Internationalisation Fund helps SMEs with exporting

Funding can be used on expert advice to help SMEs with their exporting, which can include market research, translation services, social media, marketing, intellectual property, legal advice and a whole lot more.

How much are the grants worth?

Via the Internationalisation Fund, match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available. To secure a grant, SMEs will need to fund 50% of the costs themselves.

Who can receive funding?

The grants are to support SMEs in England that are:

  • Already exporting and want to go into new markets – or find a different way of trading in a country
  • Launching a new product or service into an existing market
  • New to exporting but are an established business (not a start-up) with growth potential

Further criteria

  • £500k+ turnover (if lower than this, the business must be an existing, established business with acknowledged growth potential)
  • No more than 25% of the business is owned by an enterprise which is not an SME

Please note:

  • start-up businesses are not eligible for the Internationalisation Fund
  • the funding comes via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), so further eligibility criteria may apply

How can SMEs use the funding?

SMEs can get advice from experts on international trade, including with regards to:

  • 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, trade 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.

Would you like to learn more about the fund to see if you're eligible?

We're here to help: You can talk to one of our Business Advisers first to see if this funding is right for you before you contact the Department for International Trade (DIT), which delivers the fund.

Book a chat with us via our online form or call us on 01494 927130. After we learn more about your business and what you are hoping to do with your exporting, we can advise you on the best way forward.

Applying via DIT: For those that prefer to go straight to DIT, SMEs can contact their local DIT Regional Network to discuss their plans with an adviser. If appropriate, the DIT adviser will provide further information on how to apply.

The DIT South East office contact number is 0330 300 0012. Alternatively, input your postcode here and click on the 'Contact DIT office' link to fill in an online form with your request.

Further details

The Internationalisation Fund is delivered by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The fund is part of the government’s Export Growth Plan and aims to help SMEs grow their overseas trading and strengthen their business.

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