Cohesive support package to address barriers to SMEs starting up and growing including support for internationalisation
Under the ERDF investment priority 2 of priority axis 3: 3d - Supporting the capacity of SMEs to grow in regional, national and international markets and to engage in innovation processes, Cohesive support package to address barriers to SMEs starting up & growing to become export ready which include the following:

-Non-financial support for Start-ups, existing SMEs through one to one and seminars
-Capital Grants between £1000-£3000

The capital investments are to help deliver new international contracts and referrals are made to SME International Growth project delivered by local Chambers of Commerce:
-Awareness raising on exports
-Market visits and exhibitions
-Grants to address financial barriers
-Project specifically supporting exports
-Builds on longstanding regional project

Resources needed

The programme was funded by:-
£4.66m ERDF (Priority 3)
£13.8M Total investment (public and private sector match funds)
The support is delivered through chambers of commerce with the international trade advisors (ITA), costing £50k/year.

Evidence of success

Builds on Enterprise & Business Growth programme from the last ERDF programme and it achieved so far:
- 609 SMEs assisted
- 192 businesses created
- 1,109 jobs created

Potential for learning or transfer

The model involves a large scale partnership and it is essential to make sure that SMEs are cross-referred between agencies. Cooperation between different agencies and organisations is paramount for this programme to be successfully implemented within a region. The ITAs are delivering the support through the regional Chambers of commerce and need to be signed posted by others.
Main institution
Coventry City Council
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Start Date
January 2015
End Date


Soizic Linford Please login to contact the author.