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Leading female entrepreneurs front government export drive

Leading business women will encourage other female entrepreneurs to look overseas to expand their business during Export Week.

A new guide for first-time exporters fronted by Kelly Hoppen. Women-led business events nationwide for the first time in Export Week.

Leading business women will encourage other female entrepreneurs to look overseas to expand their business during Export Week, Lord Livingston announced yesterday (10 November 2014).

Export Week is organised by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to seek customers overseas with more than 90 events across the UK and more than 6,000 businesses expected to attend. There will also be more than 130 export specialists from more than 70 countries.

This year there will be an emphasis on women-led businesses with women-focused events being held from Southport to Somerset and Burnley to Birmingham.

From Local to Global - a new guide for first-time exporters - was also published yesterday, fronted by Dragons’ Den investor and government export ambassador Kelly Hoppen.

The most recent Small Business Survey in 2012 from BIS shows that 13% of women-led small and medium-sized businesses in the UK export compared with the national average of 19%.

This gap represents an opportunity, and projections suggest that the UK could have up to an extra 10,000 exporters if these businesses grew and exported at the same rate as the average.

Trade Minister Lord Livingston said:

The number of women setting up businesses has doubled compared to a few years ago, but at the moment companies set up by women are consistently less likely to export. We have hugely increased the number of companies receiving government export support but currently only 1 in 10 of these firms are women-led.

UK businesses can be great exporters, and Export Week is an excellent opportunity for us to do more to promote women-led firms.

By offering dedicated events, support and our introductory guide, we will make UKTI’s services more engaging and accessible to female businesses and help create new exporters who can take Britain’s GREAT products and services to the world.

As well as being fronted by British interior designer, Kelly Hoppen, UKTI’s From Local to Global guide will include examples of women-led companies that have successfully cracked international markets such as London-based frozen yoghurt company, Yoomoo, Staffordshire’s children seat belt makers, Belt Up Kidz and Manchester-based Chinese sauce manufacturer Sweet Mandarin.

Kelly Hoppen said:

There are many great examples of women-led companies taking their skills and expertise to the world.

Through the guide we aim to take the fear out of exporting and show that exploring new markets is not only financially rewarding but exciting.

On Sunday (9 November 2014), UKTI announced that it had doubled its number of medium-sized business helped from 1,000 to 2,000 after Lord Livingston wrote to every medium-sized business in the country offering tailored trade advice and an intensive programme of UKTI support.

Export Week is running from 10 to 14 November 2014. It is the sixth timeUKTI has organised the week-long event to showcase the growth opportunities international markets can offer and the specific services UKTIcan provide to help firms take advantage.

Notes to Editors

  1. Export Week enables businesses to access the knowledge and experience of experts from UKTI and its regional partners. Whether businesses are taking their first steps overseas, or are already established exporters, Export Week will equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in international markets.
  2. Facebook questions and answers with Anya Hindmarch: On Wednesday 12 November from 4pm to 5pm, Anya Hindmarch will be available to answer questions about doing business overseas through UKTI’s Facebook page. Anya founded her luxury accessories brand, known for its creativity, personalisation and humour in 1987 with a single store in London. Today, her products are sold in more than 50 stores worldwide.
  3. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) provides a variety of support for medium-sized businesses (MSBs) (companies with a turnover of between £25 million and £250 million).
  4. Support is delivered by UKTI’s regional international trade teams. Exporters will be assigned local UKTI trade experts to work with. 5.Help can include:
    • advice and support from a UKTI international trade adviser
    • help with developing an export strategy and action plans tailored toMSBs’ needs
    • guidance on routes to market most relevant to MSBs
    • advice on international business culture
    • access to UKTI’s global network
    • advice on marketing research projects, including market selection and sources of information
    • support from UK Export Finance (UKEF)
    • an Intellectual Property Health check
  5. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. It also helps overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. It provides companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.


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