Help and support for exporting

Financial support for exporting


There are many sources of government funding for businesses in Northern Ireland wanting to trade overseas.

UK Export Finance

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK's export credit agency providing trade finance and insurance to assist UK exporters of all sizes and across all sectors. The government department supports exports of all types, including goods, services and intellectual property.

Its regional network of Export Finance Advisers offers free export finance advice and guidance to UK exporters. This includes access to information on solving the financial challenges involved in selling overseas, including issues such as obtaining credit insurance to protect your business while taking advantage of international sales opportunities. Export Finance Advisers can also advise on UKEF's range of government-backed guarantees and insurance products.

UKEF can help you:

  • Win contracts under a buyer credit facility, can offer a guarantee to a bank that makes a loan to an overseas buyer to finance the purchase of UK goods and/or services. This can help exporters make their offering more competitive.
  • Fulfil contracts - provides access to the working capital needed to fulfil a contract to help exporters take on more contracts and increase turnover.
  • Get paid - offers insurance against the risk of not being paid, or of not being able to recover the costs of fulfilling an export contract.

The Export Working Capital Scheme helps UK exporters access working capital finance for specific export-related contracts.

UKEF can provide partial guarantees covering up to 80% of the risk to lenders to cover the credit risks associated with export working capital facilities both pre- and post-shipment. Find out more about the Export Working Capital Scheme.

Businesses in Northern Ireland can email UKEF's local Export Finance Manager at or call on Tel 028 9069 8070.

Invest Northern Ireland

Access to Finance is a package of five funds that help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high growth potential. The financial support is available through loans and equity, to businesses of different sizes or at different stages of growth or development.

The Growth Loan Fund, part of Access to Finance, provides loans of between £100,000 and £500,000 over five years to established SMEs with growth and export potential.


InterTradeIreland offers a range of support to export businesses, for example:

The Acumen programme can assist you to source and fund the right people to help you increase your cross-border export sales, including helping you improve your knowledge of the market and identify new business opportunities.

Business finance and support finder

The Business Finance and Support Finder is a searchable database that can help you find publicly-funded sources of assistance. Support may be available in a number of forms, including financial assistance and free or subsidised advice services.