What makes GB an attractive market for early stage exporters from NI?

Government statistics show that nearly 20% of all products and services provided by NI businesses are purchased by customers in England, Scotland and Wales.

This makes GB by far the single largest export market for NI businesses. There are a number of obvious reasons for this, namely:

  • Geographical proximity. With dozens of direct flights from the 2 NI airports every day to cities across England, Scotland and Wales, business people can service the needs of customers in Manchester, Edinburgh, London and Birmingham as easily as their domestic customers.
  • Cultural proximity. With no language nor cultural barriers, many early stage exporters feel relatively at home dipping their toes into the GB market.
  • No currency exchange risk. In doing business with customers in England, Scotland and Wales, NI exporters need not concern themselves with potentially adverse exchange fluctuations.

As a result, many early stage exporters see the GB market as an obvious place to start their exporting journey.

So what is the Export to GB Programme?

The Programme is funded by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and is delivered by Full Circle Management Solutions.

The purpose of the programme is to provide you with the skills and the confidence to identify, target and exploit new business opportunities in GB ….and to then put you in front of potential customers in GB during the course of the Programme.

This is therefore a highly practical programme where the emphasis is on finding and converting REAL sales opportunities in GB ….during the Programme and beyond.

Who should apply for a place on the Programme?

You should apply for a place on the Programme if you:

  1. Own and / or manage a business that is based in the ABC Council area.
  2. Employ less than 25 people.
  3. Are involved in manufacturing or tradable services.
  4. Have a product or service that is considered to be exportable.
  5. Currently are doing no more than 30% of your turnover outside NI.
  6. Are committed to growing sales in the GB market.

What will you get from the Programme?

During the Programme, you will:

  1. Develop your skills and confidence in the field of exporting by attending 3 very practical half day skills development workshops.
  2. Be allocated your own export development mentor who will gear you up to move from talking about exporting to actually doing it.
  3. Meet with a minimum of 4 potential customers in GB who have expressed a [provisional] interest in doing business with you.
  4. Spend 2 days on the ground in GB as part of a group trade mission there.
  5. Be provided with assistance to develop your own GB export sales growth action plan.

How much does it cost?

The Export to GB Programme is very heavily subsidised by ABC Borough Council, highlighting its commitment to support early-stage exporters in the Council area.

The total cost to you is therefore only £250 + VAT.

How do you apply?

Simply email Alexandra McFarlane at Full Circle – to register your interest in the Programme. [or telephone 02890 691027].

We will then liaise directly with you to facilitate the application process.

The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest is Friday 7 April @ 12:00

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