If you’re interested in exploring the opportunities that exporting presents, or are already in the exporting business, financial help up to the value of £1 million may be at hand in the form of the Export Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme. The Export Enterprise Finance Guarantee (ExEFG) is a government scheme, which supports finance for export purposes that is not covered by the standard Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme. The scheme was launched on 28 April 2011 as a pilot scheme and is expected to be reviewed at end of the year. The scheme works by providing accredited lenders a 60% guarantees from the Government to facilitate lending to small and medium-sized businesses in order to help them win or perform specific export contracts. The ExEFG covers traditional lending facilities, including: lines of trade credit bonds and guarantees invoice financing. The ExEFG enables accredited lenders to provide export finance facilities of between £25,001 and £1 million for terms of up to two years. It is aimed specifically at small and medium-sized exporters who require an export finance facility, but have insufficient security available to secure the borrowing facility under the lender’s normal credit criteria. Is your business eligible? ExEFG supports lending to viable SMEs, with an annual turnover of up to £25 million, seeking export finance facilities of between £25,001 and £1 million. It is available to businesses in all sectors. To be successful with the application, businesses will need to have a credible plan of how they intend to export overseas. How to apply If you believe that you may fit the ExEFG eligibility criteria and wish to access export finance, you should approach one or more of the participating lenders: Barclays HSBC Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest Santander. The lender will assess your business against their normal commercial lending criteria. There is no automatic entitlement to receive a guaranteed loan and decision-making on individual facilities is fully delegated to participating lenders. Further help and information Further details on the EFG scheme and the application progress can be found on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website or by contacting a participating bank. As well as the ExEFG, the Government have launched three other initiatives to support exporters: Export Working Capital scheme – for those who require more money than that covered by the ExEFG, the Government will offer export finance guarantees worth over £1 million under this scheme. Bond Support Scheme – the Government will help businesses to raise bonds for overseas contracts by sharing risk with lending banks. The Short-term Credit Insurance Policy has been extended to protect small and medium-sized businesses against the risk of non-payment by customers in emerging markets. General advice for business seeking to export is available from the UK Trade & Investment website.
If you’re interested in exploring the opportunities that exporting presents, or are already in the exporting business, financial help up to the value of £1 million may be at hand in the form of the Export Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme.