Help with the application form?

Are you having trouble with filling in the application form? To help you with the process we have put together the below listing of key issues that should be described in the project description according to different project types or phases. If the project description lacks information, Finnpartnership will ask for it later on during the process.

1 The aim and content of the project

1.1. Establishing a subsidiary company/joint venture

If the project aims at establishing a subsidiary or a joint venture, the project description should bring up the following issues:

• What kind of business activities will the subsidiary/joint venture company do (e.g. sale, marketing, production, maintenance…)? 
• What is your rough turnover estimate of the established subsidiary/joint venture for a) the first year of operation b) the fifth year of operation?
• How many employees do you assess the subsidiary company/joint venture will employ on the first and the fifth year of operation?
• Will the subsidiary company/joint venture construct completely new offices or will it rent or buy existing offices?
• What is your estimation of the earliest establishment date for the subsidiary/joint venture?
• What is the most probable area or city where the subsidiary/joint venture will be established?

If the aim of the project is to establish a joint venture:
• Who are the potential joint venture partners?
• Estimation or plan on how the ownership of the joint venture is likely to be distributed

If the aim of the project is to establish a manufacturing subsidiary or joint venture:
• Does the project aim to build new premises/production facilities or will it rent/buy existing premises or production facilities?
If the aim is to build new premises/production facility, it is recommended to attach any further information available (site location, size, current situation and use, planning, the potential need of evacuation of population etc.). With regard to using existing premises or production facility, include in the project description any further information about the facility (location, size, previous use etc.).

• Information about the origin of the components/raw material used in the production. Will they be acquired locally or abroad, etc.?
• Estimated date for full production capacity?

1.2. Subcontracting

If the project will study possible subcontracting, the project description should bring up the following issues:

• What type of subcontracting partner is the company looking for?
• What will the subcontracting agreement contain?
• What will be the responsibilities of the subcontracting partner?
• What products/services will be subcontracted?
• Does the project aim for contract manufacturing (i.e. the local partner is fully responsible for the production of goods) or will the company use additional subcontractors in the target country or produce part of the components by itself?
• How long will the contract be valid for?
• What is the long-term goal, how long of a partnership is the company aiming for?
• When will the subcontracting begin, if all goes according to plans?

• Will the company modify or improve the working methods or production processes of the subcontractor? If yes, to what extent and in what way will they be modified or improved?
• Will the company invest in the subcontractor's premises, equipment, working conditions etc.?
• Will the company monitor the partner's activities, for example production quality?
• Will the company audit/monitor the partner´s employees’ working conditions etc.?
• Will the local partner be trained? If yes, what areas will be included in the training?

1.3 Licensing

If the aim is to license technology, the project description should bring up the following issues:

• What kind of licensing agreement is sought with a local partner (what are the main issues to be defined in the agreements)?
• What rights will the license contain?
• Who are the potential buyers of the license?
• Who will sell the licenses (the applicant himself, the local partner, the established joint venture, or someone else, who?)?
• For how long is the license agreement intended to last?
• Will the license holder report to the applicant company or to someone else, whom? If yes, what and how often?
• Will training of local staff be incorporated in the licensing agreement?

1.4 Import
In case of an import project, the project description should bring up the following issues:

• What products are imported from the target country?
• Where (geographically) will the products be sold to?
• What type of actors will the products be sold to?
• When is the import planned to start, if everything goes according to plans?
• What is the quantity of products that could be imported each year?
• Will quality, environment or other similar standards be acquired for some of the products?
• How likely it is that the local partner (manufacturer/supplier) will be trained?
• What would the possible training include?
• Will the local staff be instructed in any way during the production? If yes, how specific will the instructions be and what would they include?

1.5. Questions related to various project types listed above
• What kind of activities, products and customers does the applicant company currently have in Finland?
• What kind of activity has the applicant company had in the target country up to this moment?
• In what stage are the feasibility studies at the moment?
• To what area in the target country is the project focused? Is the project targeted to the country side or to smaller growth centers?
• How will the project’s operational activities (e.g. in subcontracting or joint venture projects) be divided between the applicant and the local partner?
• To whom or what type of consumers will the produced products/services be sold to (examples of the most important customer segments)?
• Where are the products/services sold geographically?
• On what is the turnover estimate of the target country operations based on?
• What is your rough estimate of the volume of manufactured products, that is, the amount of each product produced on an annual basis?

The schedule of the main stages of the project:
• Estimated date for signing a contract with a local partner or establishment of the subsidiary/joint venture?
• When could the business activities in the target country start?

