Rural business funding in Uusimaa
As part of the Rural Development Programme, funding can be granted to small companies operating in or established in rural areas. Applications can be submitted at any times, but they are processed at the end of each selection period. Seriously incomplete applications are not processed, so make sure that your application contains the necessary information and attachments.
Is my company in an eligible area?
The Uusimaa ELY Centre and the Leader groups in the region have defined an eligible area in which direct business subsidies can be granted under the Rural Development Programme. There are maps available that show the urban regions which are outside of the support areas. These include parts of central and suburban Espoo, Vantaa, Porvoo, Tuusula, Hyvinkää, Lohja and Kirkkonummi, and the whole of Helsinki, Kerava, Järvenpää and Kauniainen.
These limitations do not apply, however, to small and medium-sized enterprises engaged in primary processing of agricultural products; these can apply for support even if they are located in these excluded urban areas.
Decisions on direct business subsidies also take into account the urban-rural classification of the company’s location. Companies in rural areas are prioritised in project selection. Direct business subsidies is only granted for locations in inner and outer urban areas if the supported activities clearly benefit the countryside or the local strategy of the Leader group.
You can check your company's location using the following links
- Arcgis online service (the online service opens automatically to the latest urban-rural classification, for 2018. During the transition period, the classification is still based on the old 2010 classification. To switch to this, select Details -> Content then change to ‘2010 urban-rural classification’)
Eligibility conditions and regional interpretations for beneficiaries
Direct business subsidies granted under the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland are provided on a discretionary basis. The granting of the support is conditional on the company having the prerequisites for continuing profitable operations. The planned use of the funding must also be significant for the company.
In addition, the Uusimaa ELY Centre has its own interpretations based on the applicable statutes. The interpretations specify, for example, the maximum project costs, the size of the supported location after the investment, and locations that cannot receive support. Read the link below for more information.
- In Uusimaa, regional guidelines for the interpretation of statutes related to business subsidies have been drawn up (link)
Forms of support
Start-up companies and expanding companies may receive investment aid for the acquisition or construction of production facilities and the acquisition of machinery and intangible investments. Such investments must play an essential role in the establishment, growth or development of the company. Subsidy levels vary between 20% and 35% depending on the sector and size of the company. The minimum size for the subsidies is EUR 2,000. Click here to view detailed subsidy levels.
Investment feasibility study
If you are planning an investment, you can receive support to assess the preconditions and implementation of the investment. This support is intended for the purchase of expert services. The subsidy level is between 40% and 50% of the eligible costs. A subsidy granted for a feasibility study does not require that the final investment be carried out. The study may also conclude that it is not sensible to implement the investment.
Start-up support can help you get going with business activities in a rural area, though it does not include the agricultural and forestry sector. An established company can also apply for support if it is planning to expand its activities into a new sector. You can receive support, for example, for business coaching services, product development projects, production piloting, preparing a marketing plan, experimental marketing, export clearance or acquiring fixed assets. You can receive a start-up subsidy of between EUR 5,000 and 35,000 that is paid in either two or three instalments. A subsidy of EUR 2,000 to 10,000 may be granted for a pilot if this relates to a product or service for new business operations.
The most important thing is to create a viable business plan – you can apply for start-up aid once your business plan is ready. You can use widely-used business plan models as a basis, such as the business plans that can be created through the Suomi.fi service. In addition, the company section of Suomi.fi contains plenty of information on the establishment of a new company and the measures required for it.
Company group development project
Company groups including 3–10 companies can jointly develop their operations with a 75% grant. The project can be administered, for example, by a development organisation. The companies involved receive the benefit as development services. The companies undertake to pay 25% of the total costs incurred as a private contribution to the administrating body. The administrating organisation acquires or provides joint and company-specific development services. The procurement procedure must be followed in service procurements, as the subsidy granted is above 50%. Please note: Project support selection periods apply to company group projects. Click here to view the selection periods.
Learn more about the different forms of support from the following links
- Subsidy levels for investment aid
- Start-up support
- Start-up support, investment aid and feasibility studies – the Finnish Food Authority
- Company group development projects – Finnish Food Authority
Apply to the ELY Centre before signing contracts or starting construction
Do not start a construction investment or other such measure, and do not sign any contract (e.g. a final deed of transfer, an order agreement or a piecework contract) before you have submitted a support application to the ELY Centre and received confirmation that it is being processed! Contracts awarded before the submission of the application are not eligible for support.
The application is filled in online via the Hyrrä service. The Hyrrä service makes it easy to submit an application, monitor the processing of the application, and browse your own application information.
The following links provide further information:
Attachments required for applications
Aim to attach to the application as soon as possible all the information and attachments requested. Seriously incomplete applications cannot be assessed and thus cannot be included in the process of selecting projects to be funded. The following links provide information on the required documents
Selection of company projects to receive funding
The selection criteria used to decide which company project receive funding are the same for all ELY Centres. The application must contain sufficient information to carry out this assessment. The purpose of the selection criteria is to ensure equal treatment of applicants, better use of financial resources and targeting of measures in line with the objectives of the Rural Development Programme. The projects selected for funding are transferred for further preparation and, if all the conditions for support are met, the support can be granted and the project's application approved. Click the following link to view the selection criteria for company projects.
Payment of direct business subsidies
The payment can be applied for based on the final and verifiable costs as approved in the support decision. Documents verifying these costs must be presented. The support may be paid in instalments. The payment of the last instalment must be applied for within 4 months of the deadline for implementing the measure.
Instructions and forms for applying for payment can be found at the following address:
Advice - use the free advice service where needed
Free advice on completing an application and forming a business plan can be obtained through development companies in the Uusimaa region and through the Uusimaa HYMY project.
More information on subsidies and the Hyrrä system
Business specialists at the Uusimaa ELY Centre
- Siina Viskari, siina.viskari(at)ely-keskus.fi, +358 295 021 178
- Tony Lassas, tony.lassas(at)ely-keskus.fi, +58 295 021 091
- Juha-Pekka Nikkola, juha-pekka.nikkola(at)ely-keskus.fi, +358 295 021 115
Uusimaa Leader groups
- Eteläisen maaseudun osaajat, EMO ry, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Development Association SILMU ry, Leader Silmu, email: email@example.com
- Ykkösakseli ry, Leader ykkösakseli, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pomoväst rf, Leader Pomoväst, email: email@example.com