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we promote product development and export

Estonian companies can attract experts from all over the world – we help to find a professional who knows the field of the company, can give advice according to its specifics and the needs of the target market.
We help you find the necessary expert in five target markets: Sweden, Norway, Germany, China, United Arab Emirates. It is also possible to enter the service with company’s own expert.

Name
Involving international experts
Price
Co-payment 20% of the expert's fee, maximum grant amount 10,000 euros
Difficulty level

is this service for your company?

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises with the ambition and capability to enter new export markets, expand in target markets or develop an internationally competitive product.
  • The company’s export turnover for the last financial year is at least 50,000 euros or the total turnover is at least 200,000 euros, or the company has an innovative product that it wants to export. At least one condition must be met.
  • The definition of innovation in the current approach corresponds to the Oslo Handbook, i.e. it is to a significant extent a novel process, service or product that has been introduced or placed on the market. The company with an innovative product is operating and clearly growth-oriented, who sees innovation as an opportunity and wants to map and implement this opportunity in cooperation with an expert in the field.
  • The company has a clear plan, which is intended to solve the problem with the help of an expert, and a clear vision of what kind of target market the expert wants to use.
  • When applying, the company can choose one target market and use one expert.
  • Companies cannot apply in the following areas of activity.
  • Using the service is a de minimis aid for the company.
See what your company's VTA balance is

what's going to change in my company?

new knowledge and tailor-made products for the target market

faster sales in foreign markets

increase in export income

Stage I

Duration about 1 month

  • The company applies for the service via the online form at the top of the page, thoroughly describes the need of an expert, filling out all the required boxes. The form will be filled in English or Estonian.
  • We check the company’s compliance with the service (the presence of a de minimis aid (VTA) residue, excluded areas, etc.).
  • In order to search for an expert and/or manage a project (find a procurement partner), we make a request to find out the best price for framework procurement partners.
  • We approve the company into the service (on the basis of a decision of the commission) and bring it together with the procurement partner.

The service can be used in the field of product development and export.

Possible topics for using an expert in the field of product development are:
– creating the initial task of product or service development and taking into account the specifics of the target market in product development;
– advice on adapting a product or service to the target market;
– simulation and prototyping advice;
Other topics in the field of product development.

Possible topics for the use of an expert in the field of export are:
– preparation of a sector overview of the destination country;
– market entry strategy;
– positioning the product or service in the destination country, the choice of the customer segment;
– advice on the necessary certificates and standards;
– advising on the business model of entering the market;
– advice on supply chain building;
– marketing advice (marketing channels, messages, value proposition, important trade fairs, etc.);
– mediation of customer contacts (distributors, agents, wholesalers, cooperation partners, etc.), preparation for customer meetings;
– advisory topics related to enlargement in the destination country;
– other topics in the field of export, except representing the client at sales meetings in the target market.

Stage II

Duration up to 5 months

  • Within one week of confirming the company to the service, the procurement partner specifies the profile presented with the company (physical or virtual meeting) in order to understand any problems, introduce the terms and conditions of the service and further work course (including invoicing) to the company and agree on the following activities to achieve the desired results.
  • The procurement partner will search for an expert corresponding to the company’s profile within a maximum of 5 months. Important keywords in this service are the management of expectations and cooperation. The more accurately and thoroughly the company is able to describe the need of an expert, i.e. the problem area, the more correct the expert we can find in cooperation.
  • The company confirms a suitable expert in writing.
  • If the company enters the service with its expert, the trilateral contract must be concluded no later than 3 months after the confirmation of the company to the service by Enterprise Estonia. If the service is an expert search, the trilateral contract must be concluded no later than 5.5 months after the company has been approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia. If the trilateral contract has not been concluded by the required deadline, Enterprise Estonia has the right to cancel the company’s participation in the service.
  • When a company enters with its expert, the company submits the expert’s CV and the procurement partner verifies the compliance of the expert proposed by the company with the predetermined requirements (see stage III).
  • The procurement partner arranges a meeting (physical or virtual) with the company and the expert so that both the company and the expert are unambiguously clear about the terms and conditions of the service and the future course of work. At the meeting, the company and the expert agree on the volume of work (number of hours worked), time duration, list of works and specific results (output), cost of work and payment terms.
  • After the meeting, a trilateral contract is concluded between the procurement partner, the company and the expert, which describes the agreements, payment terms, rights and obligations of the parties and the settlement process. Contracts must be concluded by a predetermined deadline, otherwise we have the right to cancel the company’s participation in the service.

