We are International ambassadors debate exporting with Yorkshire Business Insider

11 February 2015

Yorkshire is leading the national drive to grow exports. A recent survey by British Chambers of Commerce showed that the region has the highest growth in export activity in England and the third highest in the UK.

Much of this activity can be attributed to Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s We are International export campaign which aims to bring an additional £1.6bn into its ten local authority areas and create thousands of jobs by 2018.

Specialist overseas trade body, Chamber International is supporting the initiative by organising We are International export network events, the next of which  will focus on how to access high-growth markets in Eastern Europe, Saudi Arabia and Turkey at Deloitte’s, Leeds, on March 26. 

Chamber International is also growing its network of export ambassadors, drawn from some of the region’s most successful exporting businesses, who give their time and advice free to help novice exporters start trading overseas.

As part of its recent business coverage, Yorkshire Business Insider, recently held a round table event focussing on Yorkshire’s overseas trade and two leading We are International export ambassadors, founder of marketing agency, One Global, Yeadon, Jim Hart, and founder and managing director of Radio Design, Shipley, Eric Hawthorne, were invited to give their views.

Speaking to Yorkshire Business Insider Jim Hart said: “We really should forget concentrating on the word ‘export’. It’s easier to just think of the world as one market. We need to change that mindset as it’s very easy to have a global footprint with the technology we have today.

“Businesses should use web technology to grow their business and then support that with a sales person in the UK who speaks the language. You can then grow from there and establish international operations. Research and an export strategy is important but, ultimately, you have to just do it. The real research is done on the ground.”

Eric Hawthorn told Insider  “It’s about knowing your customers and building relationships. Each country needs a new relationship and it has to be with people at the top of the chain. These are expensive relationships as they can take years to build.

“You will spend a lot before you see a penny back and you have to know how much you can risk off your bottom line. Sometimes it won’t add up and you shouldn’t be afraid to walk away – you can always go back another time. It is a balancing act, but the returns are worth it.”

Click here to book your place at our next We are International export network event on March 26.

For more information about the Yorkshire Business Insider round table events, click here.


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   Chamber International - One Global MD Jim Hart

      One Global MD, Jim Hart

   Chamber International - Radio Design MD Eric Hawthorne

Radio Design MD, Eric Hawthorne