Government help for exporters

1. Export finance and insurance

UK Export Finance (also known as the Export Credits Guarantee Department) is the UK’s official export credit agency.

It helps UK exporters by ‘underwriting’ bank loans offered to overseas buyers of UK products and services. This means it takes on the risk of the loan from the bank, so that the bank is more likely to offer it.

It can also help exporters to:

  • raise tender and contract bonds
  • access working capital finance
  • secure confirmations of letters of credit

Export insurance

UK Export Finance offers insurance to UK exporters against the risk of non-payment by overseas buyers.


UK Export Finance looks at applications on a case-by-case basis. However, to be eligible:

  • you must be in business in the UK
  • the buyer must be overseas

Read the guide to export insurance for more information.

Organisations in the private sector also offer export insurance.

Overseas investment insurance

UK Export Finance offers overseas investment insurance to UK companies that invest abroad. This covers your company against loss resulting from some political events (eg war, nationalisation of business contrary to international law) in a country you’ve invested in.

For more information on what’s covered and eligibility, read theguide to overseas investment insurance on the UK Export Finance website.


2. Training and support for exporters

Your business can apply for training and support from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) or use UKTI’s online services.

New exporters

You can apply for the Passport to Export programme which helps small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to start exporting or grow an emerging export business.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has guidance on overseas business risks and political and economic updates for many countries.

Mid-sized businesses

You can apply for the Mid-Sized Business Programme if your company has a turnover between £25 million and £250 million. UKTI advisers will support you to assess your readiness to start exporting or expand existing export business.

Experienced exporters

You may be eligible for the Gateway to Global Growth programme. It helps small and medium-sized companies with 2 to 10 years’ exporting experience. The 1-year programme offers guidance and mentoring.

Finding new markets and opportunities

You can expand your business using the following services from UKTI:

Tradeshows and market visits

You can apply for grants to attend tradeshows from the Tradeshow Access Programme.

You can also get help to prepare a visit to an overseas market usingMarket Visit Support.

Find details of trade events, seminars, webinars, exhibitions and trade missions on the UKTI events website.

Improving your communications

You can apply to have an Export Communications Review (ECR). This will help your business overcome language and cultural barriers, and develop an international communications strategy.

Defence and security sector

You can get support from the UKTI Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO).

Aid-funded business

You can get support from the Aid Funded Business service if your company wants to work on projects funded by development banks or aid agencies.


Find your local UKTI office.


Author: MixoBiz

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