Government explores financial incentives for small business exporters in strategy for post-Brexit Britain

Government explores financial incentives for small business exporters in strategy for post-Brexit Britain
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Tue 21st Aug 2018

Enterprise Nation first called for export vouchers almost two years ago and in today's new export strategy, the government has announced it is assessing "financial incentives" to boost the numbers of small firms trading overseas.

In a plan to make "Britain a 21st century exporting superpower", international trade secretary Liam Fox will today set out plans to make better use of the government's overseas network, introduce new online tools and build a stronger business to business network aimed at increasing exports to 35% of GDP, up from the current 30%.

Last year £620bn of goods and services were exported by British companies, but the Department for International Trade (DIT) estimates that 400,000 businesses believe they could export but don't.

In measures targeted at smaller businesses, the government says it "will assess financial incentives and signposting as a means to support SMEs access new markets and private sector export support".

This is a move welcomed by Enterprise Nation following our call on the chancellor with fellow members of the Small Business Taskforce in 2016 for vouchers which provide match funding to help entrepreneurs access advice and support on selling their goods overseas.

As we said at the time: "Experimenting with initiatives like these would be transformative to small British firms and have a big impact."

Also in the new strategy are plans to develop the website into a single digital platform for domestic business growth and export support, encouraging more exporters through inspiration and peer-to-peer learning and developing an awareness campaign of the £50bn worth of export finance and insurance support that's available.

In a speech in London, Liam Fox MP is expected to say: "The United Kingdom is a great exporting nation and our exporters lead the way, in creating jobs, raising wages and growing our economy.

"UK businesses are superbly placed to capitalise on the rapid changes in the global economic environment and I believe the UK has the potential to be a 21st century exporting superpower.

"As an international economic department, we are determined to support, connect and grow UK companies on the world stage through our international network.

"As we leave the EU, we must set our sights high and that is just what this export strategy will help us achieve."

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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