IOE and IT unveils £5m fund to help hundreds of SMEs grow their exports and international sales

Tue 27 Jun 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
IOE News

Female businesswomen, one working on laptop

The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) has today (27 June) launched a £5m Export Support Package to help hundreds of UK businesses accelerate their journey into international trade.

Today’s announcement also coincides with the UN’s World MSME Day (micro, small and medium sized enterprises) and aligns with the theme ‘building a stronger future together’.

Marco Forgione, director general of IOE&IT, 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.”

Registration of interest is now open and can be accessed via the IOE&IT’s website here.

‘Welcome announcement’

Lyndsay Hogg is managing director of Hogg Global Logistics, a freight forwarding company based in Hartlepool. Hogg founded the firm just under four years ago. At the time she was a single mother who had just left her previous company.

International trade has been at the heart of the company’s impressive growth and the business has just been awarded a King’s Award for Enterprise. Hogg will meet King Charles today at a reception at Buckingham Palace.

Commenting on the launch of the Export Support Package, Hogg said:

“This is a welcome announcement that I am proud to support. We will certainly as a company look to this to upskill. The consultancy especially will be a benefit to many as there are so many still struggling to navigate the more complicated procedures.

“I’ve completed over 30 courses with the IOE&IT: courses I was able to do online and fit around my schedule and that I found have given us an edge in a very competitive industry. 3 – 4 years on from starting, we are the first and only North-East England winners of a King’s Award for Enterprise in International trade.

“We have come a long way through sheer determination and hard work but with a will to give back and help others. I’ve pushed forward with a goal to excel in international trade – an industry I love – and to try to be the best role model to my two boys.”

The programme

Businesses applying to the Export Support Package will receive a bespoke package of training and consultancy services to reflect their particular circumstances and needs.

The information provided will enable IOE&IT’s team to match the business with the right trade experts to advise and support them on their exporting journey.

The importance of MSMEs globally can’t be underestimated, as they account for over 90% of firms worldwide, yet contribute 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.

The package is strictly available on a one-per-business basis and any UK MSME can apply to access the fund. Over the duration of the Export Support Package, 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.

Support website

To further address this issue, IOE&IT entered a strategic partnership with the WTO Informal Working Group on MSMEs in 2022 and has 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 Package will harness this knowledge to focus on the UK market.

Register your interest here.