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First-Time Exporters Accelerator: Eligibility Criteria

Are You Eligible?

To be eligible, participating businesses must:

  • Be an SME with less than 250 staff.
  • Have a minimum annual turnover of £50,000 and not exceeding £40 million per annum (or Euro Equivalent).
  • Be an indigenous business registered in Ireland or Northern Ireland.
  • Be active in the manufacturing or tradable services sectors. By tradable services, InterTradeIreland requires the business service to be delivered in the cross-border market, and not just to attract customers from the cross-border market to their service business in the home market (see list below of ineligible sectors).
  • Have a minimum 12 months trading history.
  • Have more than 75% of sales in their home market.
  • Have cross-border sales in the opposite jurisdiction of less than 7% of company turnover.
  • Be able to complete the First-Time Exporters Accelerator project within a maximum 6 months of approval.

Please note that securing a place on the First-Time Exporters Accelerator programme will be a competitive process. Consequently, satisfaction of the eligibility criteria for the programme does not guarantee that an application will be successful. Businesses must be able to demonstrate a product or service offering with a high probability of sales success in the cross-border market.

Ineligible Sectors

Businesses involved in: Wholesale & Retail; Personal Services; Distribution; Tourism; Hospitality; Primary Agriculture; and Professional Business Services are not eligible for assistance under this scheme.

Please Note: The funding for this programme is provided under the European Commission Regulation on De Minimis Aid or if applicable in accordance with Minimal Financial Assistance as detailed in the UK Subsidy Control Bill. The business must provide InterTradeIreland with details of all other De Minimis aid received in the last 3 years and if applicable the amounts of any subsidies received under Article 364(4) Minimal Financial Assistance of the subsidy control chapter of the TCA in the current and last 2 fiscal years. It should be noted that a false declaration by a business resulting in the De Minimis threshold of €300,000 being exceeded (or £315,000 in the case of Minimal Financial Assistance) could later give rise to the aid being recovered with interest. Please note, reduced De Minimis thresholds are in place for certain sectors. Companies are responsible for checking the De Minimis threshold for their sector and ensuring same is not exceeded.

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