Shore crane loading containers in freight ship

A new Export Academy has been launched to help businesses across the Marches target international markets.

The academy has been launched by the Department for International Trade (DIT) in partnership with the Marches Growth Hub to give small and micro-businesses the tools and confidence to sell around the world.

It is being targeted at SMEs from across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin with a turnover of up to £500,000 and will offer a range of expert-led webinars and virtual workshops to encourage businesses to tradeoverseas.

John Wigley, Export Academy adviser for the Marches, said a set of 40-minute webinars was now available covering the key aspects of starting to trade internationally.

“We have put together a comprehensive series of online events which will cover all the major points that SMEs will need to consider to start to develop their export journeys and grow their international sales.

“The webinars cover such things as e-commerce, basic export procedures, international market research, pricing and distribution, Customs procedures, export controls and getting paid.

Mr Wigley said research from the Department for International Trade suggested that most businesses who could export feel that they do not have a good level of knowledge about how to do so.

“The Export Academy aims to address this uncertainty through education and support, giving businesses the tools and confidence to seek out new opportunities around the world.”

Businesses which join the programme will get an export action plan to take their business to international customers, access to educational events, networking and group mentoring, inspirational first-hand accounts from SMEs and Export Champions on the challenges and rewards of growing a business internationally and support from International Trade Advisers.

They will have access to other support from the Department for International Trade and its local trade offices, including the chance to join trade missions and apply for grants and funding and referrals to key partners such as UK Export Finance or the Institute of Export, where more specialist support would help.

To register for the programme visit www.events.great.gov.uk/ExportAcademy

Mr Wigley said additional events were also being staged including a workshop on market research and selection on November 27, running from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

“Market research is the first and one of the most vital steps for any organisation whether they are entering a new overseas market or developing existing markets. In this workshop you will consider different approaches and research techniques and start to develop a research plan for your own business.”

To register, visit https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/calendar/view/3057_Workshop_Market_Research_and_Selection

To find out more about how the Export Academy – which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund – can help your company contact the Marches Growth Hub’s Herefordshire, Shropshire or Telford & Wrekin teams or visit https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/

The Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire can be contacted on 01432 261758 or email business@herefordshire.gov.uk