The government has long been saying that exports are the way forward for the country’s small businesses, but many SMEs won’t know where to start when it comes to expanding into overseas markets. The government has recently announced that it will be supporting a scheme worth millions aimed specifically at helping boost Britain’s exports, mainly through helping small and medium businesses expand their horizons.
There will be £13 million of funding going into this scheme. The funds will go to UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and will help small British businesses connect with markets overseas. Almost £9 million of this will be channelled into existing schemes that have already made a start on increasing the trade opportunities for British business.
There are many examples of these schemes. The Tradeshow Access Programme will use funding to get small businesses exhibiting at overseas tradeshows, helping to drum up business and raise awareness of their products and services in foreign markets. The Overseas Market Introduction Service, which helps first time exporters with their market research, will not be available at a heavily discounted price. These two schemes are particularly aimed at helping small businesses build relationships in expanding markets, placing them in a good position to take advantage of the sales opportunities available.
A further £2.5 million will be available to help businesses access overseas opportunities that UKTI has already identified, and the remaining £1.5 million will be invested in projects that attract inward investment in the UK. There are estimates that over 10,000 businesses will benefit from this additional funding, which will move the government further towards their target of getting 100,000 British businesses exporting. On average, companies that work with UKTI go on to win £100,000 of new business within 18 months – 90% of those supported are also SMEs. Will your business be one of the ones benefiting?