Empowering Small Businesses: Exploring International Trade Centre (ITC) Grants

Small businesses and entrepreneurs have a vital role in the global economy. They drive innovation, create job opportunities, and contribute to economic growth. The International Trade Centre (ITC) understands the significance of empowering these entities and provides various grants to support and uplift small businesses.

Exploring International Trade Centre (ITC) Grants
Exploring International Trade Centre (ITC) Grants

These grants are specifically designed to boost international trade, strengthen export capacity, and encourage sustainable business practices.

Understanding International Trade Centre (ITC) Grants

ITC Grants are financial aid from the International Trade Centre (ITC) to small businesses and entrepreneurs. They promote international trade, enhance exports, and encourage sustainable business practices. As a collaboration between the WTO and the UN, the ITC recognizes small businesses’ significance in the global economy. These grants empower small enterprises by providing strategic guidance in international markets.

Benefits of ITC Grants for Small Businesses

The benefits of ITC Grants for small business include:

  • Small businesses can receive crucial financial support through ITC grants, which allows them to invest in market research, product development, and infrastructure needed for international trade.
  • ITC grants offer small businesses the opportunity to expand their presence in global markets, creating international trade partnerships and opening doors to new customers and opportunities.
  • The focus of ITC grants is to enhance the export capacity of small businesses by providing resources, training, and knowledge to navigate cross-border transactions and succeed in the competitive global marketplace.
  • ITC Grants promotes the integration of sustainable business practices, offering guidance on environmentally and socially responsible approaches for small businesses.
  • Small businesses that participate in ITC-supported initiatives gain access to a network of international partners, fostering collaboration and creating a platform for shared knowledge and experiences.

Eligibility Criteria

Small businesses that want to apply for ITC grants must meet certain eligibility criteria.  These eligibility include:

  • The size and stage of the business, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • The eligibility criteria may take into account the number of employees, annual revenue, and the stage of development of the business.
  • Another important consideration is the business’s involvement in international trade and export activities.
  • Small businesses that demonstrate a commitment to expanding globally are often given priority.
  • It’s also important for businesses applying for ITC grants to align with the goals of the ITC, which include promoting international trade, building export capacity, and adopting sustainable business practices.
  • Each ITC grant program may have specific requirements that need to be met, so small businesses should carefully review and ensure compliance with these guidelines.
  • Small businesses should clearly articulate their need for financial support and explain how the grant will impact their growth and success on an international scale.

Grant Amount and Benefits

The ITC Conference Manager must approve all grant applications. Successful ITC applicants attending a face-to-face conference can receive up to EUR 2000 in total, while those attending virtual conferences can receive up to EUR 500. The grant amount offered by the International Trade Centre (ITC) is tailored to meet the unique needs of small businesses involved in international trade, export capacity building, and sustainable business practices.

ITC Grants for Various Funding Opportunities

  • Export Development Grants: ITC offers financial assistance to small businesses to develop their export capabilities. This includes support for market research, product adaptation, and entry into new international markets.
  • Sustainable Business Grants: ITC provides grants to promote sustainable business practices. These opportunities help businesses adopt environmentally and socially responsible approaches to their operations.
  • Training and Capacity-Building Grants: ITC offers funding for training programs and capacity-building initiatives. These grants help small businesses acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the complexities of international trade successfully.
  • Market Access Grants: ITC provides funding to help businesses overcome barriers to market entry in specific regions. This includes financial support for regulatory compliance, certifications, and other factors affecting market access.
  • Technology and Innovation Grants: ITC offers grants to encourage technological innovation and adoption within small businesses, enhancing their competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Application Process

Applying for ITC Grants, a step-by-step guide:

  • Explore Available Grants: Go to the official ITC website and check out the different grant programs they offer. Find the grants that match your business goals and needs.
  • Review Guidelines and Eligibility: Carefully read through the guidelines and eligibility criteria for the specific grant you’re interested in. Make sure your business meets all the requirements set by the ITC.
  • Prepare Required Documents: Collect all the necessary documents, such as a detailed business plan, financial statements, project proposal, and any other paperwork mentioned in the application guidelines.
  • Complete the Application Form: Fill out the application form accurately and completely. Answer all the questions clearly and concisely, demonstrating a strong understanding of your business and how it aligns with the grant’s objectives.
  • Show the Need and Impact: Clearly explain why your business needs the grant and how it will contribute to your international trade goals, export capacity building, or sustainable business practices. Highlight the potential impact the grant will have on your business growth.
  • Submit Your Application: Submit your completed application through the designated online portal or submission method provided by the ITC. Make sure to attach all the required documents.
  • Confirmation and Follow-Up: If there is a confirmation or acknowledgement process, take note of it. Follow up to confirm that your application has been received and is being processed.

Tips for Successful Application

Tips and Advice for Creating a Strong Grant Application:

  • Gain a Thorough Understanding of the Grant: Take the time to familiarize yourself with the specific goals, priorities, and criteria of the grant program. This will allow you to tailor your application accordingly.
  • Address Eligibility Criteria: Make sure that your business meets all the eligibility criteria outlined by the ITC for the specific grant. Demonstrate your eligibility in your application.
  • Create a Compelling Proposal: Develop a clear and compelling proposal that outlines your business goals, the purpose of the grant, and how the funds will be utilized. Articulate the uniqueness and impact of your project.
  • Provide Detailed Budget Information: Clearly outline how you intend to use the grant funds. Provide a detailed budget, demonstrating transparency and responsible financial planning.
  • Demonstrate Alignment: Clearly show how your business aligns with the overarching goals and focus areas of the ITC grant program. Emphasize the synergy between your project and the grant’s objectives.
  • Present Your Application Professionally: Ensure that your application is presented in a professional and organized manner. Use clear formatting, correct grammar, and attention to detail.


Empowering small businesses through ITC grants is crucial for their growth and success in international trade. Small businesses should explore the opportunities provided by ITC grants, as they offer financial support, capacity building, and networking on a global scale. To take advantage of these grants, entrepreneurs should visit the official ITC website, review the guidelines, and submit a compelling application to position their business for success on the global stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for ITC to review grant applications?

The review process duration for ITC grant applications may vary depending on the specific grant program. To find out how long it takes, please refer to the guidelines or contact ITC for more information.

Is there mentorship included with ITC Grants?

Mentorship opportunities may be included in certain ITC grant programs. To find out if the specific grant you’re interested in offers mentorship, refer to its details for information on additional support.

Is there a limit on the number of ITC Grants I can apply for at the same time?

Different ITC Grants have different rules regarding simultaneous applications. It is recommended to read the guidelines of each grant program to understand whether or not you can apply for more than one grant at the same time.



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