InterTradeIreland is helping local companies, such as Yummy Bakes NI, to ‘taste’ success and we have just launched the next phase of our sales development programme, Elevate, specifically aimed at micro-businesses.
This programme, which is fully-funded, helps smaller companies to develop sales opportunities through first time cross-border exports and in the past two years, Elevate has helped 150 small businesses, generating new cross-border sales of approximately £3million.
At InterTradeIreland we regularly review our available support for businesses and a few years ago realised there was a funding gap for small micro enterprises. As they make up 96% of businesses on the island, it is essential that they receive the support they require to expand and flourish.Our Elevate programme offers companies sector-specific sales support across a range of areas, including food and beverage, construction, engineering and many others. Participating small businesses can choose from a list of more than 100 experienced industry specialists who can then help them to identify sales leads in the cross-border market, negotiate deals, share relevant market insights, identify market research requirements and offer advice on the development of marketing materials.
One such company that benefitted from the programme was micro-business, Yummy Bakes NI, based in Jordanstown, Newtownabbey. Owner, Anna Taggart, credits the InterTradeIreland programme with helping to open up the Irish market for her high-quality ‘golden moment’ pastry and biscuit ranges.
After Anna had grown the local element of her business, she wanted to take Yummy Bakes NI across the border but was unsure about how and where to start. She secured InterTradeIreland’s help and with a food industry expert supporting her, two interviews were secured with potential major distributors and Anna is waiting to hear the outcome of these. Anna says that taking part in Elevate gave her the confidence to break into the market and having the support of her industry expert has made her goals a very real possibility. In her words, the programme ‘helped to get Yummy Bakes NI’s name out there and onto people’s lips in Ireland – literally!’
I would urge all interested small businesses with less than £1million turnover to register their interest and apply to Elevate today. Further information on the programme, including eligibility criteria, is available at www.intertradeireland.com/elevate.
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