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Brexit Grant Support

At Adlantic, we are constantly on the lookout for new ways to help businesses avoid Brexit paralysis with a Brexit Impact Plan. Today, we’re putting 5 of the best grants available to SMEs in the spotlight. In uncertain times the temptation is to consolidate and wait out the storm, but with the right support you can actually improve your company’s future.

These grants present a unique opportunity for businesses across the British Isles to get the finance and support they need to maintain or accelerate growth during the Brexit process.

Scottish Enterprise’s Support For Brexit Grant

Small to medium sized companies based in Scotland can apply for anything between £2,000 and £4,000 from Scottish Enterprise to help them prepare for Brexit.

If you are VAT registered, have less than 250 employees and turnover less than 50 million Euros, then you qualify! We recommend you take a look at the list of what the grant can be used for on their website – the options include consultancy services, exploring supply chain opportunities and international travel in order to react to customer issues.

NBSL’s Brexit Preparation Fund

The Brexit Preparation Fund is for companies based in North East England. To qualify, you must be a trading SME based in either Northumberland, Tyne & Wear or County Durham.

What funding you will receive depends on where your company is based. Those located in Northumberland or Tyne & Wear can apply for up to 35% funding on projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000. Companies from County Durham, meanwhile, can receive up to 40% funding for projects of £2,500 to £8,000. That money can be utilised for export planning consultancy, marketing collateral for overseas client targeting or risk assessment.

Invest Northern Ireland’s Brexit Preparation Grant

Financial assistance is also available to companies from Northern Ireland in the form of the Brexit Preparation Grant, offering up to £50,000 at a rate of up to 50%. You can put that funding to work in staff redeployment, office rental outside the UK, or specialist consultation.

The grant is only available to existing Invest Northern Ireland customers, and they have very clear criteria on what it takes to join. They are looking for ambitious, hungry companies with a track record of success and a strong vision of the future.

Business Wales’ Brexit Resilience Fund

This Brexit grant offers eligible businesses between £10,000 and £100,000 of funding up to 50% of project costs. Funding is to be used to develop capacity, improve processes, retain competitiveness, safeguard jobs and guarantee trade flows.

You are eligible for the funding if your business is registered to trade in Wales, you register with Business Wales and complete their Brexit Toolkit, can demonstrate that the funding will help to safeguard jobs, and have been trading for at least 12 months.

Enterprise Ireland’s Be Prepared Grant

Funding isn’t just available for companies in the UK. Brexit will obviously impact the Republic of Ireland as well, so businesses there should seek grant assistance as well.

The Be Prepared Grant offers up to €5,000 to assist in developing a strategic response to Brexit. That can include anything from new market research to writing up a worst case scenario plan. To qualify, you need to first register as an Enterprise Ireland client; be directly or indirectly exposed to the UK market; and must fill out their Brexit scorecard.

If you think you qualify for any of these grants, and believe that Brexit is already impacting your business, then contact Adlantic today. Not only can we can guide you through the process of your grant application, but we provide global market insights and consultancy which can shape your strategy for growth in a post-Brexit world.

4 Tips For Preparing For Brexit

Last week, Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said small businesses are “paralysed by the looming possibility of a no deal Brexit.”

And now, the CBI have predicted that business spending in the UK is set to decline by about 1.3% in 2019 compared to 2018. That’s the steepest drop in business spending since the recession in 2009.

Look at the graph below. You can see that the overwhelming trend since 2014 is a decrease in investment from UK businesses. The CBI believe that continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit is “crippling UK business investment“.

UK Business Spending
Source: Office For National Statistics

Slip lane ahead!

On the flip side, if we do get an ‘orderly’ Brexit deal ratified by October 2019, then the CBI group predicts GDP growth of 1.4% this year and 1.5% in 2020.

Fasten your seatbelts, we’re in for a bumpy ride

There is no doubt that we are facing a rocky road head (and not the tasty chocolatey kind). The steady flow of negative headlines are important because they help to lobby our ‘would be leader’ to get a favourable Brexit trade deal.

However, it’s important to compartmentalise the headlines and avoid paralysis.

Leaders of businesses big and small recognise that they must take responsibility for growth and find new market opportunities both here in the UK and abroad.

4 tips to avoid paralysis

What should you do to avoid a rabbit in the headlights situation?

1. Prepare either way

There are a ton of great resources out there to help you prepare for Brexit. Many include a useful Prepare For Brexit Checklist.