• Will local staff be trained?

• If the application contains several target countries, are the countries alternative locations for the business activities or is the business intended to be started in all of the countries?

• If the project is targeted at an upper middle-income developing country/countries, what are the project’s direct developmental effects in the target country?
The general terms and conditions of the Business Partnership Support changed 1.1.2013, and consequently, projects in the upper middle-income developing countries must have direct developmental effects. Direct developmental effects could be development impacts on the country´s low-income areas or populations, positive impacts on the environment, contribution to the spread of best practices related to, for example, human rights, work safety, energy efficiency or good governance.

If the applicant company´s net result has been negative during the two previous years, it is recommended to describe in the project description how the applicant intends to fix this financial situation (what are the planned actions and in what time frame).

2 Things to consider with regard to different project phases
2.1 Partner identification
When identifying local partners, the project description should bring up the following issues:

• What kind of partner is sought (from which industry, what knowledge is required, the size of the organization, what is expected from the partner, etc.)?
• What type of agreement is meant to conclude with the local partner? How long a partnership is being pursued?

If you have already identified a local partner, it is recommended to give a brief description of the partner company (industry, location, key market areas and customers, staff size, turnover and balance sheet etc.).

2.2 Pre-feasibility and feasibility study
In the pre-feasibility and feasibility phases the support can cover expenses related to market studies and other exploratory analysis that is needed for the decision-making of the establishment of long-term business (is it worthwhile to start the planned business, how should it be done, what type of partners are needed, things to consider with regard to the target country´s business environment and legislation when planning the business etc.).

The pre-feasibility and feasibility phases differ from each other only to the extent that the company usually has more information about the target country markets and the project feasibility in the later phase. In the pre-feasibility phase the company may not know much about the target country or the project feasibility conditions. If you have, for example, already been in the target country and conducted studies and have preliminary information about the project implementation conditions, you are most likely already in the feasibility phase.

2.3 Business plan
If the support is applied for conducting a business plan, you should explain to what unit/business activity (e.g. the operation of the established subsidiary company, subcontracting) the business plan is made for. You can also state the headlines/main sections of the business plan in the project description.

2.4 Assessment of environmental and social impacts
If the support is applied for environmental and social impact assessment, the application should describe which unit’s / business activity’s environmental and social impacts will be assessed and what will the assessment include.

2.5 Training phase
With regard to training of local staff, information about who will be trained (e.g., staff of subsidiary/joint venture, staff of subcontractor/license holder company) as well as what themes the training is planned to include is required.

2.6 Pilot projects related to commercial/merchandised technology or solutions as well as proof of concept projects
If the project aims to pilot technology or solutions, the project description should highlight the following issues:

Why is the pilot or proof of concept project carried out?
• To what extent and in what way will it affect the implementation of the project as well as the decision to establish a company or start a contractual relationship?
• Does it involve testing the technology or solution in the target country conditions or is the customer requiring the company to demonstrate the technology in practice?
• What is the objective of the piloting, what does the company expect to learn?

• Exactly what will be piloted (what technology or solution will be piloted, or is only a specified part of the solution piloted)?
• How is the piloting carried out in practice?
• How much (in percentage) of the piloting is testing the technical solutions and how much is measuring the customer’s satisfaction/showing customers the possibilities?
• If the support is also applied for the hardware or construction costs of the piloting/proof of concept project, in whose (the applicant company, the local partner, customer, someone else?) ownership will the piloted device or equivalent be left to and for how long?

2.7 Vocational education and training
In case of vocational education and training project, the project description you should bring up the following issues:

What will the planned education and training concept include?
• Will a separate study line be established or will a current one be modified etc.?
• What is its scope (e.g. an assessment of the training duration)?
• How will the persons to be trained be selected?
• Will the training be free of charge or paid by the trained persons?
• When will the first training be carried out, if all goes according to plans?
• Who will act as teachers? Will they be trained as well? If yes, to what extent?

Will the training program be operated in the partner´s/existing educational institution´s (or some other party´s) premises or will new premises be rented/purchased?
• Who will own the settings needed for the training (e.g. space, equipment etc.)?

3 Previous business partnership projects
If you previously have been granted Business Partnership Support for another project(s), it is recommended to highlight the following issues in the project description: 

• What is the current situation of the project (what has been done)?
• Is the project target still the same?
• When do you expect that the business can be started in the target country?
• What are the next steps?