Stage III

The expert must meet at least these minimum requirements set by Enterprise Estonia:

  • Minimum requirements for a product development expert: At least 36 months of work experience in the target market (according to the company’s chosen target market) in the field of product development as a product development expert, engineer, architect, designer, design manager or other product development, within 60 months retroactively
  • Minimum requirements for an expert in the field of export: At least 36 months of work experience in the target market (according to the target market chosen by the company) in a position related to export development (e.g. export manager, sales manager, etc. ), retroactively within the last 60 months from the confirmation of the company to the service by Enterprise Estonia.

More precise criteria for an expert are set by the company, who makes a final validation between the candidates and confirms the most suitable expert for itself.

An expert can be a specialist with knowledge and skills or a business consultant. Preferably, the expert knows the specific field of activity of the company.

The expert may not be in a contractual relationship with the participating company or work in the consortium of the company during the use of the service.

If a company enters the service with its own expert, the company must have already been in contact with the expert in the past and have described the nature of the problem, and the company must have written expert consent to participate in the service.

One expert (person) may have a maximum of 10 company experts in the service from the opening of the service on 1 July 2020.

The task of the expert is to assess the input provided by the company, to agree on the volume and price of the works and to advise the company in the agreed volume and manner within the framework of the agreed works.

If the average feedback assessment of the companies that involved the same expert is the expert and/or the work done by the expert is 8 points or less on a 10-point scale (10 means “very good”), then Enterprise Estonia has the right to stop cooperating with the expert.

Payments are made to the expert 3 times a year:

  • Stage I payment: 3 months after the company has been approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia.
  • Stage II payment: 5 months after the company has been approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia;
  • Stage III payment: at the end of the project, when all the work has been completed.
  • The disbursements are based on the submission of interim reports by an expert and the acceptance of the work performed by the company.

Stage IV

  • The company pays 20% of the expert’s fee to our procurement partner in advance. The financing of the company remains in the so-called deposit of the procurement partner until the work has been done by the expert and the company has accepted them (the detailed payment schedule is determined in the trilateral contract).
  • The company and the expert will start work according to the contract.
  • The company provides exchange feedback on the current state of the works to Enterprise Estonia, the expert submits a report on the work done so far.
  • The company may use an expert for up to 12 months from our confirmation, but no longer than 31.03.2023.

Stage V

  • The expert shall invoice the procurement partner for the work performed in accordance with the payment schedule agreed in the tripartite agreement.
  • Based on the invoice, the procurement partner pays the expert according to the payment schedule (the company’s share is 20% of the expert fee and the remaining part of the expert fee).
  • Enterprise Estonia will pay the procurement partner for the work performed.
  • The expert submits a final report, which includes a list of the work done, the results, further recommendations to the company and copies of invoices.
  • The company provides feedback.

Project journey

Duration about 1 month

  • The company applies for the service via the online form at the top of the page, thoroughly describes the need of an expert, filling out all the required boxes. The form will be filled in English or Estonian.
  • We check the company’s compliance with the service (the presence of a de minimis aid (VTA) residue, excluded areas, etc.).
  • In order to search for an expert and/or manage a project (find a procurement partner), we make a request to find out the best price for framework procurement partners.
  • We approve the company into the service (on the basis of a decision of the commission) and bring it together with the procurement partner.

The service can be used in the field of product development and export.

Possible topics for using an expert in the field of product development are:
– creating the initial task of product or service development and taking into account the specifics of the target market in product development;
– advice on adapting a product or service to the target market;
– simulation and prototyping advice;
Other topics in the field of product development.

Possible topics for the use of an expert in the field of export are:
– preparation of a sector overview of the destination country;
– market entry strategy;
– positioning the product or service in the destination country, the choice of the customer segment;
– advice on the necessary certificates and standards;
– advising on the business model of entering the market;
– advice on supply chain building;
– marketing advice (marketing channels, messages, value proposition, important trade fairs, etc.);
– mediation of customer contacts (distributors, agents, wholesalers, cooperation partners, etc.), preparation for customer meetings;
– advisory topics related to enlargement in the destination country;
– other topics in the field of export, except representing the client at sales meetings in the target market.