Consider how a no deal could influence everything from your workforce’s sustainability, health and safety regulations, the manufacturing process, or cross border trade.

Draw up a plan of what could happen and what you will do if there is a deal, no deal, or even no Brexit.

We recommend you look at these resources to help you prepare. Consider approaching your local chamber of commerce who may also be able to provide more support.

2. Adopt a growth mindset

What is your current penetration of the UK market? Can you win new business from the UK? How well connected are you to your business network? For domestic growth it is vital that SMEs are connected and servicing each other across the UK.

Consider boosting your networking locally by looking at membership of networks such as your local Chamber of Commerce. Nationally, attend events and conference focused on the needs of your target sectors.

3. Expand internationally

If the domestic market is going to see your business stagnate or even shrink, look elsewhere for growth – especially if your product or service is digital or easy to export.

The ASEAN region, for example, is fast becoming a major economic force in Asia and potentially a good territory to look for international sales to buck Brexit!

Spread your risk by expanding internationally. Before you spend a penny on marketing or sales do your research on the international markets that are best suited to your product or service.

Adlantic’s international market analysts can help you discover where demand for your product or service is highest around the globe. Bolstered with competitor insights in each territory and an expected return on marketing investment, making a decision on which markets to enter is a lot easier.

4. Optimise marketing spend

If you already run marketing campaigns on networks sch as Google Ads, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn we recommend an audit of your spend, campaign structure, bids and competitor auctions.

Adlantic offer a free PPC insights report to review your ads landing pages, and lead nurturing system so you can optimise and increase your return on marketing investment. Adlantic can help you get all three running like a well oiled machine so that every possible lead converts to a sale.

Now is not the time to hesitate. Put your plans in to place sooner rather than later, and give them your all. That means tightening up every process to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Are we ready for Brexit? As a nation, probably not. But as a business? There’s no reason you can’t be.

Whilst Brexit squeezes UK growth, Adlantic’s most determined clients are focused on striking new international deals of their own.

Our response at Adlantic to the political jostling at Westminster is “Buck Brexit”. Well, we might have said something slightly stronger… But we’re flipping it around to turn economic lemons into lemonade.

We’re helping clients with the ambition, stamina and foresight to build their sales pipeline to do just that, both at home and abroad. There’s a whole world of customers out there and Adlantic PPC’s expertise in digital lead generation can help fill your sales pipeline with leads locally, nationally and internationally.

Economic Impact of Brexit on UK

According to Goldman Sachs, Britain’s exit from the European Union has already cost the economy around £600 million per week since the 2016 referendum. Yes, you read that right: per week.

The Goldman Sachs report also found our economy had lost nearly 2.5% of GDP at the end of last year, compared to its growth path prior to the mid-2016 vote on exiting the bloc.

Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor says the ‘Brexit effect’ has hampered the UK economy and our economy is now 1% smaller than predicted before the EU vote.

We could go on, but maybe it’s time for some blue sky thinking. Wherever you sit on the Brexit argument, it’s clear that business owners can’t and won’t sit on their hands. It’s time to buck the trend and look internationally for growth.

Where will global growth come from?

According to the IMF, the global economy is projected to grow at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020.

Let’s look at countries providing the greatest contribution to this growth.

The chart below shows that the emerging and developing countries of Asia (including China and India) are good regions to focus on for business growth.

Global Economic Growth
Source: IMF 2019

The data from the IMF shows where economic growth is happening using purchasing power parity and compares the share of global GDP taken by these regions over time.

In terms of share of Global GDP growth (PPP) the forecasts for 2019 show China having 33% of global growth, Other Asia (inc India and Indonesia) 29%, United States 11%, the Euro Area 4% and the United Kingdom 1% in 2019.

Should you look beyond the EU to fill your sales pipeline?

In a word. Yes. The numbers above speak for themselves.

Let’s examine the international opportunities outwith the EU, towards Asia. In particular, we think that the ASEAN region (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – is ripe for UK business.

Why? Two simple reasons. The economies in the region are growing rapidly and the working language is English. If the ASEAN region were a country it would be the world’s fifth-largest economy.

According to the latest IMF’s World Economic Outlook figures, ASEAN countries’ gross domestic products combined to $2.73 trillion in 2017, putting the group ahead of the UK’s 2.63 trillion and India’s $2.61 trillion.

