The DIT Internationalisation Fund: grants to help businesses go global

Going global with your business: there has never been a better time

Are you a small/medium-sized business (SME) in the UK that has considered taking the step to go global? Or maybe reading this has just sparked the idea? Lucky you… there has never been a better time!

The Department for International Trade (DIT) recently announced a new grant – the DIT Internationalisation Fund – which aims to promote overseas trading and to strengthen SMEs with the potential to develop overseas sales. This £38 million fund will run from 2020 to 2023 and aims to help up to 7,600 SMEs.

Similar extra support has also been implemented besides the Internationalisation Fund. There is additional support for exporters through the employment of 64 new International Trade Advisors, many of whom are working closely with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to offer their expertise to small businesses in the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine and South West regions. Also, a new pilot Export Academy shall be introduced to support smaller businesses in the same areas. The Export Academy will deliver a series of activities to build on the capabilities of smaller companies, creating a new cohort of confident businesses ready to trade. 

DITInternationalisationFund min LEaF Translations

With the advent of Brexit, the UK government is keen to spur on businesses to grow and make the most of the array of opportunities open to them abroad. This grant, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is also intended to help SMEs recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, which brings some relief after the challenges faced in the last year. Across the UK, there are countless fantastic SMEs with a lot of potential – perhaps this is the boost they need to take this step to expand their business. 

How does it work?

 The DIT Internationalisation Fund will provide you with a match-funded grant of between £1,000 and £9,000 (subject to funding availability) which can be used, but not limited to these services:

  • translation services
  • market research
  • IP advice
  • international social media
  • trade fairs (where there is no Trade Access Programme funding available already)
  • independent market visits
  • consultancy
  • other international commercial services, and more!

Successful applicants will usually receive between 50-60% of the total cost (within the allocation of the grant), which is paid retrospective of the work/service being performed.

Clearly, this is a considerable amount of funding and will provide a fantastic help to those wanting to expand their market abroad. You can, for example, use the grant for translation services, so that you only have to pay half of the total cost yourself with the fund covering the other 50%. How great is that?

So the big question is, do you qualify?

Here are the key requirements:

  • The fund is open to SMEs with up to 250 employees
  • The SME’s product or service should have the potential to develop international sales, could be developed for international trade, or see international sales as an opportunity for growth
  • No more than 25% of the business can be owned by an enterprise which is not an SME
  • The annual turnover cannot exceed €50 million 
  • The annual balance sheet cannot exceed €43 million
  • The amount that an eligible company can receive is subject to the funding availability per Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in England, which excludes Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

When do you have to apply by?

Currently, in 2021, you have plenty of time before the deadline of 2023. However, while the fund is new, it will eventually run out, so it is a good idea to act on this soon. 

Unsure about whether to go for it? You can contact your Independent Trade Advisor (ITA) from your local trade office for a consultation. You can also contact DIT’s Regional Network and discuss your plans with an advisor to form an expert action plan.

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The friendly face behind LEaF Translations, meet Lucy Pembayun MITI – experienced translator & founder of LEaF

Why human translation services are vital to your transition going global

We’ve all heard the phrase “communication is key”. Here at LEaF Translations, we couldn’t agree more. A vital step to expanding internationally is communicating effectively with your new audiences abroad in their own language. 

All of our translators at LEaF are highly experienced, native-speakers who understand the culture and contexts behind their languages. Unlike machine translations such as Google Translate, our translators are sensitive to significant building blocks which convey the meaning of text: word choice, sentence form, grammar, tone and more.

We accurately translate the original meaning of the text, conveying your messages exactly and ensuring your marketing materials, web copy, Amazon listings and more are of the same high-quality standard as your English-language materials. The result: professionalism across all platforms in all languages.

Based in York, we provide expert professional translation services to individuals, companies and organisations, and are united by a single aim: to have a positive impact on you, your business and the planet. (You can read more about our carbon-neutral translations here.)

Kuhlen lawyers recommend LEaF Translations

“Extremely high quality and a very friendly service. A highly recommended translation company!”

— Ludmilla Kuhlen, Kuhlen law firm, Berlin

How can we help?

Here at LEaF Translations, we translate a wide array of languages and offer additional services, such as keyword localisation, so that we can provide you with a complete service when it comes to expanding your international presence.

Translating your website and marketing materials is a vital part of going global, especially as the internet continues to flourish as a place to do business. With the internet, distance doesn’t have to be a barrier, and neither should language.

LEaF Translations is here to help you communicate accurately and professionally. We are here to break down language barriers. Check out our website at for more details on our services, or visit our social media platforms on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Need help from a professional translation company for your marketing translations?

In summary

The prospect of going global can be both exciting and daunting. But with this fund, there has never been a better time to make the move. £1,000-£9,000 of a match-funded grant is a considerable help, facilitating your business to take this significant step, at a much lower cost to your business.

LEaF Translations is here to help you in taking that first step, covering your translation needs and forming a positive bridge between your business and your new audience.

We stand for Language Expertise and Finesse, and that’s exactly what we deliver.

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Next steps…

  1. Read more about the Internationalisation Fund here
  2. Find your local International Trade Advisor
  3. Check out the Export Academy here
  4. Explore how our website translation services can help your business
  5. Get a quote for your translation project so you know how much grant you should apply for
  6. Share this blog with other SMEs and spread the word about the DIT’s Internationalisation Fund!

About the Author

Ruby LEaF blog 2021


Ruby Fernie is an intern at LEaF Translations with a role in Social Media and Digital Marketing. She is a full-time undergraduate English Literature student at the University of York in her penultimate year. As well as her studies, she is involved in various other aspects of her university: as a Marketing Officer for Enactus York and in extracurricular university programmes aimed to develop and enhance her employability skills, complimenting her degree.

Ruby’s passions lie in effective communication, continual personal development and the prioritisation of ethics. These are things that she will bring to her career.