Business support workshops available to help those seeking new markets

Derry City and Strabane District Council along with partners will deliver an innovative and collaborative initiative aimed at providing a bespoke business support programme to local businesses across the North West who are planning to enter new markets outside of Northern Ireland.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 9:45 am
Updated Monday, 28th June 2021, 9:46 am

The Growth North West Initiative is being rolled out by Council, the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Invest NI, InterTradeIreland, Enterprise NW and the Strabane Enterprise Agency, and will give companies advice and direction on how to export their products or services and to help support business recovery across the North West region.

The local Chamber of Commerce will facilitate the initiative by running a series of monthly workshops over the coming months with expert presenters offering advice and information, which will focus on a different topic and skillset at each session from how to pitch sales to how to maximise social media content.

The first workshop entitled Export Journey will take place tomorrow (Tuesday, June 29) via Zoom and will focus on the benefits and challenges of exporting, and how this new initiative can support businesses on their exporting journey. Guest speakers for this information session will be George Fleming, Chairman of Fleming Agri and Fintan Kelly, Company Director at BubbleBum UK, who will both share their experiences of export growth and the nuances to be considered when entering new markets.

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The Growth North West Initiative
The Growth North West Initiative

The partners felt it was important to take a proactive approach to help support businesses as they work to recover after a challenging and difficult period. The recent surge in cross-border trade and the increasing use of digital marketing and social media, as well as accelerated growth in sales through e-commerce, means it’s the perfect time for businesses to look at new business opportunities and new markets.

Encouraging businesses to sign up and be part of the Growth North West Initiative, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Alderman Graham Warke, said it was a unique opportunity for businesses to learn from others who are already exporting goods abroad and to learn best practices and experiences.

He said: “This is a fantastic programme of online information sessions that will be hugely beneficial to companies and businesses across the North West region who are considering selling their product or service outside of Northern Ireland but just don’t know how to go about it. The workshops cover all aspects of the work involved to get into the export market and include input from a range of specialist speakers who can offer advice and assistance.”

Des Gartland Invest NI’s North West Regional Manager, explained: “Helping businesses to grow through exporting supports the delivery of a stronger and more sustainable Northern Ireland economy. Covid-19 has meant that many Northern Ireland companies are rethinking their business strategies and looking to exporting as a means to stay competitive. The series of workshops are designed to help increase the confidence of participants, provide options to manage various challenges with exporting and give participants an insight into the experiences of successful export led companies, with the ultimate goal of supporting North West companies to drive export led growth. I would encourage interested businesses to register to join the series of events.”

Paul Clancy Chief Executive of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, added: “There is an excellent array of experienced and well informed speakers taking part in these workshops. They all have a wealth of knowledge of how to adapt business to new markets and will be in a position to give participants lots of valuable advice. It’s an excellent opportunity to tap into their expertise and be part of a wider business support network.”

Businesses interested in taking part in the June Export Journey seminar are advised that they must register in advance. The session will take place onTuesday, June 29 from 11am to 1pm. To register to join the event click on -​

Other up and coming workshops include - Tuesday, July 27: Sue Wright - Export Documentation & Logistics; Tuesday, August 24: Michael McIntyre - Sales Prospecting for Export Growth; Tuesday, September 28: Declan Murtagh - Maximising Social Media; Tuesday, October 26: Una McSorley - Perfecting your Pitch and Tuesday, November 30: Michael McIntyre - Selling Effectively.

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