Business grant opportunities

Depending on the size, location and the type of funding applied for, business grant applications are submitted to the local Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre); Business Finland, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, or to the Local Action Group. Business grants are discretionary and their amount varies according to the nature of the project. For more information go to:,,,

Innovation voucher 

The innovation voucher is intended for SMEs (excluding proprietorship) engaged in well-established business wishing to launch innovation activities. The company must have a nee product or service idea with international growth potential. Innovation activities refer to all measures employed by the company to develop its products, services or processes, or to acquire new knowledge and competencies required in innovation activities.

In innovation voucher funding, the amount of aid is EUR 6,000, which is 100% of the amount of the purchased services excluding VAT. You can spend this amount to buy services from one or several service provider. Your company can get this voucher only once. The aid is transferred to your company after you have approved and paid for the work performed by the chosen service provider.

You may use them for purchasing expert services related to innovation activities, for instance, from companies providing innovation services, universities, universities of applied sciences and research organisations. 

Read more about innovation voucher 

Business development grant

Does your company need a lift for business renewal or internationalization? The development grant supports the comprehensive development of the company and creates better conditions for your business. Development grants can be awarded for SME development measures and investments when a company starts operations, wants to invest significantly in renewal or aims to grow.

Remuneration, consultancy, travel, fair registration and similar expenditure related to development measures may be supported by a maximum of 50% of the expenditure on which the grant is based. Depending on the size of the company, investments included in the project can be supported by 10% to 20% of the underlying expenditure. The project to be financed must be significant in relation to the size of the company, typically at least EUR 10,000.

The company development grant is primarily awarded to an SME that employs less than 250 people and has a turnover of EUR 50 million or a balance sheet of up to EUR 43 million, and the company does not own more than 25% by a company classified as a large enterprise.

The Rural Development Programme’s business grants

The grants awarded by the Rural Unit of the ELY Centre for Ostrobothnia can be sought by:

Start-up support: for business experimentation, part-time entrepreneurship, full-time entrepreneurship, planning a change of ownership.

Development support: buying business advisory and other expert assistance, product development projects, marketing development, internationalisation study, investment feasibility research

Investment aid: Acquisition and construction of production facilities, acquisition of machinery and other fixed assets, intangible investments such as the acquisition of software, patents and manufacturing rights

As a rule, the following fields and actions are excluded from the grant:

  • traffic and transport, except constructions in the bioenergy sector
  • retail, wholesale and imports
  • personal services in local markets (e.g. barbers, hair salons, massage therapists and beauty salons)
  • the earthworks sector
  • the building sector, including HPAC and electricity, if the company’s activities consist only of contract work
  • food services, such as cafés, bars and lunch restaurants, except if the activities relate to tourism
  • transport equipment, including tractors and excavation machinery
  • vehicle purchases
  • rental activities, except those relating to tourism
  • stables for less than 10 horses, including trotters

For more information about the Rural Development Programme’s business grants, go to the Mavi Agency for Rural Affairs’ website (in Finnish)

You can apply for a grant online via the Hyrrä Service (in Finnish and Swedish)

Funding from a Local Action Group (the Rural Development Programme’s business grant)

Rural development and investment projects are an important part of rural development work. Aktion Österbotten R.F (more information at is an association operating in the coastal region of Vaasa that promotes entrepreneurship in the area within the framework of the LEADER programme. In Laihia and Isokyrö, applications are submitted to the Yhyres Local Action Group (more information at The Local Action Group’s Board selects the projects which will be awarded grants, after which the ELY Centre verifies the legality of the projects and makes the final decisions on the grants.


Business development services

The ELY Centre’s business development services are designed for SMEs that have at least one full accounting period behind them and that have the potential to develop and grow their business activities and employ people. The services include the identification of development needs (free), analysis, consultations and training. The Commercialisation of Innovations consultation can also be granted for newly-established businesses.

The regulations concerning all companies

  • A company can be paid a maximum of €200,000 of de minimis aid over a period of three tax years. Aid can be granted for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred after the grant application has been submitted from the operation being supported.
  • Applications are mainly submitted electronically, and their processing begins after an acknowledgement of receipt has been received for them. For an electronic application, you will need a KATSO identifier (
  • A project should not be started before the processing of the business grant application has begun. Applicants starting a project before receiving a written decision from the ELY Centre do so at their own risk.

It’s always a good idea to contact VASEK’s business advisors in matters concerning financial support

Book appointment

Useful links:

Find out more about the funding policies for Western Finland:
Finnish Government decree on rural business grants:  
Hyrrä Service  
E-services for the business grants of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
ELY Centre
Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation
Yhyres Local Action Group
Aktion Österbotten r.f.