CUMBRIAN business leaders are being urged to apply for grant funding to help expand international operations.

The Department for International Trade’s Export Academy is offering a virtual training programme, ideal for small businesses, starting to sell internationally.

The academy starts today and will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm until 2pm for five weeks.

Sarah Peak, from the Department for International Trade North West, said: "The Internationalisation Fund is designed to support businesses looking to grow their international trade.

"SMEs can apply for match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 which will be available for proposed future activities (subject to eligibility).

"To secure a grant, the business will need to fund a proportion of the costs itself. This varies according to where your business is based and will be up to 50 per cent of the total cost."

The sessions look at: PR, Market Research, Consultancy on IPR, Translation / Cultural Advice, Social Media and SEO, Participation in trade shows, Market development including visits; Routes to Market, Overseas Business Environment / Due Diligence.

A separate face-to-face workshop will be held on March 22 in Kendal from 9am until 4.30pm for those that would prefer face to face interactions with the international trade advisors and to meet an export champion.

Insider media are also running a forum in conjunction with the DIT “Growth through Export” on January 26 from 11am until 12noon.

This is an ideal opportunity to listen to businesses in the North West discuss international expansion, from emerging markets to how to get the edge over your competitors.

For more information or to register visit North West Growth Through Export Forum (

To register for the Export Academy visit or email for more information.