Support International Business - SIB
Are you an entrepreneur with the ambition and capacity to expand to international markets? Do you already know which market suits your product or service? Then apply for the Support International Business (SIB) subsidy. With this scheme, you can finance various activities that help you take the next step in international trade.
What is SIB?
You can use the Support International Business (SIB) subsidy to finance activities to improve your business chances in a specific country.
Activities you can apply the subsidy to
SIB Collective activity
Along with other companies, you can participate in a trade mission or trade fair in a specific country to promote your product or service to potential customers. The collective activity also lets you connect with possible trading partners and investors.
- Read the conditions and apply for SIB Collective activity.
SIB Individual trade fair participation
You can participate in a trade exhibition in a country of your choice to promote your product or service to potential customers. Trade fair participation allows you to connect with possible trading partners and investors.
- Read the conditions and apply for SIB Individual trade fair participation.
SIB Market entry
With the help of a local expert, you will start new trade activities in your target country. These activities help position your product or service. The expert introduces you to local stakeholders.
- Read the conditions and apply for SIB Market entry.
With the support of a coach, you will learn how to organise exports to your target country. You can discuss the questions that might arise with your coach. After coaching, you will have enough knowledge to write an export plan and deal with other export-related subjects.
- Read the conditions and apply for SIB Coaching.
SIB Knowledge and skills
You will learn about your target country's judicial and fiscal situation with an expert. An expert can also conduct market research about a specific sector in the target country. Or you can follow a training course to improve your knowledge on doing international business in a specific country.
- Read the conditions and apply for SIB Knowledge and skills.
SIB Alternative markets
Is your business affected by the war in Ukraine and the resulting trade sanctions against Russia or other trade restrictions? You can use this subsidy to look for a replacement export market.
- Read the conditions and apply for SIB Alternative markets.
Extra grant for 'green' SIB activities
Are you going to take part in a 'green' fair or mission? From 2023, you can apply for an extra SIB subsidy. If your activity meets our conditions, the subsidy can amount to 80% of the eligible costs, up to €2,500.
We require the central theme of the fair or mission to address one of the 'green' goals categories (see the pdf in Dutch below) from the 'Green Missions or Fairs Assessment Framework'.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean territories can apply for the SIB subsidy. You must already know which foreign market you want to export your product or service to. Also, you must show that you have the capacity and ambition to take the next step in expanding your business internationally.
The total budget is €3,000,000.
The subsidy covers 50% of expenses up to a maximum of:
- €1,000 for SIB Coaching
- €1,500 for SIB Collective activity (for trade missions)
- €2,500 for SIB Collective activity (for trade fairs)
- €2,500 for other SIB activities.
How it works
Before applying for a SIB subsidy, please check which activity best suits your business needs. You can then:
- Look for an external consultant who can help you with your activity.
- After finding a suitable consultant, submit your subsidy application.
- Include a quotation and the consultant's CV with your application.
- Within 13 weeks of your submission, you will know whether you are eligible for the grant.
- Make sure you have not made any commitments before submitting a grant application.
- Read the legislation and regulations carefully for the (additional) conditions.
- You must first apply for the subsidy, then carry out the activity. You cannot apply for the subsidy after carrying out the activity.
Changes to the previous SIB programme
From 1 April 2022, SIB changed from a voucher system to a subsidy. If you apply after 1 April 2022, you can get a subsidy if you meet the conditions.
Were you using SIB before 1 April 2022, and do you have a SIB voucher? You can still transfer and redeem the voucher within the applicable period.
Legislation and regulations
- Reopening subsidy scheme Support International Business (Staatscourant, 22 November 2022, in Dutch)
- Decision and policy subsidy scheme Support International Business (Staatscourant, 31 March 2022, in Dutch)
CSR guidelines for SIB vouchers
The Dutch government finds it essential that Dutch companies serve as examples of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). CSR means taking responsibility for the impact of your business on the environment, society, and employees while striving for economic success. If you receive financial support from the government to do business abroad, we expect you to do so responsibly.
Risks and opportunities
We look at both risks and opportunities for Responsible Business Conduct:
- Risks include social and environmental risks to your activities abroad and ways to prevent of reduce them.
- Opportunities include contributing to one or more Sustainable Development Goals.
If you want to apply for a SIB voucher, the following CSR guidelines apply:
- OEC guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
These also apply to Dutch SMEs and local companies that receive funding from the Dutch government.
- FMO Exclusion list
Activities on this list are nog eligible for SIB vouchers.
- OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains
Does your project deal with animal welfare? If so, you must follow these guidelines.
- Gender equality
SIB follows our gender implementation policy.
CSR and your application
- In the application form, we will ask you to agree to follow the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
- Our project advisor will check your application for activities on the FMO exclusion list.
- We urge you to take CSR measures into account. Also, to include CSR in the development of our action plans for market research and market entry.
Read more on CSR and how you can integrate CSR in your organisation.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs