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Trade Ready: overview

At the EBRD, we are helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access trade finance and business advice to unleash their international trade potential.

Through Trade Ready, our new trade support initiative, we provide SMEs with advice in a wide range of areas to make them more competitive at home and abroad, as well as offering training in trade finance and networking opportunities to help them engage in more and better export and import activities. With more knowledge and information, SMEs can exercise much greater choice when it comes to the financing options available to them for their trade activities.

Increasing know-how

SMEs need access to know-how to improve or expand their trade activities, commercial knowledge or to launch into new markets. As well as training SMEs in trade finance, we connect them with local consultants and international advisers who can help transform a huge range of businesses.

Whether it is assessing how ready the business or the products are to export, identifying the best foreign markets to target or develop the right export strategy, or even improving the efficiency and quality of operations, we can help SMEs ensure that their products are competitive internationally.

We know it can be hard to find the right advice. That is why we work closely with our network of local consultants to help them improve their know-how and build their skills in the area of trade finance. Our aim is to build a strong, competitive market for trade finance advice in each country that will thrive long into the future.

We also create opportunities for SMEs to connect and network with important partners, such as transport and logistics companies or foreign chambers of commerce.

Access to trade finance

Securing financing is one of the biggest challenges for SMEs. We can help them to attract investment by creating solid business plans, undertaking feasibility studies or raising their accounts to international standards, improving their corporate governance and managing their growth.

Many SMEs are unaware of the benefits of trade finance and how accessible it can be. Trade Ready can help businesses understand the many advantages of trade finance instruments offered by local banks, especially in reducing the risks involved in foreign trade and freeing up working capital for growth investments.

Trade Ready also works with local banks, through the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme to help them tailor and expand their trade finance products to the needs of SMEs, diversifying their trade finance portfolio in the process.

Check the list of local banks in your country that are part of the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme.

Policy dialogue

We know that the challenges facing SMEs involved in trade are complex. For this reason, we interact with policymakers, sharing our legal and economic expertise through policy dialogue to help improve the business environment and promote systemic change so economies can thrive in the long term.

Where legal and regulatory barriers limit SME access to trade finance, we work to remove these obstacles – for example, through establishing best practice legal frameworks for leasing, factoring and collateral management.