The IOE has been celebrating and participating in the dynamic Exporting is GREAT campaign during Export Week which aims to support SMEs trading internationally – whether as new starters or established players.
The week-long series of ‘Explore Export’ events have been spearheaded by UK Trade & Investment and are integral to the Government’s five year Exporting is GREAT scheme.
The Institute’s Director of Special Projects, Mike Josypenko, was a keynote speaker at the session at Cardiff’s Swalec Stadium and IOE Director General Lesley Batchelor and team members supported additional events across the UK.
The Export Week campaign was launched at the Sage in Gasteshead by Minister for Trade, Lord Francis Maude.
Making a rousing call to action for businesses to harness the wealth of opportunities in international trade, Lord Maude said: “We are confident that through Exporting is GREAT; by raising awareness of and providing access to these opportunities, together with giving companies the practical advice and guidance they need, we will inspire and support thousands of new companies in the exciting new venture of selling overseas.”
As the founding partner of Open to Export – which helps UK businesses prepare to sell overseas by giving them free access to online information, support and advice – the IOE was delighted also support Open to Export’s official launch of its new, free of charge online Export Action Plan at the ‘Explore Export’ sessions.
The latest addition to Open to Export’s online offering, the step-by-step Export Action Plan – now accessible on Open to Export’s recently upgraded website – takes visitors through five key action points before producing a report they can take to trade advisors. It is an easy-to-use tool that can be completed at any pace.
IOE Chief Executive, Lesley Batchelor OBE, said: “With a growing number of SMEs identifying the opportunities that trading globally presents – but daunted by taking what they see as a big step – the Institute is delighted to have played an instrumental role in helping Open to Export to create this excellent resource.
“The Export Action Plan is a great starting point – enabling businesses to focus their goals and talk with confidence to the trade advisors and banks who can help the venture to succeed.”
Export Week is now in its eighth year and the Explore Export events visited eleven regions across the UK – with each regional event offering the chance for aspiring exporters to benefit from one-to-one meetings with market specialists, participate in engaging seminars – and engage with exhibitors that specialise in offering export support to SMEs.
Also on hand at many of the sessions were UK Export Finance advisers who provided guidance on overcoming financial barriers to exporting. They also introduced businesses with export potential to finance providers, credit insurers, insurance brokers, trade support bodies and sources of government support.
Lesley Batchelor added: “The ‘Explore Export’ events proved extremely successful with delegates kept extremely busy answering the questions of SMEs with export ambitions and signposting them to sources of further guidance and funding. It is a very worthwhile and valuable project to be involved with.”