During the last few years, dozens of rural companies in the Porvoo area have boosted their business via enterprise group development projects. But what does an enterprise group development project mean?

Enterprise group development projects usually involve 3–10 rural companies, which partner up to improve their operations while taking company-specific measures to develop each of their businesses. The definition of a rural company has varied over the years. You can check with Posintra’s business developers to find out if your company is eligible for funding.

Enterprise group development projects cover any rural companies that are motivated to develop their business and have a clearly definable goal. However, enterprise group development projects for primary agricultural production are not available.

– During the last few years, enterprise groups in the Porvoo area have been developing activities such as websites and online stores, clearly making digitalization a key theme, says Posintra’s business developer Annika Weckman.

– Learning has also played a big role in the projects, and enterprise group development projects have enabled the entrepreneurs to assume new knowledge and skills, Weckman continues.

Other typical group development goals may include, for example, developing cooperation in production, marketing and sales or a joint export network. Enterprise group development funding is a combination of a project grant and business support.


Every project needs an administrator

Development organizations are well-suited to act as the funding applicant, i.e., project administrator; in this case, the task was undertaken by Posintra. The administrator assembles a suitable group of rural micro and small enterprises, works together with the companies to plan a joint development module as well as an individual development package for each participating business, and draws up a cost estimate for the project.
The project’s administrative and assembling costs are counted in the costs of the joint module.

For enterprise group projects, development grant funding covers 75% of the costs, leaving 25% for the companies to pay. The administrator applies for the grant, which is paid as in any other development project. The grant is distributed as de minimis aid to the participating companies, which then benefit from the business development services acquired. The companies avoid any administrative work such as competitive tendering, cash management or reporting, which are handled by the administrator.


Remarkable development effort in the Porvoo area

During the years 2019–2020, Posintra have provided administrative services for a total of three enterprise groups in the Porvoo area, developing the businesses of 23 rural companies with a budget close to EUR 170,000. The external funding contribution was almost EUR 130,000.

In practice, this support has provided 23 rural companies with developing activities that otherwise might have never taken place or, at least, would have been delayed.

– We have made a remarkable effort in shaping the enterprise group project into an effective tool for developing rural micro and small companies, says Posintra’s business developer Peter Backman.

– We have found that the group size should be five companies at the minimum and 10 at the maximum for feasible administration, finalizes Backman.

Reference companies that have participated in enterprise development projects

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