Duration up to 5 months

  • Within one week of confirming the company to the service, the procurement partner specifies the profile presented with the company (physical or virtual meeting) in order to understand any problems, introduce the terms and conditions of the service and further work course (including invoicing) to the company and agree on the following activities to achieve the desired results.
  • The procurement partner will search for an expert corresponding to the company’s profile within a maximum of 5 months. Important keywords in this service are the management of expectations and cooperation. The more accurately and thoroughly the company is able to describe the need of an expert, i.e. the problem area, the more correct the expert we can find in cooperation.
  • The company confirms a suitable expert in writing.
  • If the company enters the service with its expert, the trilateral contract must be concluded no later than 3 months after the confirmation of the company to the service by Enterprise Estonia. If the service is an expert search, the trilateral contract must be concluded no later than 5.5 months after the company has been approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia. If the trilateral contract has not been concluded by the required deadline, Enterprise Estonia has the right to cancel the company’s participation in the service.
  • When a company enters with its expert, the company submits the expert’s CV and the procurement partner verifies the compliance of the expert proposed by the company with the predetermined requirements (see stage III).
  • The procurement partner arranges a meeting (physical or virtual) with the company and the expert so that both the company and the expert are unambiguously clear about the terms and conditions of the service and the future course of work. At the meeting, the company and the expert agree on the volume of work (number of hours worked), time duration, list of works and specific results (output), cost of work and payment terms.
  • After the meeting, a trilateral contract is concluded between the procurement partner, the company and the expert, which describes the agreements, payment terms, rights and obligations of the parties and the settlement process. Contracts must be concluded by a predetermined deadline, otherwise we have the right to cancel the company’s participation in the service.

The expert must meet at least these minimum requirements set by Enterprise Estonia:

  • Minimum requirements for a product development expert: At least 36 months of work experience in the target market (according to the company’s chosen target market) in the field of product development as a product development expert, engineer, architect, designer, design manager or other product development, within 60 months retroactively
  • Minimum requirements for an expert in the field of export: At least 36 months of work experience in the target market (according to the target market chosen by the company) in a position related to export development (e.g. export manager, sales manager, etc. ), retroactively within the last 60 months from the confirmation of the company to the service by Enterprise Estonia.

More precise criteria for an expert are set by the company, who makes a final validation between the candidates and confirms the most suitable expert for itself.

An expert can be a specialist with knowledge and skills or a business consultant. Preferably, the expert knows the specific field of activity of the company.

The expert may not be in a contractual relationship with the participating company or work in the consortium of the company during the use of the service.

If a company enters the service with its own expert, the company must have already been in contact with the expert in the past and have described the nature of the problem, and the company must have written expert consent to participate in the service.

One expert (person) may have a maximum of 10 company experts in the service from the opening of the service on 1 July 2020.

The task of the expert is to assess the input provided by the company, to agree on the volume and price of the works and to advise the company in the agreed volume and manner within the framework of the agreed works.

If the average feedback assessment of the companies that involved the same expert is the expert and/or the work done by the expert is 8 points or less on a 10-point scale (10 means “very good”), then Enterprise Estonia has the right to stop cooperating with the expert.

Payments are made to the expert 3 times a year:

  • Stage I payment: 3 months after the company has been approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia.
  • Stage II payment: 5 months after the company has been approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia;
  • Stage III payment: at the end of the project, when all the work has been completed.
  • The disbursements are based on the submission of interim reports by an expert and the acceptance of the work performed by the company.

  • The company pays 20% of the expert’s fee to our procurement partner in advance. The financing of the company remains in the so-called deposit of the procurement partner until the work has been done by the expert and the company has accepted them (the detailed payment schedule is determined in the trilateral contract).
  • The company and the expert will start work according to the contract.
  • The company provides exchange feedback on the current state of the works to Enterprise Estonia, the expert submits a report on the work done so far.
  • The company may use an expert for up to 12 months from our confirmation, but no longer than 31.03.2023.

  • The expert shall invoice the procurement partner for the work performed in accordance with the payment schedule agreed in the tripartite agreement.
  • Based on the invoice, the procurement partner pays the expert according to the payment schedule (the company’s share is 20% of the expert fee and the remaining part of the expert fee).
  • Enterprise Estonia will pay the procurement partner for the work performed.
  • The expert submits a final report, which includes a list of the work done, the results, further recommendations to the company and copies of invoices.
  • The company provides feedback.

choosing a suitable expert

The more detailed and clear the task, the better the result. When explaining the problem, it should be described as precisely as possible at what stage the company is at, what are the obstacles and where it wants to go.

Choose a competent experienced expert according to your company’s bottleneck and set the focus exactly. An expert cannot solve all the problems of the company. For example, an expert in the field of management can help with management consulting, planning the company’s export strategy, business development and change management in the company. A market- or sector-specific expert is indispensable in organising sales and marketing, finding partners and suppliers, solving problems related to product development and production or logistics. And the role of an analyst is to conduct and analyse market research.

The expert must comply with at least the minimum requirements set out by Enterprise Estonia:

  • Minimum requirements for a product development expert: At least 36 months of work experience in the target market (according to the target market chosen by the company) in the field of product development in the role of product development expert, engineer, architect, designer, design manager or other product development, retroactively in the last 60 months from the confirmation of the company to the service by Enterprise Estonia.
  • Minimum requirements for an expert in the field of export: At least 36 months of work experience in the target market (according to the target market chosen by the company) in a position related to export development (e.g. export manager, sales manager, etc.), retroactively within the last 60 months from the confirmation of the company to the service by Enterprise Estonia.
  • More precise criteria for an expert are set by the company, who makes a final validation between the candidates and confirms the most suitable expert for itself.
  • An expert can be a specialist with knowledge and skills or a business consultant. Preferably, the expert knows the specific field of activity of the company.
  • The expert may not be in a contractual relationship with the participating company or work in the consortium of the company during the use of the service.
  • If a company enters the service with its own expert, the company must have already been in contact with the expert in the past and have described the nature of the problem, and the company must have written expert consent to participate in the service.
  • One expert (person) may have a maximum of 10 company experts in the service from the opening of the service on 1 July 2020.
  • The task of the expert is to assess the input provided by the company, to agree on the volume and price of the works and to advise the company in the agreed volume and manner within the framework of the agreed works.
  • If the average feedback assessment of the companies that involved the same expert is the expert and/or the work done by the expert is 8 points or less on a 10-point scale (if 10 means “very good”), then Enterprise Estonia has the right to stop cooperating with the expert.Payments are made to the expert 3 times a year:
  • Stage I payment: 3 months after the company has been approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia;
  • Stage II payment: 5 months after the company has been approved for the service by Enterprise Estonia;
  • Stage III payment: at the end of the project, when all the work has been completed.
  • The disbursements are based on the submission of interim reports by an expert and the acceptance of the work performed by the company.

Do you prefer experts working in a large consulting firm or a freelance expert? Both have their advantages, but also their risks. Large consultancies have more resources, which often means a wider knowledge and experience base. At the same time, the company often communicates with only one expert, and the success of the project depends on its knowledge and skills.

Freelance experts are often more committed to their clients and projects. They can offer greater flexibility and a better price than larger consultancies. The risk is that the knowledge base of freelance experts is usually narrower, but sometimes what they offer can be just what the company needs.

In addition to large consultancies and freelance experts, there are also various professional associations, business organisations (e.g. EAS, chambers of commerce) and networks from which help can be obtained, from cooperation opportunities to advisory and mediation services. Websites of consulting companies, LinkedIn, various roundtables and recommendations from other companies also help.

Before selecting a suitable expert, it is recommended to meet with the expert, either face-to-face or as a video call. At the meeting, you will receive feedback on the objectives and details of the process in order to change your plans if necessary. In addition, the first impression is made of the expert as a person, his or her suitability and ability. It is important to take into account his personal characteristics when choosing an expert. In the case of long-term or strategic projects, it is especially important that the expert thinks in the same direction as the company and that there is a common understanding of the goal. Softer features, such as overall impressions and personal suitability, are difficult to compare, but they often play an important role in the success of a project. If at the meeting it turns out that the expert does not meet expectations, it is better to start looking for a new expert.

To achieve the best result and the most optimal price, it is definitely worth taking several offers from different service providers. In addition to economic savings, it also gives a good overview of consultants operating in the market. When comparing offers, the realistic nature of the action plan, pricing and contract terms should be taken into account.

In addition to following the criteria, it is also worth taking into account subjective or softer characteristics when making a final decision – for example, the general impression and personal suitability of the consultant.

If an expert has made an offer and it is suitable for the company, a written contract should be concluded between the parties. This may also be an offer sent by e-mail, which is approved by the company and where the purpose of the project, the action plan, the schedule, the results to be achieved, the volume of work, the price and other conditions are fixed due to the need. When the contract is concluded, the expert begins to work on the project.

In order for the project to run smoothly and achieve the goals, some general principles should also be followed within the company, such as internal communication from the involvement of an expert, in order to ensure the information and satisfaction of the team. It is important to define the exact schedule and measurable results, agree on the details of regular information exchange and reporting, and finally, the details of summarising the project.

service partners and additional information

Our partners in implementing the international expert engagement service are:

Eesti Kaubandus-Tööstuskoda

Saksa-Balti Kaubanduskoda

Gateway&Partners

Nifor

The service is co-financed by the European Union Regional Development Fund.

Contact

Contact

Mariann Roos
Project Manager
Spoken languages: Estonian, English