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News & Press: IOE&IT News

Deadline Extension Announced for Open to Export Competition

08 January 2019  
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export action plan

The deadline for entering the 10th Open to Export Action Plan competition has been extended to February 8th, giving SMEs more time to take ownership of their international strategies in what is a critical period for UK trade. The showcase final will now be taking place at Grant Thornton’s offices in London on March 6th.

With Brexit looming and the UK government encouraging more businesses to make the most of export opportunities around the world through its ‘Exporting is GREAT’ campaign, it has never been more important for businesses to plan their export approach properly.

Sponsored by Bibby Financial Services (BFS), the Open to Export competitions ask SMEs to create a coherent ‘Export Action Plan’ using an online planning tool. SMEs can then enter their completed plan to the competition for the opportunity to win international trade support from BFS and the IOE&IT, with one winning company being awarded a further £3000 cash towards implementing their Export Action Plan.

The competitions are a key element of the IOE&IT and BFS’s commitment to boosting UK SME exports. The 10th iteration has the theme of ‘Taking UK Plc to the World’, showing that the UK is committed to international trade after Brexit.

February 8th deadline

Companies have been given until February 8th to enter their ‘Export Action Plans’ into the competition - an extension on the original deadline of January 25th.

10 shortlisted finalists will then be invited to pitch their businesses at a showcase final at Grant Thornton’s London offices on March 6th. The finalists will pitch to a panel of expert judges about how they would use the £3000 cash prize provided by BFS towards implementing their international growth strategy.

Announcing the 10th competition, Lesley Batchelor OBE, Director General of the IOE&IT, said:

“We are delighted to now be launching our 10th Open to Export competition. Since launching the competitions in 2015, we have helped hundreds of SMEs both home and abroad to take their next steps in export. We’re now looking forwards to helping UK SMEs to fly the flag overseas alongside our competition partners Bibby.”

Jim Davis, Managing Director International, Bibby Financial Services, added:

“We support more than 10,000 businesses worldwide and we know from our own experience that trading overseas presents SMEs with tangible opportunities to grow. The IOE&IT is a fantastic support service for SMEs and we’re looking forward to reviewing the competition entries.” 

Bibby Financial Services

Bibby Financial Services (BFS) is a leading independent financial services partner to over 10,000 businesses worldwide.  With over 40 operations in 14 countries spanning Asia, Europe and North America, BFS provides specialist and adaptable FX services, trade, asset and working capital finance, helping businesses to grow in domestic and international markets. Formed in 1982, BFS is part of the Bibby Line Group (BLG), a diverse and forward-looking family business delivering personal, responsive and flexible customer solutions for over 200 years.

To find out more about Bibby Financial Services, visit: https://www.bibbyfinancialservices.com/