure that we would be able to continue funding the trade fair projects of as many small companies starting export operations as possible,” says Senior Director Tiina Rajamäki.

NEW EXHIBITION EXPLORER FUNDING DECISIONS WILL BE MADE FROM MARCH 1, 2024

Exhibition Explorer applications can be submitted continuously. Making funding decisions can start on 1.3., when the new Government Decree on joint projects between enterprises enters into force. The previously valid regulation expired at the end of 2023.

We will start processing the applications in the time order of the fair events, when 4 applications for the same trade fair event have arrived.

READ MORE ABOUT THE RENEWED EXHIBITION EXPLORER FUNDING

MINOR CHANGES TO GROUP EXPLORER

Group Explorer funding has been reformed so that grants are awarded up to 50% of eligible costs, which now applies not only to SMEs but also to midcap companies (previously for midcaps up to 40% of eligible costs). Large corporations (excluding midcaps) are no longer eligible for funding. In addition, there will no longer be a minimum requirement for the number of SMEs in such a group of enterprises.


Originally published on 22 February by Business Finland.

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