Singapore is listed as an advanced economy according to the IMF and Indonesia and Malaysia are not far behind. Bloomberg forecast that Indonesia’s economy will be the 4th largest in the world by 2030, while Malaysia is predicted to gain High-Income Nation status in the next five years according to the World Bank.

English is the primary language used for business in the ASEAN region. Compare that to the 24 official working languages recognised by the EU and the region becomes pretty attractive in terms of ease of doing business.

Before you start marketing or selling your services overseas it’s really important to research which markets make most sense for you. Which markets have the most demand for your particular service or product?

Adlantic works with clients in many different sectors who could benefit from international expansion. The UK tech industry, for example, is perfectly poised to make the leap abroad, as our research below demonstrates.

Opportunity for digital technology businesses to expand internationally

Banking on technology as a future growth sector is a no brainer. According to CompTIA, the global tech industry is projected to grow 4% this year alone to $5 trillion.

Britain has a global reputation for innovation and best practice. A turnover of £184 billion, makes our digital technology sector the third largest in the world.

Furthermore, it’s a lot easier to export digital services, software and technology than perishables. Reaching new customer segments, international markets and launching new products in emerging technology areas will help business leaders drive growth.

We’ve examined the tech industry to discover which sub sectors are gaining the most interest and growth online. Below you can see how interest in Vertical Farming, Fintech, IoT Devices and Software as a Service (SaaS) has grown steadily since 2004, with a dramatic upturn in the last three years.

Global Tech Sectors
Source: Google Trends

Which markets have high demand for technology?

Looking at the international data from Google we can see that after the UK, USA and India (the countries with the highest user search requests) the online demand for our selected sub sectors is high in the ASEAN+3 region.

Using Google Ads keyword planner tool we can see the searches or estimated impressions for the sub categories for the next quarter, July to September 2019. This is a strong online indicator for market demand and overall opportunity size.

Demand For Tech
Source: Google Trends

Next, let’s see how competitive the markets are by reviewing the pricing, average cost per click for one of the sub sectors, SaaS.

CPC For SaaS Technology
Source: Google Ads

How does Adlantic PPC help you find customers overseas?

Adlantic use Google data and our International Predictor IP to sniff out the international demand for your products and services. By comparing that to the competitiveness of supply, we can determine how cost effective ads in those regions will be.

Looking at click through rate and conversion metrics, we can predict for you how many customers your budget will convert, and calculate your market share. Before you’ve spent a penny on marketing, you’ll have a detailed picture of the attractiveness of any new market.

We then put the digital advertising plan into action with advanced Pay Per Click and Conversion Rate Optimisation campaigns to help you advertise effectively in a new country. Adlantic is also able to nurture leads on your behalf or help you build a boots on the ground sales team.

If all goes to plan, then hey presto! You’ll be enjoying the boost in customers and revenue that comes with successfully penetrating a new international market.

What are you waiting for?

As we speak, the UK’s political leaders are all shrugging their shoulders over the Brexit conundrum. Meanwhile, we are striving to put our clients head and shoulders above the competition.

Our entire agency ethos is to help ambitious businesses grow in new and exciting regions. Using powerful data insights and internal forecasting tools, we can tell you where your customers are, how many there are, and what it takes to get in front of them.

Get in touch with Adlantic today, and we can #BuckBrexit together.

buck the trend – definition
to be obviously different from the way that a situation is developing generally, especially in connection with financial matters:
Adlantic PPC clients buck the trend of slow sales growth during Brexit negotiations

Reuters, Brexit Uncertainty Has Cost Britain £600 Million A Week – Goldman Sachs
IMF, World Economic Outlook Database
Post Magazine, Speaking In Tongues: Why ASEAN Members Stick To English
Bloomberg, These Could Be The World’s Biggest Economies By 2030
New Straits Times, Malaysia To Reach High-Income Status Between 2020 and 2024: World Bank
Singapore Business Review, Thailand Leads IoT Learning In The ASEAN
CompTia, IT Industry Outlook 2019
KPMG, ASEAN Business Guide
Gov. Technology

South Korea Haeundae District - Image for Brexit Deal With UK

If you export cars, fuel or Scotch whisky it’s a positive step towards continuity of trade. For those with creative technologies such as FinTech, AI solutions, cloud computing, IoT and software there are new opportunities in South Korea and the wider ASEAN+3 region.

Undoubtedly, Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary, will be glad to have signed Britain’s first major trade deal in Asia since the vote to leave the EU.

One down… forty or so to go!

