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Grants available for SMEs looking to export

By Andrew James

The title of this blog post is the title of a press release issued by the Department for International Trade in the lead up to Christmas (21 December 2018).

The press release went onto announce that “applications are now open for UK businesses to apply for grants of up to £2,500 to attend international tradeshows”.

Tradeshow Access Programme

The funding is through the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP), and from the press release, the key details appear to be:

  • TAP provides financial support for UK SMEs to participate in overseas exhibitions and conferences that cover a range of sectors, from education to aerospace and creative to maritime
  • Successful applicant businesses are able to use grants to fund exhibiting costs at 55 events in Q1 2019. These 55 events range from the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, to Cannes Lions Festival, to Summer Fancy Food in New York, and Mobile World Congress Shanghai. (The list of the 55 events referred to is I assume the one at link with dates from April 2019 to June 2019)
  • To be eligible for a grant, businesses must be based in the UK (excluding Isle of Man or the Channel Islands) and be a small or medium-sized enterprise, UK University, UK government funded centre of higher or further learning or UK government funded research organisation.

Guidance and contact for further information

Guidance on TAP can be found here, including a more extensive list of eligibility, as well as “how the service works” and “what you will get”. 

Contained within the aforementioned are:

  • Eligibility criteria that include
    • “have exported for no more than 10 years”
    • “not have been fully committed to attend the event prior to seeking the grant”
  • “Applications for the Tradeshow Access Programme must be made eight weeks before the start of the event.”
  • “Businesses take part [at a trade show] as a group, led by the trade challenge partner for that trade show”. The trade challenge partners are named on the list of supported trade shows.
  • “Contact your local DIT International Trade Adviser for further information about the programme.”



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