Internationalisation Fund helps SMEs with exporting

The fund is part of the Government’s Export Growth Plan and aims to help SMEs grow their overseas trading and strengthen their business.

SMEs can apply for co-investment funding from the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) new Internationalisation Fund using European Regional Development Funding (ERDF).

The first step is to contact DIT’s Regional Network and discuss your export plans with an adviser and agree an export action plan. If support from the Internationalisation Fund is appropriate, the DIT adviser will give you further information on how to apply.

The DIT South East office contact details are:

  • Phone: 0330 300 0012
  • Online form: Input your postcode here and then click on the 'Contact DIT office' link to fill in an online form with your request.

Who can receive funding? 

SMEs in England with the following characteristics: 

  • International High Growth Potential with prospects of employment growth or productivity improvement. 
  • A product or service suitable for international trade, or which could be developed for international trade and see international trade as a path for growth. 
  • £500k+ sales/turnover (desirable, but those with lower sales/turnover are eligible). 

How can SMEs use the funding?

Eligible expenditure: Advice from third party private sector experts to help SMEs prepare for international trade, which may include:

  • market research
  • market selection and entry advice
  • advice on Intellectual Property Rights
  • cross cultural negotiation support and standards
  • translation and cultural advice
  • international trade legal advice
  • PR support
  • international social media and search engine optimisation
  • international marketing
  • routes to market/agency advice
  • overseas business environment
  • due diligence

SME participation in Trade Fairs, Missions and market development visits may also be supported. 

Ineligible expenditure: production/operational costs, direct subsidies, routine expenditure, capital costs, salary/employment costs, purchase of assets.

How can SMEs apply?

SMEs should initially contact DIT’s Regional Network and discuss their plans with an adviser and agree an export action plan.

The DIT South East office contact details are:

  • Phone: 0330 300 0012
  • Online form: Input your postcode here and then click on the 'Contact DIT office' link to fill in an online form with your request.

If support from the Internationalisation Fund may be appropriate, the DIT adviser will give the company further information on how to apply.

This is part of the Government’s Export Growth Plan and aims to help SMEs grow their overseas trading and strengthen their business.

Free virtual events to kick-start your export success

Win international business through e-Commerce

Hear expert advice to help boost your digital presence and win international business through e-Commerce. This virtual event is designed to arm SMEs with an effective strategy to expand their online reach and generate future sales opportunities. It takes place over two half-day sessions:

Build a strategy for export success

Build an effective strategy to kick-start your export success with step-by-step guidance from international trade experts. These free events are run over two half-day sessions:

More funding opportunities

If this fund doesn't apply to you, take a look at further opportunities with Innovate UK and DIT.

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