Help available for you


The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) provides tailored support packages for companies who are:

  • first time exporters (FTEs)

  • small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

  • medium-sized businesses (MSBs)

for further information.

In addition, the British Chamber of Business in Southern Africa (BCBSA) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to promote trade and commercial relations between the Southern African region and the UK. It is a British Chambers of Commerce accredited Chamber, part of the Overseas Business Networks initiative, a key programme of the British Government that intends to stimulate and strengthen international business networks and UK exports.

See: for further information.

The following details are a selection of support services for you:


Support from the Department for International Trade (DIT)

Business opportunities

If you are a UK-registered company you can benefit from a unique new five-year programme ‘Exporting is GREAT’, presenting real-time export opportunities that you can apply for online. This is part of the drive to significantly increase the number of UK companies exporting.

‘Exporting is GREAT’ is part of the UK Government’s GREAT campaign, and presents live export opportunities to UK businesses across a range of media outlets and digital channels. Hundreds of these export opportunities, with a potential total value of more than £300 million, are hosted on:

‘Exporting is GREAT’ provides business advice and expertise to support you at every step on your exporting journey, from initial interest to selling in-market and using the latest technology to connect these businesses with live export opportunities.

Selling online overseas

Use this service to help choose a suitable online marketplace to sell your products overseas.

You can:

  • find major online marketplaces in other countries

  • see whether these online marketplaces are suitable to sell your products

  • discover how to list your products on an online marketplace

  • get information about costs of listing on the marketplace and how logistics are fulfilled

  • access special terms negotiated by the UK Government

E-Exporting Programme

DIT’s E-Exporting Programme aims to help you get your brand to millions of global consumers and grow your business through online exports. DIT’s E-Exporting Programme helps you if you are a UK company:

  • new to selling online

  • already selling online, but need help with specific issues

  • experienced in online sales, but are looking to sell on multiple platforms globally

The programme enables you to:

  • arrange a free meeting through your local DIT office to get expert international trade advice and support, and access to DIT’s global network of contacts. See:

  • meet a Digital Trade Adviser where relevant, to help you develop and implement an international online strategy

  • set up e-marketplaces quickly and also identify new e-marketplaces around the world

  • access better-than-commercial rates to list on some e-marketplaces, including lower commission fees and ‘try for free’ periods. See:

  • access the ‘E-Expertise Bank’, a community of over 175 B2B/B2C service providers offering free advice. See:

  • join DIT’s mailing list for opportunities to hear from industry experts, network with like-minded individuals and find out about e-commerce trends

Find a Buyer service

This is the place to let international buyers know all about your business – highlight the vital facts about your company to give buyers confidence to get in touch; show off your company's experience and outstanding projects to give potential buyers more insight; get emails from international buyers straight to your sales or business development teams; see relevant government-supported export development events where overseas buyers will be attending. See:

Events and missions

Taking part in overseas exhibitions is an effective way for you to test markets, attract customers, appoint agents or distributors and make sales. DIT's Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) provides grant support for eligible SMEs to attend trade shows overseas.

Participation is usually as part of a group – a great advantage for inexperienced businesses – and is usually led by one of DIT's Accredited Trade Associations (ATOs). ATOs work with DIT to raise the profile of UK groups and sectors at key exhibitions. 

The DIT calendar of events has some 400 core events and missions, and 1,000 opportunities across the Trade Access Programme and the English national regions.

DIT Events Portal

The DIT Events Portal provides a single calendar view of all DIT events and missions, and has been developed to provide you with more-detailed information on each event in order to help you decide on the most appropriate event to attend. The calendar can be filtered and searched by sector and/or market.

There are also detailed events websites which include more information about each event, and also allow you to register for an event.

The DIT Events Portal is your central hub for business and networking opportunities. Search for future events and missions, register online and network with fellow delegates. See:

DIT webinars

The DIT webinar service runs hundreds of free hour-long internet events covering topics, sectors and countries around the world, helping you shape your export plan. 

These events allow you to interact with the experts in specific sectors and countries and allow you to ask questions to enhance your knowledge.

To see upcoming DIT webinars, please visit: and search for webinars.

