Businesses across the Sheffield City Region are being given the
support they need to grow their exports.
The new Sheffield Export Support Programme, created by the
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce at the end of 2011, is working with
more than 20 SME's from the region to increase their sales around
Utilising funding left over from Business Link South Yorkshire
reserves to start it off, the programme brings together business
advisors at Sheffield Enterprise Agency with staff at South
Yorkshire International Trade Centre (SYITC).
The advisor team has been tasked with identifying potential
export opportunities and to advise companies accordingly, working
with SYITC to deliver the relevant technical support needed.
Paul Tinsley, business support manager at Sheffield Enterprise
Agency, said: "The programme fills a gap in the market to provide
the confidence needed for businesses to start exporting for the
first time or for existing exporters to grow their exports into new
"The approach of the adviser team is to drive the export agenda
as a means of accessing new markets, therefore creating more profit
and employment opportunities for Sheffield companies, which in turn
has a positive effect on the local economy.
"Amongst other things the programme has injected additional
resource in to the development of training and awareness, and
allowed advisers to spend time honing their knowledge of the export
The aim of the Sheffield Export Support Programme has been aided
with the results of a recent survey by SYITC and Sheffield Hallam
University of local companies on the issue of exporting.
Out of those surveyed, 52 per cent are already exporting, 22 per
cent export occasionally and 26 per cent did not currently export.
Of the companies currently exporting, 96 per cent are looking to
expand their markets
Meanwhile, of those who have not exported, 29 per cent have a
product ready for export. The main reasons the businesses gave as
to why they have not exported were a lack of market knowledge,
fear, and limited understanding of which countries want their
Michelle Daniel, the manger of SYITC, added: "The Export
Programme will now work with these businesses to help answer the
questions they have on exporting and provide them with the tools
needed to take their product to markets around the world.
"We want to maintain momentum with the SMEs we are interacting
with and provide support wherever we can to help export these
products. There is a real growth opportunity for the city region
and the Chamber is investing, time, expertise and guidance to
deliver real value by helping businesses achieve economic
Richard Wright, executive director of the Sheffield Chamber,
said: "Increasing exports and reducing imports is absolutely vital
if we need a buoyant economy locally and nationally. I have
exported all my life and I know it's not easy, even if the rewards
"The Chamber can develop relationships in a number of strategic
areas of the world and understand all the details involved in
trading with them and this is a real value added for any business,
especially SME's which do not have the massive support structures
in their business.
"I would urge any business who wants to export to contact Paul
or Michelle and we will help them as much as we can and ensure they
interact with our contacts."