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Financing and development

Starting an operational business requires certain basic investments. In order to be able to do business, you possibly need premises, tools, raw materials and other resources. When starting a business as well as when taking steps to grow or go international, there are different possibilities to receive funding for these different phases.


You do need financing to get Your business going. How much - that depends on your business and varies greatly in between different fields of operations. For example - if You are starting as a part-time entrepreneur who sells basic knowhow, that requires a lot less initial capital or investments than a full time entrepreneur with need for machinery investments.

 In the beginning of operations, entrepreneur should plan carefully where to invest and use funds. When the business is starting and still trying to “find its place”, regular sales income is still uncertain. To do this planning there are several tools available, one here. It is important to realistically estimate the costs of operation.  Also in order to receive grants or loans etc. these calculations and plans need to be made.

There are basically two options for funding - entrepreneur’s own capital or external financing. External financing can be loan and / or grant. Under some terms a beginning entrepreneur get financial support called Startup Grant (starttiraha in Finnish) from TE-office.  Most typical way to start business is to utilize own capital. However if you are about to start a small business with a clear business idea, it is worth applying for Startup -grant from the TE-office  Other options are to get a loan from a bank, or receive funding from outside sources.

Even if You plan to apply for external funding, entrepreneur needs to have a sufficient amount of equity (own financing) to convince outside financiers of the founders and owners commitment. There is nearly always a need for liabilities (outside financing), which is available from different banks and Finnvera.There are also private equity firms.


In the early stages of your business operations, you can apply for a start-up grant to secure your income. Startup -grant is granted for 6 month period, after which you can apply for continuance - up to 18 months. After that time You should have gotten Your business working and sales blossoming.

Startup grant is admitted to a person with no ongoing business activities - not a company. It will be paid to Your personal account. You cannot receive startup grant if You are part-time entrepreneur.

Applying will start by a phone call or such to your closest Employment and Economic Development Office (TE-office), booking an appointment with them. They will then  instruct You further.  In order to receive startup-grant, you need a business plan.

Here you can find a good template for a business plan and financial calculations.

TE-Office will go through Your application, perhaps with help of a statement from an outside expert, and decide on whether you are eligible for such a grant

The prerequisities are:

  • The person applying for the grant has or will get sufficient preparedness for planned business
  • Planned business is full-time, and is estimated to have prerequisities for profitable operation
  • Demonstrable need in terms of the new entrepreneur’s income
  • Business has not been started prior to the decision on granting the aid.

The grant might be withheld if:

Your business is estimated to provide You with sufficient sales income to secure your personal income and living right from the beginning

  • The grant is estimated to distort the competition between your business and other companies providing same products / services. If receiving the grant will give you significant competitive advantage, it might be withheld.
  • You have started business operations before granting the money.
  • You have credit disorders
  • You have another source of income that provides and secures your living

The amount of startup grant is about 700 euros / month (2014). The startup grant consists of a basic grant, which amounts to EUR 32.66 a day in 2014 and a supplementary grant, the amount of which is decided case by case at the discretion of the TE Office. The supplementary amount may not exceed 60 per cent of the basic grant amount.



Companies can apply for a loan from Finnvera in situations where they have challenges in securing funding from market-based financers. Finnvera is a government organisation which provides loan for company’s financial needs and in different stages of development. Finnvera can finance businesses in other fields, but not agriculture, forestry or development in the field of construction. The loans can be used for example:

  • Investing in machinery, equipment or building work
  • Working capital needs
  • Financing a variety of corporate restructurings

Finnvera may also grant funding for companies operating in Finland that are owned by foreign citizens. In such cases, you must give your date of birth instead of your personal identity code when submitting a financing application.

Before making its financing decision, Finnvera examines whether the company is able to engage in profitable business and put its plan into effect. The entrepreneur must also have a good financial standing. The company must have long-term opportunities for profitable business. A corporate analysis is normally conducted on the company applying for financing. This analysis estimates the company’s chances for success. Finnvera loans must be paid back in full, and they carry a price equivalent to the company’s risk. The available securities will also affect the final price.

Apply for a loan through Finnvera’s electronic service or call the service line at +358 29 460 2580. You can find information about Finnvera’s services here


Finnish banks have different kinds of solutions for financial needs of an entrepreneur, even at the beginning stage. Getting a loan might also require opening of a bank account at the bank. You should contact banks directly to negotiate financing issues with them. It may also be necessary to appoint a meeting time. From here You can finda list of monetary financial institutions in Finland (updated by Bank of Finland).

A bank account can be opened for a registered company, but in certain contexts, an account is necessary even before the company is entered in the trade register. A company needs the bank account for purposes including payment of share capital, processing payment transactions and in support of accounting.

Opening an account is generally quite simple. You either just walk into a bank with the required documents and open the account, or call to a service number and schedule a meeting with an advisor, who will then guide You forward. If the person opening a bank account for a company has the required documents when visiting the bank, the process runs smoothly. Here is a general description of the measures and documents required for opening a bank account for a company.  When a foreign company opens a bank account, the required documents include a report on the intended bank transactions. Documents required for opening a bank account may vary somewhat by bank group. Further information on opening a bank account, and other banking services, is available directly from the banks.

Instructions to opening a bank account can also be found here.

There are factors that affect to you getting a loan from a bank, such as:

  • Ability to pay
  • Business idea
  • The general situation of the operating field and development trends
  • Competence of the business management
  • Owner’s commitment to the company
  • Guarantees / deposits (vakuudet) and their adequacy
  • Prior customer relationship
  • Credit rating (luottotiedot)

Business subsidies

The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY-centres) can grant subsidies for business ventures and the planning of them, depending on the line of business and the location of the enterprise. Business subsidies or aid are generally discretionary and require that the business's operations are profitable. There is no need to pay back the subsidy or aid. Business aid must be applied for and a decision received before any investment is made. Aid for purchases made is generally only paid in arrears. 

Support for innovative business ventures can also be obtained from the Foundation for Finnish Inventions and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES).


Many services are available for companies with potential and interest to grow and go international. Through development projects Your company might find solutions for growth. FinPro and Team Finland offer services for internationalization of Your company. There are also projects to help support growth companies, ask from your local business advisor about these. Here in Lappeenranta You can ask from Wirma Lappeenranta Oy’s advisors. Start by contacting Wirma.