West Midlands SME Internationalisation Grants from £1,000 to £30,000 (matched 50/50) to help companies develop new export activity.
West Midlands SME Internationalisation provides funding in the form of grants to help companies move forward with their export plan/strategy. Grants are available from £1,000 to £30,000 (matched 50/50) specifically for new export activity. New activity could be undertaking new activity in an overseas market or export consultancy for example.
The funding was given on the basis of a costed action plan put together by the company with the assistance of an International Trade Adviser which was agreed between the Department of International trade (UK government department) and company and “signed” by Coventry University Enterprises. Coventry University Enterprises then followed up with administration support. The support was on a basis of an open call for the duration of the initiative with no specific deadlines for company to apply.
The grant model can be replicable to support internationalisation activities. It demonstrates the excellent collaboration between the government, chamber of commerce and the university.
There needs to be a network of International trade advisors or personnel skilled in this area able to support companies in this way. In addition the cost of the actual grants and the coordination of the programme.
Evidence of success
The programme enabled companies to carry out activity that they would not ordinarily be able to afford to move forward their export plan/strategy.
During the project a total of 354 grants were given which amounted to just above £1.7 Million
Potential for learning or transfer
The model of setting up a network of Trade Advisors with collaboration of different institutions such as chamber of Commerce and universities can be transferred to other regions.