DIT Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS)

You can also commission a DIT Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) to help you enter or expand your business in South Africa. Under this service, DIT’s Trade and Investment Advisers, who have wide local experience and knowledge, can identify business partners and provide the support and advice most relevant to your company's specific needs in South Africa. Contact the UK DIT team in Johannesburg for more information, at:

Other DIT services

DIT assists new and experienced exporters with information, help and advice on entering overseas markets such as South Africa. These services include:

  • an Export Health Check to assess your company’s readiness for exporting and help develop a plan of action

  • training in the requirements for trading overseas

  • access to an experienced local International Trade Adviser

  • help to grow your business through online exports

  • specialist help with tackling cultural issues when communicating with South African customers and partners

  • advice on how to go about market research and the possibility of a grant towards approved market-research projects

  • ongoing support to help you continue to develop overseas trade, and look at dealing with more-sophisticated activities or markets

  • information, contacts, advice, mentoring and support from DIT staff in the UK and their network of staff in South Africa

  • support to participate in trade fairs in South Africa

  • opportunities to participate in sector-based trade missions and seminars

  • access to major buyers, local government and supply chains in South Africa

  • advice on forming international joint ventures and partnerships

  • exploratory visits to South Africa

  • alerts to the latest and best business opportunities

To find out more about commissioning any of these services, contact a DIT Export Adviser at:  for a free consultation, or see further details at:

In-market support

If you already export, and have decided South Africa is part of your business strategy, you are advised to contact the DIT team in Johannesburg prior to your visit, to discuss your objectives and what help you may need. See:

They can provide a range of South Africa-specific services for you, including the provision of market information, validated lists of agents/potential partners, key market players or potential customers; establishing interest from such contacts; and arranging in-market appointments for you. In addition, they can also organise events for you to meet contacts in South Africa, or to promote your company and your products/services.

[Source – DIT/]


Support from the British Chamber of Business in Southern Africa

The British Chamber of Business in Southern Africa offers a bespoke service to UK companies to facilitate and support their business development in Southern Africa. Their trade service desk will be happy to give you more information on the services they provide, including:

  • market entry consultancy & support

  • contact identification and introduction service

  • company background checks

  • professional business & sector services

  • access to the British Business Centre

  • media & marketing services

  • information on regional business opportunities

For more information on how the British Chamber of Business in Southern Africa can help you, or on becoming a member, contact:

[Source – British Chamber of Business in Southern Africa]


Support from the Institute of Export & International Trade

Raising the profile of international trade qualifications and experienced members is only part of how IOE&IT membership is essential for any individual or business involved with global trade.

Importantly, the IOE&IT also offer access to a unique range of benefits and services specific to international trade: 

  • Help with any export issues you come across. Our team of experts can help with questions on documentation, export controls, the UK Bribery Act, customs & VAT procedures, regulatory and compliance issues, insurance issues, payment terms, transport and logistics. Members get free access to our experts via a technical helpline. See:

  • A voice for your ideas and concerns. We represent your point of view and feed back to government, HMRC and other influencing bodies on issues that impact you, plus participate in Institute responses to central government with regard to proposed legislative changes.

  • A complete range of international trade qualifications – for those that have no experience, up to those who wish to qualify themselves to take a business degree. The Institute's qualifications are widely recognised as providing both employers and employees with the necessary international business practice linked to satisfying career planning and development. See:

  • A range of short courses giving you the skills and expertise you need to gain a competitive advantage in the challenging and complex world of export, import and international trade. See:

  • An extensive events programme to help you share information and connect at every level in the international trade community, whether it is sector-specific or regional. See:

  • Inclusion in surveys to research the attitudes and changes to world trade

For more information on how the IOE&IT can help you, or on becoming a member, contact the IOE&IT at:

Open to Export

Open to Export is the IOE&IT’s free, online advice service for UK companies looking to grow internationally. It offers free information and support on anything to do with exporting and hosts online discussions via its forum, webinars and social media, where businesses can ask any export question, and learn from each other.

Open to Export can be accessed at:

[Source – Institute of Export & International Trade]


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