Inspiring you to go global and grow

4 June 2013

There’s gathering momentum around Yorkshire’s biggest export drive for decades and the Export Network is exceeding our most optimistic expectations. Our first event was hugely successful and our next event in July promises to be even better – this time concentrating on the growing service sector. Whether you’re a new or experienced exporter you can tap into what’s becoming a real force for change.

The purpose of the “We Are International” initiative is to significantly increase the number of firms in the huge Leeds City Region selling their goods and services overseas. Our target is to add more than £2.5 billion to the local economy – and the evidence so far shows this is achievable.

Central to our mobilisation of business is the formation of the Network, a group of highly knowledgeable export professionals from companies of all sizes and sectors. They form the core of an influential and powerful group which can offer new exporters valuable tips and advice.

And it’s also the focus for important networking opportunities as well as gaining important inside information.

This time we’re focusing on selling services overseas and how the internet is proving to be an important beach-head bypassing the traditional methods of selling abroad. Services account for around a quarter of the UK’s international trade. And Britain is at the forefront of such sectors as financial services and consulting.

There is growing evidence that exporting services is leading to a significant upsurge in business. Figures from the CBI show that exports underpinned a three month surge in the service sector.

And recent research among 2,500 businesses conducted by found a 36 per cent rise in the number of small businesses selling overseas via their websites. This survey also indicated that a large number of start-up businesses in the last year began trading exclusively online, with a 32 per cent increase on the year before.

It all means you can market your expertise to foreign customers who appreciate the value and quality of British know-how.

At our next event between 4pm and 6pm on 17 July at  Deloitte, 1 City Square, Leeds LS1 2AL many of our Network Ambassadors will be on hand. We’ve selected some newer recruits as our keynote speakers for the event.

Rob Rospepedzihowski, the commercial sales director of electronics manufacturers Premier Farnell, which exports 70 per cent of its output will be giving an insider’s view of how to build overseas business. “We understand the significant importance of international trade and exports,” he says. 

“As a 70 year old company we have developed a robust strategy for international trade and this continues to change and adapt. Sharing best practice and knowledge to new start-ups is vital to ensure the success of business in Yorkshire and the UK.  That is why I am speaking at this event about the experience I have gained at Premier Farnell.”

Another new appointment is serial entrepreneur Larry Gould, the CEO of thebigword, one of the world’s largest translation companies, who will be offering vital tips on how to use language to make websites and other materials export-friendly.

“Never before have there been such great opportunities to sell goods and services outside the UK especially online,” says Mr Gould. “One of the final barriers is language which has often paralysed some people from moving forward. Now technology and other facilities make that much easier to overcome and UK companies can seize these opportunities.

“We’re among the most innovative countries in the world and our products and services are the best around. Duties and documentation have vanished from Europe and now the emerging markets are becoming great new customers.”

Newly-recruited Ambassador Laura Burton of Deloitte LLP will offer a professional services firm’s insight into doing business abroad.

Our first event in March attracted 120 visitors and this time we’re expecting more. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with 94 per cent of those attending finding it “useful” or “very useful”.

“It was a pleasure to be part of the launch of such an important project for the local and national economy, and I hope that the momentum can be maintained in motivating these local companies to get involved in export,” said John Chacksfield, managing director of Trio Healthcare Ltd, which quadrupled export earnings in just five years and won the Queen’s Award for outstanding achievement in international trade.

“Helpful, constructive, encouraging,” said Roger Marshal of Walton & Co Ltd while Jeremy Clegg of Leeds University Business School described it as “a very positive experience for everyone.”

“Great event! I would like to reiterate the presentations were excellent and very useful,” added Andrew Cuthbertson of Virtual DCS.

The cost of the event is £15 plus VAT. To book contact Chamber International on 0845 034 7200.