The Government has awarded £13m of funding to help 10,000 more British companies export. The funds will go to UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to help more businesses make contacts and sell to overseas markets.

Up to £9m of the pot will go directly towards increasing trade prospects for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

Commenting on SMEs receiving a large amount of funds, Business Secretary, Vince Cable said:

“One of our major ambitions for growth is to boost UK exports: we have to excel in trade. Small and medium-sized enterprises are crucial to this challenge – over half of the monetary value of the UK’s exports comes from SMEs.

“SMEs are innovators in every sector, whether hi-tech or traditional, and they are major job creators for our economy employing almost 60% of the private sector workforce. This extra funding will help those businesses already exporting to go further and explore new markets, and help those thinking of exporting to make that crucial first step.”

Due to this funding there will be more money available for SMEs to attend trade shows overseas through the Tradeshow Access Programme. In addition, substantial discounts will be offered on the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), which provides targeted market research to help companies find those vital initial contacts abroad to help them develop relationships in new, fast-growing markets.

Furthermore, there will be increased support available for travel on overseas trade operations.

£2.5m will be invested in helping businesses access and win some of the many high-value opportunities that UKTI has identified globally, and in addition a further £1.5m will be used for projects including support for UKTI’s work attracting vital inward investment into our economy.

Speaking on the funding plans, Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Green, said:

“This extra investment will directly help businesses to travel abroad to showcase their products, find more customers, and make the contacts they need to succeed. As we look to trade more with high-growth markets outside the EU, we want to ensure businesses have the support they need to realise their full potential.”

The Government is aiming to boost exports for UK businesses and they hope to achieve the targets of doubling UK exports to £1tn by 2020, as well increasing the proportion of companies that export from one in five to one in four to match the European average.

This funding is viewed as a way of achieving these aims, and Vince Cable added:

“We anticipate that over 10,000 businesses will benefit from the additional funding, moving us closer to our ambition of getting 100,000 more businesses exporting British goods and services around the world.”