By Claire West

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

The majority of the investment — up to £9 million — will go directly towards boosting trade opportunities for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

This additional funding for SMEs means:

There will be more money available for SMEs to attend trade shows overseas through expanding the Tradeshow Access Programme.

Substantial discounts will be offered on the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), which provides targeted market research to help businesses find those crucial first contacts and to encourage them to develop relationships in new, fast-growing markets.

There will be increased support available for travel on overseas trade missions.

In addition, £2.5 million will be invested in helping firms access and win some of the many high-value opportunities that UKTI has identified globally.

A further £1.5 million will be used for projects including support for UKTI’s work attracting vital inward investment into our economy.

This announcement comes as UKTI prepares to host ‘Export Week’ from 12-16 November, when there will be over one hundred events up and down the UK designed to reach out to SMEs. There will also be five ‘Explore Export’ events where UKTI experts from 70 overseas markets will be on hand to provide bespoke advice about trading both with our traditional partners and with high-growth markets.

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."