Unique Programme for New Exporters in North West

The New Exporters programme, which is being organised by Invest NI’s Trade team and the North West Local Office (NWLO), is being targeted at small companies that wish to break into international markets and will help them to explore new business opportunities in the Netherlands.

The initiative,unique to the North West, will start later this month and will have places for six companies.

Kevin Helferty, NWLO manager, said: “This pilot programme is in line with the ‘Being International’ focus in Invest NI’s draft Corporate Plan and is designed to help companies new to exporting to break into the international marketplace.

“The Netherlands is Northern Ireland’s closest and most open international marketplace. It’s also a market in which businesses and consumers are keen on new and innovative products and services. As a result, many Northern Ireland companies haveused this market successfully as a springboard to business throughout Europe and further afield. We want to see more businesses from the North West achieving success there,” he added.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade director, said participating companies will be assisted by the agency’s experienced trade adviser in Amsterdam.

“We’ll help the companies with essential market research that will enable them to assess the extent of the business opportunity there. They will be able to visit the market and be helped to line up meetings with potential customers. If they wish to strengthen their sales and negotiating skills, the companies can be helped to develop their skills through training workshops and seminars under our established Passport to Export programme,” he adds.

Over the next few weeks, Invest NI will be working with local enterprise agencies to identify companies for the ‘Going Dutch’ initiative.

Each participating company will receive consultancy support including market research, practical advice and hands on assistance from Northern Ireland Trade Consultants (NITC), Invest NI’s in-market representatives in Amsterdam. NITC will also be involved in briefing sessions in the North West to prepare companies for the marketing drive.