c/o Teollisen yhteistyön rahasto Oy (FINNFUND)
P.O. Box 147
00181 Helsinki - FINLAND
tel: +358 9 348 434 (please ask for Finnpartnership)
Business Partnership Support is a grant by the Finnish Foreign Ministry for Finnish organizations’ projects in developing countries. Applying for Business Partnership Support is done online.
The dropdown menus below are intended to provide you with the information you need to apply for Business Partnership Support, and they include the forms and guidelines for submitting the application. Please read through all the sections carefully before submitting the application. Tips for finding and bringing forth development impacts of your project can be found in the Know your impact guide.
N.B.! Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ e-Services and identification to the service will be renewed in June 2020 – read more here!
Find out more about Business Partnership Support and what type of projects it can be granted for.
Finnpartnership’s application workshops provide training on everything you need to know about business partnership support and applying for it.
Before filling in the application form, please read the terms and conditions of Business Partnership Support and instructions regarding its use:
Finnpartnership recommends opening or printing our step-by-step instructions to help with the application process:
Applications for business partnership support can be applied for year-round. Finnpartnership processes the applications and provides the Ministry for Foreign affairs statements to support their decision-making. The Ministry delivers the discretionary government grant decisions on granting the support to the online service. The applicant will receive the decision in approximately 3-5 months.
Allow for sufficient time for submitting the application. The electronic registration of an application using the online service takes at least 1-2 business days. The applicant may begin the implementation of the project at their own risk once they have received an acknowledgement of receipt from the Ministry through the service. The project’s registration date is provided in the acknowledgement of receipt. In the event that support is granted for the project and the applicant’s cost budget is approved, costs which are incurred after the registration date and are in accordance with the cost budget are eligible for support.
NOTE! The use of Katso-ID will end in 2020. Katso-ID will be replaced by Suomi.fi authentication.
Business Partnership Support is applied for by submitting electronic forms and their appendices to the governmental online service using the customer’s personal account. The account is created using a Katso-ID. More detailed user instructions for Katso are available at http://yritys.tunnistus.fi. Detailed instructions for using Katso-IDs are available here. Instructions for the use of the Katso service for foreign companies are available here.
N.B.: The Foreign Ministry’s e-service and identification to the service will be renewed in June 2020. In the new online e-service, the forms used to apply for Business Partnership Support will be filled directly in the service. Currently, the online versions of the basic information sheet, reimbursement request form and the commitment form are available in the new service. The other forms will be downloaded and filled as .pdf files and uploaded to the service. Read more about the new online e-service and identification here. The old e-service is also still in use for the time being.
1. Basic Information Sheet (updated 25.4.2017)
In addition to the sheet, you must also provide as appendices
– Trade Register extract (no more than three months old)
– two most recent balance books (which include the information for the three most recent financial periods).
If balance books are not available, instead attach the CV’s of the owners / key personnell of the project. Download the form onto the desktop of your computer and fill it in according to the step-by-step application instructions and the instructions provided at the end of the application. In the event that you encounter problems using the search forms or the online service, you will find the solutions to the most common problems under Frequently asked questions on applying for Business Partnership Support (below). Log on to the governmental online service using your KATSO-ID and upload the Basic Information Sheet and its appendices into the service. The application is not sent until you click the “Submit application” button in the service.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will review the Basic Information Sheet within 1-3 working days and will send an acknowledgement of receipt to the online service. The acknowledgement of receipt can be found under “Notices”. Separate notifications on the acknowledgement of receipt are not sent, for example, to the applicant’s email address. The acknowledgement of receipt contains an UHA ID, which is needed to submit the Business Partnership Support application. If the Basic Information Sheet is incomplete, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will notify the applicant about a need for supplement in its acknowledgement of receipt. The supplementary information/attachments should be submitted to the online service with the Notification of Amendment form, which can be found from the drop-down list below. The basic information notice submitted through the online service is valid for 12 months after being submitted. Applicants may use the same basic information notice for multiple Business Partnership Support applications.
In addition to the application you must also provide as appendices
2.1. Project budgeted costs (in Excel-format) (mandatory)
2.2. Development impact questionnaire (mandatory)
2.3. Affirmation required by the Employers’ Sanctions Directive* (mandatory)
2.4. Form on non-applicability of de minimis restriction (optional, see further information on the “What is Business Partnership Support?” page).
