Press release

Firms receiving government export support increases by 50%

The number of businesses receiving export support has increased by 50% in the last financial year.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The number of businesses receiving export support has increased by 50% in the last financial year, Trade Minister Lord Livingston announced today (20 October 2014).

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) helped a total of 47,960 businesses in 2013 to 2014 to export for the first time or find new markets through its extensive network of specialists in the UK and in British embassies around the world.

The figures have been published as part of UKTI’s annual Performance and Impact Monitoring Survey (PIMS) and show that the support was worth £49.1 billion to the UK economy in additional overseas sales as a direct result of the advice, which is expected to create or safeguard 220,000 jobs.

Companies receiving support related to the United States saw this biggest increase, 51% (4131 businesses), followed by China, 47% (2961 businesses), and Brazil, 38% (1415 businesses). Other countries included the UAE 28% (1824 businesses), Germany 24% (3413 businesses), France 19% (2199 businesses) and India 15% (2453 businesses).

Trade Minister Lord Livingston said:

Over the last 4 years, UKTI has more than doubled the number of companies it has helped.

It has found them distributors in new markets, helped them sell online around the world, supported their first trade show, provided them with advice on over 100 markets around the world and much more.

As part of our long term economic plan, we want to increase the number of small and medium size companies that sell internationally as this creates growth and new jobs in all UK regions and all industries.

I encourage companies considering expanding overseas not to delay and get in touch with UKTI today.

Buckinghamshire based door manufacturer and small business Urban Front received UKTI help to export to the United States and now receive £30,000 in sales from this market every month.

Elizabeth Assaf, Creative Director of Urban Front, said:

We have been working with UKTI for over 6 years and have been very lucky to have a great amount of support from their offices around the world, and in the UK.

They really are my first port of call for any questions I may have about exporting – from which language an advert needs to be in to the Overseas Market Introduction Service to support at exhibitions.

The difference it has made to our business is immense, making difficult decisions easier, and without them we would be lost or paying a lot of money in consultant fees, which as a small business would be very difficult to do.

Another start-up is Cambridge-based Audio Analytic, which produces software that automatically recognises sounds, such as smoke alarms, breaking glass, a baby cry or aggression. It is now used across the world in products for the CCTV, security and home automation markets.

Dr Christopher Mitchell, CEO and Founder of Audio Analytic, said:

We have worked extensively with UKTI through its Export Marketing Research Scheme and consulate services, which have been invaluable in helping us enter the US market place.

For anyone considering exporting or wanting to expand their overseas sales, I would highly recommend UKTI’s services.

It has also been announced today that UK food and drink exports now reach a record 150 countries, a year on from the launch of the UKTI and Defra action plan for the sector. The UK government has helped 2,500 food and drink businesses sell their produce abroad in the last 12 months – more firms than ever before - generating £300 million for the UK economy as part of the long-term economic plan.

UKTI will be holding its 6th Export Week during the week of 10 to14 November with a series of events all over the UK aimed at helping small and medium sized companies.

Over 120 UKTI Trade Officers worldwide will be available for 1-2-1 meetings on their dedicated markets to help businesses explore the possibilities of exporting to new countries.

Notes to Editors:

  1. UK Trade and Investment is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.
  2. For more information on Export Week visit the Export Week website
  3. UKTI’s annual Performance and Impact Monitoring Survey (PIMS) is published at Performance and Impact Monitoring Survey
  4. The 2 case studies quoted in the release are available for interview upon request from UKTI press office, along with photos.
  5. For more information on the Food and Drink action plan, contact Claire Gibbard at Defra Press Office on 0207 238 1822.
Published 20 October 2014