SMEs win international trade funds to explore World of Opportunity

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SMEs from across the United Kingdom have been awarded funding and support from Heathrow Airport to help them export their goods and services internationally.

In partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT), the London hub is giving 20 small businesses £2,000 each to fund trade missions and global market research.

The World of Opportunity programme also includes advice from a DIT international trade adviser and a Plaza Premium lounge pass to use when travelling from Heathrow.

The range of SMEs chosen includes manufacturers of cosmetics, ice cream and tyres, alongside snowboard instructors and architects.

“The UK has some of the most innovative and ambitious small businesses that have helped exports increase by 11.4 per cent over the last year,” said international trade minister Mark Garnier, commenting on the programme.

“It’s clear the potential to export our goods and services is out there, and as an international economic department, we will support businesses through partner schemes like this with Heathrow and our international campaigns including Exporting is GREAT to make the most of opportunities as we leave the EU.”

Details of the winning SMEs were published alongside a survey showing that the UK’s small businesses plan to make the most of the opportunities presented after Brexit.

The report, compiled by YouGov, found that half of decision makers at British SMEs that currently export say their businesses want to increase their export destinations before 2019, when Article 50 negotiations are due to finish. Another 41 per cent said they want to continue exporting as they are in this timeframe.

There were more than 290 applications to the World of Opportunity programme between June 16th and July 14th, before the list was narrowed down to the winning 20 SMEs.

“From beauty products to specialist tyres, snow sport instructors to architects, Heathrow and the Department for International Trade are boosting the growth of a unique mix of British goods and services,” said Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye.

“With the World of Opportunity programme, we are showing the world the breadth of talent and opportunity from all across the nations and regions of the UK, demonstrating that once again Britain’s gateway is open to business.”

For more on the scheme, see the Heathrow website.