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Date: 17/08/2018

Businesses in Worcestershire and Herefordshire are being urged to apply for a specialist funding stream that aims to help them export for the first time or expand their overseas markets.

The West Midlands SME International Growth Project (SME IGP), funded via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has approved 220 grants since January 2017, providing match-funded grants worth more than £500,000.

SMEs (small-medium sized enterprises) have just eight months left to apply for a grant, with the deadline set for applications on 31 March 2019.

JMDA, an award-winning design consultancy based in Worcestershire that specialises in child car seat design and development, received ERDF funding to help it undertake overseas research into compatibility with child seats and passenger-vehicles in the USA, Brazil and South Korea.
Christopher Raynor, head of JMDA CRS compatibility services, said “Having ERDF support is helping JMDA as it offers more services in new markets.
“I’d recommend all expanding international businesses to access this kind of support as it helps to have such funding when researching new markets – the costs involved can seem prohibitive to small firms. Overseas growth is essential to sustained expansion in a globalised world and small companies need to be able to research overseas markets in order to achieve this.”
The project is delivered by West Midlands Chambers of Commerce (WMCC) and funded as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 – 2020.
Allen Matty, managing director of WMCC, said success such as that experienced by Earthbound is being replicated across the region, thanks to their applications for match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £3,000.
Funding has also provided businesses with the chance to access sector expert events, such as Meet the Buyer, invitations to market visits to investigate potential business openings, and trade shows.
“We’ve seen some extremely positive results and business wins from local companies that have been able to take advantage of this grant scheme,” he said.
“With just eight months left of the ERDF funding scheme, we’d encourage any SME in the area that wants to export or grow overseas to consider applying for it. It’s not just a cash boost, it’s also about and accessing the specialist support they need and minimising the risks in overseas markets.”
SME IGP aims to support 550 businesses in the West Midlands with business advice, support, grants, and with job creation. 

Any business interested in applying for an ERDF SME IGP grant should complete an enrolment form at or get in touch with the team on or 0121 607 1770.