Free export advice service created for SMEs

UK catering equipment businesses with aspirations to develop sales overseas are being offered free advice via a new service that launched this week.

The Open to Export service, developed by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), provides SMEs with information, advice and guidance on exporting abroad.

The launch of the website comes just a year after David Cameron set a national challenge to raise the number of small businesses that export from one in five to one in four. By increasing the number of companies who export by roughly a quarter, about £36 billion could be added to the UK economy.

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The online platform is designed to make it easy for companies to share market intelligence and network.

“Half of the UK’s exports, by value, already come from SMEs. Open to Export will provide practical assistance, advice and support to other businesses looking to make that crucial first step to sell into foreign markets,” said trade and investment minister Lord Green.

Companies will be able to use the site to gain bespoke answers to their questions concerning international markets, access practical information on export topics, connect and engage with a range of exporters and explore the latest international opportunities for their business.

In addition to accessing government advice, through international trade advisors based at British embassies and high commissions, companies can also receive support from existing and prospective exporters, lawyers, accountants and independent trade advisors.

Research has shown that firms that export generate an average growth of 30% after exporting for just two years.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is launching the initiative in partnership with hibu, formerly known as Yell Group.

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