How to Access Trade Finance

A Guide for Exporting SMEs

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This guide helps small exporters understand how to obtain finance, outlining the credit process of financial institutions, pre-application preparation, finding appropriate lenders and loan repayment. Models for business plans and loan requests are included. The guide also examines barriers to finance for small firms, and what financial institutions perceive as lending risks.

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Understanding various financing instruments

After you have computed your financial needs, it is necessary to know whether you require short- or long-term financing to be able to decide where to source your funding and what financing instruments are most appropriate. There are formal and informal sources of finance. Informal sources are money-lenders, friends and relatives. Formal sources include banks; equity sources such as stock exchanges, venture capitalists and business angels; trade credits usually from suppliers or from purchasers; and government grants and aid. There are also a number of financing instruments that an SME can choose.

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