The Institute of Export & International Trade has launched a £5m Export Support Programme to help UK businesses accelerate their journey into international trade.
The announcement also coincides with the United Nations’ World MSME (micro, small and medium sized enterprises) Day and aligns with the theme ‘building a stronger future together’.
Marco Forgione, director general of The Institute of Export & International Trade, said: “As a leading organisation in international trade, founded on the principle of equipping people and companies to trade internationally, we have designed the Export Support Package to enable UK MSMEs to fulfil their business potential through exporting.
“The theme of this year’s MSME day is building a stronger future together and our team is committed to helping businesses realise their international trade ambitions.
“The UK has signed numerous trade agreements which will benefit MSMEs across the country. However, it’s essential we equip business with the knowledge, skills and expertise to take full advantage of these opportunities. Through this bespoke package of consultancy, training and implementation we will provide businesses with the knowledge and expertise to trade confidently and compliantly with the world.”
Businesses applying to the Export Support Programme will receive a bespoke package of training and consultancy services to reflect their particular circumstances and needs.
The information provided is designed to enable IOE&IT’s team to match the business with the right trade experts to advise and support them on their exporting journey.
IOE&IT added that the importance of MSMEs globally can’t be underestimated, as they account for over 90% of firms worldwide yet they surprisingly contribute to less than half of the volume of international trade. In the UK this figure is even more pronounced. Of 5.5 million businesses registered, 99.9% of these are classified as MSMEs and fewer than 10% of them export.
Limited access to information has been identified as a significant barrier preventing MSMEs from engaging with international partners.
To further address this issue, the IOE&IT entered into a strategic partnership with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Informal Working Group on MSMEs in 2022. The IOE&IT have helped to revamp the WTO’s Trade4MSMEs platform and content.
Trade4MSMEs serves as an online gateway dedicated to providing information that supports MSMEs to trade internationally.
The Export Support Programme will harness this knowledge to focus on the UK market. It is strictly available one per business and any UK MSME can apply to access this fund. Over the duration of the Export Support Package the IOE&IT intends to help up to 1,250 businesses.
Due to the bespoke nature and design of the package companies will be onboarded in tranches over a 12 month period. Tranches will be designated at the point of registration. Registration of interest is now open and can be accessed via the IOE&IT’s website.