In 2018, Britain exported around £8.2bn worth of goods to South Korea, putting them at 15th in our list of top trading partners in terms of export sales.

Signing the deal with the South Korean trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee, in Seoul this week is clearly an important milestone for continuity of trade in a post Brexit world.

Just take a look at the bump in the graph below. It shows the value of trade between the UK and South Korea has more than doubled since 2011.

UK Trade With South Korea (ONS 2019)
UK Trade With South Korea (ONS 2019)

The deal with South Korea

The agreement pretty much replicates the preferential terms Britain gets with South Korea through the European Union, including keeping zero-tariffs on South Korean exports such as car parts.

That’s good news for British car manufacturers who have seen significant demand for British cars in South Korea. In fact car exports were up by a third to £943m in 2018.

Britain is Korea’s second-largest trade partner in the EU, with trade between the two countries totaling 14-point-five trillion won last year.

It’s positive for whisky producers in Scotland too. Karen Betts, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association says that South Korea was worth £70m in shipments last year. That’s some 1.2bn bottles of Scotch whisky powering their way across the ocean to South Korea.

Of course, this is just the start. You’d expect the Department of International Trade must be super busy right now given the EU accounts for 30 percent of global whisky exports and 52 percent of UK-built vehicle exports.

This chart displays Percentage of United Kingdom Exports By Country (US Dollars), according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

Technology opportunities in South Korea

Currently the 12th largest economy in the world, South Korea leads the world in terms of broadband internet penetration and is home to huge conglomerates including Samsung, Hyundai, LG and SK.

When it comes to ease of doing business, South Korea ranks 4th in the world and has a highly educated population, ranking 1st amongst OECD countries for the proportion of 25 to 35 year olds with tertiary education.

The explosion in data from converged wireless and wired networks, emergence of IoT, cloud computing, big data and AI has created opportunities in next generation networks, security, devices and IoT equipment.

According to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, South Korea is actively driving the creation of new markets and jobs by applying new software services and technologies to diverse industries.


  • AI Solutions
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Fintech services and software
  • Smart Healthcare
  • Regulatory technology solutions in the finance sector
  • Biohealth
  • Online to offline (O2O) such as omni-channels, payment and settlement systems and beacon businesses
  • Lifecycle management
  • Collection of complex data

Demand volumes for tech in ASEAN+3

The following tables gives you an indication of reach for various technologies in the ASEAN+3 region.

The data is sourced from Google Ads and provides monthly online search demand for opportunities across the ASEAN+3 trading region which includes South Korea, Japan and China as well as the ASEAN countries.

Monthly Search Impressions Forecast for ASEAN+3 (1 Jul to 30 Sep 2019)

Technology TypeEstimated Impressions
Data analytics721,195
Internet of Things (IoT)159,879
Cloud computing153,432
HR Software118,405
Project Management Software92,247
Infrastructure as a service 8,615
AI Solutions1,816
Basic English Grammar1,445

South Korea

Focusing on the Republic of Korea (South Korea), the technologies with higher demand metrics target in terms of demand on the Google search engine include; FinTech, cloud computing, project management software, HR software and payroll software.

In terms of Korean regions to target; Seol, Gyeonggi-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do are where most of the demand is, although 18% comes from outwith the top 5 city regions.

Top Regions For Creative Technologies By PPC Cost

Google is not the only player in South Korea. Naver and Daum are also popular although Google is increasingly being used and now has approximately 76% search engine market share in the Republic of Korea.

Search Engine Market Share – Republic of Korea May 2019
Source: Statcounter

While the UK is trying to get post-Brexit trade deals over the line, why not sign a few international deals of your own? If you are looking to reach customers in the ASEAN+3 region Adlantic can help.

Adlantic can provide insights on online market demand, average cost per click and your average cost per lead acquisition in the ASEAN+3 region.

We specialise in analysing international market attractiveness for clients, and managing the PPC / CRO campaigns that turn forecasts into sales results.


KBS World Radio, S. Korea, Britain Reach Agreement on Post-Brexit FTA
World’s Top Exports, United Kingdom’s Top Trading Partners
ONS, Who does the UK trade with?
Scotch Whisky Association, Scotch Whisky Exports on the up in 2018
The Guardian, UK and South Korea agree to sign post-Brexit trade deal
CIA, The World Factbook
Trading Economics, United Kingdom Exports By Country
The World Bank Group, Doing Business 2018 Report
IMF, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Country Rank by GDP