UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is launching a programme to support young businesses looking to move into the export market, minister for trade and investment Francis Maude has announced.
The First Time Exporters initiative lays out a support package that includes advice and logistical help for both UK businesses looking to export and overseas companies bringing investment to the UK (see below for full details of the benefits on offer).
The announcement has been made to coincide with the start of Export Week 2015. The initiative will see over 1,500 businesses taking part in 70 events UK-wide aimed at inspiring them to start their export journey or increase their international business.
The programme will include practical workshops and masterclasses, exporting clinics with UKTI specialists and networking opportunities, as well as digital support services such as webinars and Twitter talks.
Potential exporters are also currently being offered a platform to showcase their business to the world at the Milan Expo 2015, which launched on 1 May.
As part of UKTI’s Grown in Britain global business programme, companies participating in Expo will be able to meet global buyers who have the potential to become valuable export partners.
UKTI aims that business activity linked to Milan Expo will deliver £1 billion economic benefit to the UK over time.
Maude said he hopes the First Time Exporters programme will “encourage more companies to take their first steps on the export journey and take advantage of the demand for British goods and services that exists overseas”.
“Last year we saw 48,000 companies draw on UKTI support; these businesses went on to create or safeguard 220,440 additional jobs. I would urge businesses of all sizes to use this opportunity to find out more about the services that are available to them through UKTI, regardless of their level of exporting experience,” he said
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The First Time Exporters initiative offers the following benefits:
A new cadre of 100 International Trade Advisors for First Time Exporters. These ITAs will provide new or inexperienced exporters with training, planning and support to grow their business overseas. They will help companies to get started in international trade, assess their export capability and develop it further, give them help and support to select and visit potential markets and save time and money. Specifically companies will be provided with a flexible programme of support, including:
· a detailed assessment of their readiness to export
· an action plan for export activity
· workshops on stages of exporting
· help with market research and visits to target markets
· event networking and tradeshow opportunities
· Export Savvy: To help companies take the first steps in exporting we are also offering an online tool, called Export Savvy. This offers companies a short 6 module programme to help them understand the basics of exporting
· Export Insight Visits: Export Insight Visits are trade missions that are part education part business. We take companies who are exporting for the first time to nearby markets where they are first made aware of UKTI’s offer and what an Embassy can do for them and are then walked through their first contacts with foreign buyers. The aim is to have 4/5 visits each with 25 companies spread evenly across the year.
· Digital Advisers: In addition to the FTE cadre of ITAs a separate team of 20 e-Exporting/Digital Advisors are being recruited. These e-exporting/Digital Advisors will be fully integrated into the ITA teams and will help First time Exporters to access digital markets
· Great British Store: This is a public/private initiative to provide a link between small, innovative UK producers and buyers, agents and retailers overseas. It will take the form of a website where UK companies can load a selection of their products that can be viewed by buyers in overseas markets.
· Global Events Programme: We are working on a new single integrated Global Events and Missions programme, bringing together the three current strands of TAP, Events & Missions, and Events Alliance, to be introduced from April 2016.