The Internationalisation Fund

The Department for International Trade (DIT) have launched a new Internationalisation Fund (IF) for eligible SMEs based in England.

What is the Internationalisation Fund?

Launched in December 2020, the Internationalisation Fund provides match-funded grants between £1,000 and £9,000 to use for future business activities (subject to eligibility and availability) aimed at helping SMEs grow in new international markets. To secure a grant, businesses will need to fund a proportion of the costs themselves. These grants will be accessible for a limited time, and are subject to funds still being available.

Who is the Internationalisation Fund for?

To qualify for the fund, businesses should meet these eligibility and suitability criteria:

  • be registered in the UK and based in England
  • be a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) with up to 250 employees, an annual turnover of less than €50 million or annual balance sheet not exceeding €43 million
  • no more than 25% of the business is owned by an enterprise which is not an SME
  • have not received more than €200,000 in public funds in the last three fiscal years
  • have £500k+ in sales/turnover (desirable, not mandatory)
  • have international high growth potential with a product or service suitable for export into a new market
  • have an interest in using the funding for eligible export growth activities

The fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

What can the fund be used for?

The Internationalisation Fund can be used for eligible third party advice/services to help businesses prepare for export, including:

The Internationalisation Fund:

  • International social media/SEO
  • Market research
  • Intellectual property (IP) rights
  • Translation and cultural advice
  • Independent market visits
  • Routes to market
  • Consultancy and other international commercial services
  • Due diligence
  • Trade Fairs

How can SMEs apply for the fund?

London and South East SMEs can attend one of our free virtual events to gain:

An overview of the Internationalisation Fund and the eligibility criteria

  • How they can use the fund to grow their business overseas
  • What businesses will need to prepare for the funding application
  • How to submit an application and the key deadlines

After the event, participants will be requested to populate an Internationalisation Fund Trade Review (IFTR) form and, if considered eligible and suitable for the fund, will be able to book a meeting with an International Trade Adviser (ITA). The ITA will help them prepare an Export Action Plan (EAP) and complete their funding application.

Event Programme

To view our latest Internationalisation Fund virtual event dates, please visit: