A new service has been launched offering expert help to Marches companies looking to break into new markets overseas.

An international trade specialist has been appointed to work alongside the Marches Growth Hub and Department for International Trade (DIT) to help new and inexperienced exporters across the region.

John Wigley has taken up the role as part of the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funded Enhanced Export Growth Project to help SMEs in the Marches make the most of new export opportunities.

Qualifying criteria  – who can be helped – includes:

West Midlands Based SME’s (sub 250 employees and turnover less than £50 million)

Companies that pay their business rates to a WM local authority• New To Export or inexperienced – Ideally turnover less than £500,000

Cannot be more than 50% Business to consumer.

Timescale – Project funding expires March 2021. 

John said he would supplement the work of the Marches Growth Hub and DIT to help companies which had little background in exporting find their feet in overseas markets.

“My focus will be on supporting small and micro novice and none exporter businesses to explore export opportunities,” he said.

“This free service offers you the unique opportunity to access a wide range of advice clinics, events, and practical workshops to give you the knowledge and skills needed to become successful exporters.”

Free one-to-one advice would be available to Marches businesses at a series of clinics being held on September 15, John said.

The clinics would cover:

Initial triage helping you to identify the needs of your business

Mapping the fundamental stages of internationalisation and steps needed to progress your export journey

Guidance and support covering importing goods

Access to the latest information and news surrounding the Transition and COVID-19

Managing finance when trading internationally

Support on shipping goods and dealing with customs control

John added: “The support is tailored to ensure you have access to the most relevant advice based on a range of factors covering export experience, support needs and appetite for growth.

“Every company’s experience of exporting is different. But the good news is that – whatever your size – the rewards from selling your products and services overseas can be huge.”

To book a place on the clinic visit https://www.events.great.gov.uk/ehome/index.php?eventid=200210631&

To find out more about how the ERDF Enhanced Export Growth Project 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

The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire can be contacted on 01743 250526 or email marchesgrowthhub@shropshire.gov.uk

The Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin can be contacted on 01952 567589 or email enterprisetelford@telford.gov.uk