A project across Coventry and the surrounding area to help over 1,600 businesses will be given additional funding of £14.6 million it was announced today. The West Midlands SME Internationalization project a Coventry University Enterprise initiative has been increased from £6m to £20m.
The idea is to increase SME’s sales, competitiveness and profits by lending support for those firms looking to open international trade. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Minister Baroness Hanham mad the announcement during a visit to Coventry.
Through expert advice and tailored action plans the additional investment will enable the project to help the companies interested in developing international trade. It will help with activities like international trade visits, market intelligence gathering, market development, and awareness shops.
Coventry University’s deputy vice chancellor John Latham said they are particularly pleased significant ERDF funding will be invested into the SMI Internationalism Project in the West Midlands because up to this date it has helped over 350 companies and helped to save over 700 jobs. In the long haul in helping more SMEs it will encourage and increase diversification of the export base in the West Midlands.
Some £10.4 million will come directly from the European Regional Development Fund and will be matched by UKTI West Midlands and private businesses. UKTI international trade director Doug Mahoney said with the new government white paper on investment and trade highlighting the importance of international trade for the UK economy this makes the additional ERDF investment very timely and important.
Even more SMEs will be able to be assisted in their quest for internationalization through the provision of additional help to develop overseas markets and to bring local businesses together to view potential opportunities. The announcement came as part of the visit by Baroness Hahham to the city various ERDF supported development.