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Business encouraged to go global and cross-border

SMEs and Entrepreneurs from across the island are being invited to think global by Ulster Bank as part of a major events tour kicking off in November. They’ll hear that trading outside of their home market is easier than many think and even just engaging in cross-border trade can open up significant new opportunities for businesses who have reached full growth in their existing market.

The ‘Business Live’ series run in association with features 14 dates across the island of Ireland between November and March 2012. The events, which are free of charge to attend, will centre around an informal panel discussion chaired by entrepreneur and co-founder of Fionan Murray, and will feature the opportunity for questions, networking and the chance to engage one-to-one with experts from Ulster Bank and other organisations, including InterTradeIreland.

Go here if you would like to register and receive a free invite to your venue of choice.


Sharing experiences

On stage will be entrepreneurs who are trading successfully cross-border and internationally to share and discuss their experiences, mistakes and accomplishments with the audience of would-be, emerging and established exporters, importers and cross-border traders.

Emma Jones, the influential author of Go Global: How to Take Your Business to the World, and an adviser to governments on the subject of enterprise, will kick off the first event and will participate in the discussion and Q&A.

Panellists will range from online entrepreneurs whose micro businesses are selling over the internet around the world, to larger manufacturing companies with a footprint in established and emerging overseas markets. Firms who have significantly increased their customer-base and turnover by selling across the border will also feature prominently.

“Many of the panellists are companies whose inspirational cross-border and international trade stories are little-known, and sharing them at the events is intended to provide motivation to other SMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs, says David Thomas, Managing Director of Corporate Markets at Ulster Bank.

Significant opportunities

He continues: “When you can communicate with potential customers and suppliers across the island and around the world 24/7 at little cost through the internet, it opens significant opportunities. This is one of the reasons why more and more SMEs are able to widen their customer-base and enhance their business by trading outside of their home market”.

“Exporting and importing aren’t just for larger companies with significant resources and cash reserves; we also see lots of potential for small and micro businesses, particularly online. That will be a key message of Business Live.

“I would encourage all SME owners to come to the events, including aspiring entrepreneurs, as there will be something for everyone to learn from the discussion, and the potential to meet and network with a wide range of like-minded business people and experts,” Mr Thomas says.

“As an all-island bank, and as part of an international group with people on the ground in 37 countries, we feel that Ulster Bank is very well placed to help SMEs to explore and capitalise on their potential to do business outside of their home market,” Mr Thomas adds.

The series will kick off on the evening of November 16 at Riddel Hall, Belfast and end in Cookstown’s Burnavon Arts Centre on March 5 2012 – taking in key towns and cities in the Republic of Ireland along the way.

More information about Business Live is available from Ulster Bank branches or at

Tour Dates

November 16: Riddel Hall, Belfast
November 21: Olive Grove Restaurant, Athlone
November 21: Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge
November 23: Kilkenny Design Centre, Kilkenny
November 28: Braid Arts Centre, Ballymena
November 29: Carrickdale Hotel, Newry/Dundalk
February 2, 2012: Verbal Arts Centre, L/Derry
February 6, 2012: The Strand Hotel, Limerick
February 7, 2012: Clayton Hotel, Galway
February 8, 2012: The Model School Art Gallery, Sligo
February 20, 2012: Cork BIC, Cork
February 21, 2012: Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre, Waterford
February 22, 2012: Stillorgan Hotel, Dublin
March 5, 2012: Burnavon Arts Centre, Cookstown.

More information about Business Live is available from Ulster Bank branches or at