Propel Programme

If you want to expand your business overseas, our Graduate to Export programme can provide the support to achieve this growth.

The Graduate to Export programme aims to help companies with their ambitious growth plans by providing financial support to employ a graduate for eighteen months to take forward a market research project that targets a specific market outside Northern Ireland.

How does it work ?

If your application is successful, you will receive salary support to employ the graduate of 50% (up to a maximum of £18,000 for the eighteen month programme) and export skills training and mentorship for the graduate provided by Ulster University and the Institute of Export.

Graduates spend the first 6 months of the programme in Northern Ireland getting to know your business and starting the training programme. The following 12 months are spent in the export market undertaking the market research project with full support from your company, along with academic and company mentors.


The benefits and eligibility criteria

Check out below how it will benefit your company and if you are eligible

How it will benefit your company ?  

At the end of the 18 month programme period your company will have:

  • Secured a deep understanding of the target export market
  • Received a comprehensive market research project / market entry plan for a target market outside Northern Ireland
  • The opportunity to identify a high calibre graduate, paving the way for the future talent of your business
Is your company eligible ?  

The programme is open to Invest NI customers who:

  • Can clearly identify a specific market research project that is aligned to the company’s strategic marketing plan. This must be either a new product or service in a new market, an existing product / service in a new market or a new product / service in an existing market
  • Are undertaking a market research project / market entry plan for a target market outside of Northern Ireland. Projects based in Great Britain or the Republic of Ireland are eligible under this programme
  • Can demonstrate that the project is sufficient to require the creation of an entry level graduate
  • Can demonstrate that they have the commitment and resources to participate fully in the programme
  • Have appropriate infrastructure in the target market to support the graduate whilst they are overseas

Whilst this programme is targeted at SMEs, large companies may also apply.

For more information read our Graduate to Export guidance notes (PDF)

How to apply ?

For more information please contact your Invest NI Client Executive.

The application process is now closed.


Hear about how the programme works

The Application process is now closed.

Our new Graduate to Export Programme will, as part of our International Strategy, enhance the capability of companies in Northern Ireland to export into new markets around the world. Open to all graduates and fully funded by Invest NI, participants will develop comprehensive international marketing and export skills through the training and mentoring provided by our programme delivery partners, Ulster University and the Institute of Export.

- Steve Harper, Executive Director, International Business