Call for major export drive in 2012

A LEADING trade expert is calling for South Yorkshire’ small and medium-sized businesses to make 2012 the year for exporting—and enter a competition that can help turn ideas for international success into reality.

The initiative, run by UK Trade & Investment in partnership with HSBC and PwC, aims to encourage more regional businesses to pursue overseas growth by offering a tailored package of support to the company with the best new export idea.

The overall winner for Yorkshire and the Humber will receive travel grants to global destinations of their choice—an opportunty to develop contacts, build first-person relationships and kickstart expansion in markets where there is a clear demand for their skills, products or services.

Also on offer is access to a range of international resources and research, and dedicated guidance from UKTI, PwC and HSBC.

SMEs now have until Friday 31 January to submit their entry. Shortlisted companies will then be invited to present their big export idea to a live audience of business leaders and a judging panel, which will select the winning idea.

Mark Robson, UKTI International Trade Director for Yorkshire and Humber, explained: “Future prosperity in this region will not come from domestic markets alone. Across the world there are markets that are showing strong, long-term growth, and we want to ensure local firms are not just trading abroad but thriving there.

“I am determined to drive up exports in 2012 and the number of exporters in the region as it's the only way for the economy to grow. There is demand all around the world for products and services from across Yorkshire and the Humber, but too many of our smaller firms are missing out on these opportunities.

"And for small companies with a big export idea, our competition, with the fantastic prize on offer, could be the springboard to international growth that you need.  We're very keen to hear from you, particularly if you're new to exporting or relatively inexperienced. Just tell us - in 200 words - what your idea is, why it's workable, and why now is the best time to take it to market."

To find out more about the Export for Growth Prize and download an entry form, visit www.ukti.gov.uk/exportingforgrowthprize