Small businesses in Wales take flight with free international export programme

SMALL businesses will take flight by capitalising on export opportunities with the support of Antur Cymru Enterprise.

The Global Reach Out Programme is funded by UK Government, powered by Levelling Up and delivered by Antur Cymru Enterprise in collaboration with International Trade Support Group and Powys County Council.

The project explores trade and overseas partnerships via a series of funded remote and in-person training sessions which resume this month.

Delivered by international trade advisor Clive Barnard – who has more than 30 year’s industry experience, including a decade with Business Wales – attendees from across the region can learn all about the world of international sales and customer relations, no matter the size of their commercial operation.

As part of a small team of industry experts who launched ITSG in 2019 – and subsequently the Wrexham-based Centre for International Trade Support – Clive says small and independent companies in any sector should target exports, particularly given the economic and social challenges of recent times.

“Our Never Too Small to Export programme with Antur Cymru demonstrates there is a market out there for all businesses, especially at a grass roots level,” said Clive.

“In fact, many smaller firms have already sold products or dealt with customers outside the UK to some extent and have experience of dealing in exports, but don’t consider that an avenue to pursue further.”

He added: “In Wales since the pandemic – and this is certainly the case in Powys and rural areas of north and mid Wales – there are many talented independents in different sectors, especially retail, selling online and in a position to capitalise on the huge demand out there – we can help them do it.

“There have been geopolitical events which have affected international trade – Covid 19 and Brexit for example – so we navigate any issues and look at the principles from targeting which countries to sell to, distribution, transport and logistics, documentation and more.

“The feedback has been very positive so far and I’m sure interest will grow in the months ahead.”

The course runs over 10 weeks and runs parallel with other support packages delivered under the Global Reach Out Programme 

While the project is for a matter of weeks ITSG’s involvement continues via guidance and advice as the entrepreneurs look at entry into relevant markets and start building relationships overseas.

Additional advice around wider business topics is also available through Antur’s Local Business Support Project.

“By combining Antur’s reputation for excellence in business support with our experience and partnerships, including with various embassies, we have a robust understanding of opportunities to enable local businesses to grow their markets,” said Clive.

Bronwen Raine, Managing Director of Antur Cymru, added: “So many small businesses are unaware of the many opportunities out there globally, not just here in the UK or on their doorstep.

“This programme explores where they are and how to make the most of them, so we hope to see a good turnout later this month. As an organisation that has worked to support businesses for more than 40 years, it is fantastic to be able to expand our offer into this specialist area with the support of ITSG ”

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