What are countries like Finland doing to support SMEs?

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The Finnish government recently unveiled plans to roll out a huge digital project with the aim of supporting SMEs. The project involves creating a nationwide network of digital innovation hubs. These hubs will be rolled out in partnership with the European Union.

Five hubs will be created, so that both domestic and international businesses can act more competitively. Finland’s SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are likely to benefit greatly from this scheme.

A roadmap that will be created by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will provide SMEs with more valuable technology. This technology will allow the SMEs to make use of recent digital competencies so they can scale-up and grow their businesses.

Both private and public sector enterprises

Both private and public sector enterprises will be supported. Any hub that makes use of digitization has a real opportunity to create very strong bonds. These bonds can be created between a research organization and the company in question.

The European Digital Innovation Hubs will begin to operate as a network within the EU. They will provide users with specialized technology as well as digitization domain implementation services.

Available to all

It is very likely that the hubs in question will be made available to all small and medium enterprises. Companies such as, for example, may be able to benefit from this scheme. With the opportunity to reach more potential customers within Finland and the EU, the future of SMEs such as Nettikasino247 looks quite bright.

Many businesses in every sector are likely to be very interested in this scheme. After all, if it offers them the opportunity to potentially grow their business, it can only be a good thing.

Open survey scheme

Back in early 2020, the Finnish government rolled out what was known as an ‘open survey scheme’. This particular scheme was brought in to measure the interest in their network projects. It was hoped that those who work in Finland’s technology sector would join the hubs.

The open survey scheme’s results will, hopefully, strengthen the government’s ability to provide what they’re calling a ‘national framework’. In addition to this, the survey’s results should allow the Finnish government to apply for the European-wide hub. The ability to work with a European-wide hub could help to boost many Finnish businesses throughout Europe. This is potentially very exciting as it will open up the country’s small to medium enterprises to a bigger and wider market.

€350m top-up

A €350m top-up to the SME initiative was added to the existing €400m that had already been allocated. The additional sum of money was added subject to specific terms being agreed upon before it was made available.

The top-up follows a 2016 agreement that ensured Finnish banks could get uncapped guarantees on their new portfolio of SME loans. This top-up, therefore, allowed the Finnish banks that were involved to pass the benefit on to Finnish SMEs.

In addition to this, local companies could get funding with collateral requirements that were much lower than elsewhere. If that wasn’t enough, these local companies were also able to access extended maturities. This allowed somewhat innovative and occasionally risk-prone companies to receive the financing that they always wanted.

Millions of euros

Any Finnish small to medium enterprise will be pleased to know that there will be €750m in loans available. This is not to say that every Finnish SME will receive a loan, but it’s thought that a large number of them will.

Times have no doubt been difficult for SMEs in Finland, and indeed, around the European Union. Receiving a much-needed loan could prove highly beneficial to a range of Finnish companies.

The European Commission and EIB Group

This initiative was set up between the European Commission and EIB Group. It allows a member state to contribute to structural funds. When this contribution takes place, the European Commission contributes to Horizon 2020 and/or COSME.

With the aim of providing capital relief and portfolio credit risk transfer that’s effective, there’s  no doubt that SMEs will feel the benefit. Capital relief will be offered along with some very favorable conditions – this is with the hope that financial intermediaries are incentivized.

While not many people outside of Finland have heard of this support system, those who do are likely to be impressed. Imagine being granted a loan that can potentially transform your SME and make it known on a European-wide scale. This is something that a lot of businesses will want to be able to access in their home country.

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