One of the keys to succeeding in business is scaling your product or service optimally and tapping into new potential markets. Even if what you are selling is a niche offering (of potential appeal to just a particular segment of the market), this niche may exist outside of your own country.

For example, if your primary product is sails for sailboats, that’s a select group of people who would be interested in what you have to offer. In terms of the overall population, there are very few who are sailboat owners, and most of them would be in just the coastal areas of your country. But you can find this narrow market segment in other countries as well. Once you’re well established with your domestic sales, you may find that it makes sense to look into exporting your products.

Fortunately, if you decide to explore this option, you’ll have a lot of support. There are plentiful government grants to encourage business owners to enter the export market. These government grants cover a wide range of ways to help you explore overseas markets. There are some that help you learn about the process and explore the feasibility. The government recognizes that there can be barriers to entering the export market, both in practical matters and in the fact that it can be a little intimidating to jump into something that’s so new and different, so they have funding to help ease you into the process.

You may get government grant money to attend events such as trade shows and expos so that you can network and meet potential trading partners from around the globe. In fact, some students of mine received a significant grant to attend an international food show held in Paris, which really helped them with both their domestic and international operations and contacts.

The government grants may also be in the form of short-term, low-interest or zero-interest loans for the purpose of taking advantage of acquiring inventory or taking advantage of an immediate opportunity. Alternatively, the government grant may be in the form of incentives or tax credits for companies to explore or engage in export activities.

The reason that government grants exist to encourage export activities is that many elected officials, economists, financial industry leaders, and other influential people consider it to be essential to the economic wellbeing of a country to have a healthy, balanced level of trade with other countries. Having a thriving trade relationship with another country also helps keep diplomatic relations on a more even keel, especially when there’s a mutual need at stake.

Small business owners can cumulatively make a big contribution to international trade, so you can see why there are generous government grants to encourage export activities. It’s of great benefit in a number of different ways, to many different people, which is one of the primary reasons that government grants exist.