Download the form onto the desktop of your computer and fill it in according to the step-by-step application instructions and the instructions provided at the end of the application. In the event that you encounter problems using the search forms or the online service, you will find the solutions to the most common problems under Frequently Asked Questions on Applying for Business Partnership Support (below). Log on to the governmental online service using your KATSO-ID and upload the Application Form and its appendices into the service. The application is not sent until you click the “Submit application” button in the service. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will review the Business Partnership Support application within 1-3 working days and will send an acknowledgement of receipt to the online service. The acknowledgement of receipt shows the project’s registration date and also confirms that the application was successfully received. If the application is incomplete, the Ministry will use the online service to notify the applicant that supplementary information is needed. The supplementary information/appendices are delivered to the online service using the Supplementary Information Form (included in the below dropdown menu).
* The Employers’ Sanctions Directive prohibits employment of third-country nationals illegally staying in the country to combat illegal immigration. If the Government grant can be used for wage and salary costs, the applicant must provide the State aid authority with an affirmation that during the preceding three years, the Government grant applicant or the applicant’s representative has not been finally sentenced for unauthorised use of foreign labour or for employer’s violation of the Aliens Act, or that a financial sanction has not been imposed on the Government grant applicant by a final decision for recruiting employees illegally staying in the country.
Do you need help filling in the application? The below is a collection of tips on what should be paid attention to when completing the application.
1.1 Establishing a subsidiary/joint venture
If the project studies the establishment of a subsidiary/joint venture, describe, for example:
• What is included in the operations of the subsidiary/joint venture (describe the operations)?
• What is your rough estimate on the turnover of the company being established?
• How many people do you believe the company will employ?
• When could the subsidiary/joint-company be established?
• What city or area will the subsidiary/joint-company most likely be located in?
In the event that the aim is to establish a joint venture enterprise:
• Who would be the potential shareholders of the joint venture?
• What is your estimate or plan on how the ownership shares would be distributed in the joint venture?
If the project is to study creating a subcontracting relationship, the following should be discussed in the application:
• What type of subcontracting partner is being sought?
• What will the agreement signed with the partner include?
• What will the responsibilities of the subcontractor partner include?
• What products/services will be acquired through subcontracting?
• Is the project about contract manufacturing (products are manufactured entirely by local partner) or will the project also utilise other subcontracting services in the target country in addition to the primary subcontractor, or alternatively will some of the components be produced internally?
• What is the intended contract period?
• When will subcontracting activities begin if everything goes according to plan?
• Will the subcontractor’s work methods or production processes be adjusted or improved? If yes, in what areas and what methods will be used to adjust or improve work methods or production processes?
• Will investments be made into the subcontractor’s premises, equipment, working conditions or other similar areas?
• Is the intention to monitor partner operations in regards to, for example, production quality?
• Will the working conditions of the employees of the partner be audited/monitored?
• Will training be provided to the local partner? If so, what subjects will the training include?
If the project aims to licence technology, the following should be discussed in the application:
• What type of licencing agreement is intended to be created with the local partner (what are the most significant contract elements)?
• What rights will the licence include?
• Who are the potential buyers of the licence?
• Who will sell the licences (support applicant, local partner, joint venture to be established, or another operator)?
• What is the intended licencing contract period?
• Will the licensee report to the support recipient or to another operator, to whom? If so, on what topics and how often?
• Will training the local personnel be included in the licencing agreement?
If the project is an import project, the following should be discussed in the application:
• What products will be imported from the target country?
• Where / to where (geographically) will the products be sold?
• What types of operators will the products be sold to?
• When would importing begin if the research phase progresses as planned?
• What quantity/how many of the products could be imported from the target country annually?
• Is the goal to acquire a certain quality, environmental or other similar qualification for all/some products?
• How likely is it that the local partner will be trained in the project (product manufacturers/suppliers)?
• What would the potential training include?
• Will employees in the target country be instructed, for example in manufacturing, in some way? If so, how detailed are these potential instructions and what do they include?
1.5 Matters pertaining to several of the above project types
• Describe your current operations
• To date, what operations has the applicant had in the target country in question?
• What is the status of the current project studies?
• In what region of the target country will the project take place? Is the project directed at rural areas or smaller growth centres?
• How will the operations in the project (e.g. subcontracting relationship or local joint venture) be divided between the applicant and the local partner?
• To whom/what types of operators will the products/services that are created in the project be sold (examples of most significant customer segments).
• And where will the products/services geographically be sold to?
• What is the basis of the turnover estimate of the target country operations (e.g. the company to be established).
• A rough estimate of the volumes of the products to be produced, i.e. how many units of each product is to be produced annually?
The schedule of the main phase of the project:
• According to your estimation, when do you believe would be the earliest that a subsidiary/joint venture would be established with a local partner?
• When could business operations begin in the target country?
• Will training be provided to local personnel?
• If several target countries are indicated in the application, are the associated target countries alternative locations for establishing a single company and/or establishing long-term cooperation, or is the aim to launch business operations / create partnership agreements in more than one target country, if possible?
• If the project targets a developing country/developing countries with a higher average income, what are the direct development impacts in the target country resulting from your project? If the support applicant has had a net loss for two consecutive years, it would be beneficial to describe potential plans to correct the financial situation (what are the planned actions and their schedule?).
2.1 Identifying a partner
When the project is to begin identifying a local partner, it is useful to discuss the following in the project description:
• What type of partner is being sought (what industry, what expertise is required, what size of an organisation, what is expected of the partner etc.)?
• What type of agreement is intended to be signed with the local partner? How long a partnership is being sought? If your project has already identified a local partner, it is useful to provide a brief description of the company in the project description (industry, location, most significant market areas and customers, how many employees, turnover and profit/loss etc.).
2.2 Preliminary project assessment and project study
In the preliminary project assessment and project study phases, market research reports and other analysis that provides the basis for decision-making on becoming potentially established in the target area on the long-term may be taken into account (is it feasible to start the planned business operations, in what way should it be done, what partners are needed for it, what factors in the operating environment and legislation of the target country should be considered when planning business operations etc.). The only difference between the preliminary project assessment and project study phases is that typically more information is already available during the product study phase than during the preliminary project assessment phase, where there is possibly less knowledge on the target country’s operating environment or the requirements for viable implementation of the project. For example, if you have already visited the target country to study requirements and you already have preliminary information on the requirements to implement the project, you are likely to already be in the project study phase.
2.3 Drafting a business plan
In the event that the support is being applied for to prepare a business plan, it is useful to state in detail for which unit/business (e.g. operations of a subsidiary that is to be established, beginning subcontracting activities) the business plan is being drafted. The application may also include the main headings / most important sections of the business plan that will be drafted.
2.4 Assessing environmental and social impacts
If the support applied for is aimed at evaluating environmental and social impacts, it is beneficial to state in the application in detail what unit / business function’s environmental and social impacts are being studied and all the areas the study is to evaluate.
2.5 Training phase
For the training phase, Finnpartnership needs to know who is to be trained (e.g. personnel of subsidiary/joint venture, personnel of subcontractor/licensee company) and what areas the training in question will cover.
2.6 Piloting technology and solutions and demonstration projects, also as a part of the activities of international organisations
If the project intends to pilot technology/solutions, it is useful to describe the following in the project description:
• Why is the piloting or demonstration project being implemented?
• To what extent and in what ways does it affect the implementation of the project and the associated decision-making on establishing a company or contractual relationship?
• Is the project about testing technology or a solution in the conditions of the target country or, for example, demonstrating functionality of the technology in practice as demanded by a customer, for example?
• What is to be learned from the pilot?
• What exactly is being piloted (what technology or solution, or is the pilot only for a specific portion of the solution, for example)?
• How is the piloting to be implemented in practice?
• What share (percentage) of the pilot is testing technical solutions vs. measuring customer satisfaction/demonstrating possibilities to them?
• If support is being sought for equipment or construction costs associated with a piloting / demonstration project, who will own the associated pilot equipment or similar asset and for how long (support applicant, local partner, customer, another operator)?
2.7 Vocational education
If the project is a vocational education project, the following should be discussed in the application:
• What does the planned vocational education concept include?
• Will a separate curriculum be established, a current one modified etc.?
• What is its scope (incl. estimated duration of education curriculum)?
• How will the students be selected?
• Will the education offered be free of charge for the students?
• When is the first planned education programme to be implemented if everything goes according to plan?
• Who will be the instructors? Will they be trained? If so, in what? Will the education programme be operated in the facilities of a partner/existing educational institution (or another operator) or are new premises to be bought/leased for the programme?
• Who will have ownership of the physical assets associated with the education programme (e.g. premises, equipment, etc.)?
If you have previously been granted business partnership support for another project or projects, it is beneficial to include the following on the project(s) in the project description:
• What is the current status of the associated project (what has been done up to this point)?
• Has the aim of the project remained the same?
• When do you think business operations in the target country can be started?
• What are the next steps?
Basic information sheet/Application for business partnership support will not open
Information is missing from the Basic information sheet/Application for business partnership support
Where can I find the UHA ID needed for the business partnership support application, the ID for the content, subject ID or intervention code? What about the intervention ID needed for the supplementary information notice?
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If necessary, the Ministry will send a request for supplementary information to the applicant’s online account. Finnpartnership may also request that additional information be submitted to the online service during processing.
Organisations that are granted discretionary government grant must commit to following the terms and conditions of business partnership support. Organisations are to submit the appropriately filled in commitment form to the governmental online service within one month of being notified of the decision.