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Exporting businesses can access co-investment funding help to support their plans, thanks to a new partnership between Chamber International and the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Business can apply to the Internationalisation Fund, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and offering match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 to support exporting businesses, subject to eligibility and availability.

The fund is available throughout England except Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, which has its own similar scheme.

The funding, which is being offered as part of the Government Department for International Trade’s move to strengthen Britain’s position as a global trading nation, is available only through the Department for International Trade (DIT), but can be accessed through overseas trade specialist, Chamber International. 

The support can be used for market research; intellectual property advice; independent market visits; translation services; consultancy and associated international commercial services; attending trade fairs, where no tradeshow access programme (TAP) funding is available; international social media and search engine optimisation (SEO).

In order to qualify for access to the fund, businesses must be based in England and be a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) with up to 250 staff; have an annual turnover of not more than £50m and not be more than 25% owned by an enterprise which is not an SME.

Launch of the fund follows a series of overseas trade initiatives between the Chamber network and government, including establishing the Overseas Business Network Initiative (OBNi), the Export Academy and now the Internationalisation Fund with the aim of increasing the number of exporters and taking advantage of new free trade agreements.

Since the launch of OBNi, a series of international strategic alliances have been set up by Chamber International with overseas chambers of commerce and other bodies which assist overseas trade and which go beyond the support laid down in the OBNi.

These are with British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam; British Chamber of Commerce Turkey; British Business Centres, Dubai; Resolve, which targets North America; Brazil Business Hub; British Business Mexico; AEI Saudi; UK India Business Council; British Chamber of Commerce Singapore and British Chamber of Commerce Indonesia.

Chamber International Director, Tim Bailey, said: “The DIT Internationalisation Fund is welcome, bang on time and we are pleased to be part of it.

“Our grassroots experience from working directly with businesses is that a lot of proposals stimulated by the OBNi and our own strategic alliances have had to be placed on hold due to cashflow problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund will now enable many of these to get underway which is good for them and the UK economy.”

Key Takeaways: 

  • SMEs based in England with up to 250 staff and a turnover no more than £50m could be entitled to a grant of up to £9,000.
  • The Internationalisation fund is available to help with things such as market research, translation services and global trading events. 

Want more exporting support? Head over to the UMi Platform where you can find the information, expertise and finance you need to take your business further: https://www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp/

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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