National Export Hub graduates 17 SMEs in Export Knowledge Programme

IEA and InterTradeIreland export initiative educates select SMEs

Dublin, Thursday, 18th May 2017 – The Irish Exporters Association’s National Export Hub, in collaboration with InterTradeIreland, yesterday evening graduated the second round of participants in the Export Knowledge Programme, an educational programme launched in January 2016 which aims to support SMEs to improve their exporting capabilities.

Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association yesterday conferred the graduating class of 2017 at a ceremony which took place at The Thinking House, Bord Bia, Dublin 2, with the Irish Exporters Association, InterTradeIreland, Hub Partners and collaborators.

The National Export Hub is a public-private partnership designed to increase the number of Irish businesses exporting for the first time, assist Irish businesses to enter new export markets and support Irish exporters to grow their exports in existing markets. The key partners are ABP Food GroupAIBDHLEuler HermesPwC, and in collaboration with Bord Bia and the Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs.

The Export Knowledge Programme, the education element within the National Export Hub in collaboration with InterTradeIreland, aims to take selected participants through an educational and support led journey to improve their capability to export into existing and new markets on the Island of Ireland and internationally. Applicants are initially assessed to ensure that their business has the structure and resources to support growth and entry into new export markets. A total of seventeen businesses were selected in November last year to embark on a seven month educational workshop programme covering every aspect of the export journey and graduated yesterday.

Companies from many different sectors such as Food & Drink, Tech and Healthcare graduated from the Export Knowledge Programme 2017 yesterday and have taken part in workshops in the areas of: Selection and management of channel partners/distributors; Knowledge of international legal, contract and IP issues; International financial management, cost control, quality assurance, financial risk management; E-commerce skills and social media skills, marketing mix skills; International logistics (air, sea, rail, road), order administration; Awareness of customer needs in different markets, knowledge of international design standards and codes; and awareness of All-Island public sector tendering opportunities.

Speaking at the event, Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association said: “This is the second round of participants in the National Export Hub’s Export Knowledge Programme and we are delighted that it has been a resounding success. We have received excellent feedback from the participants in both years of the initiative and their enthusiasm has been an integral part of this landmark achievement. This programme is the first of its kind and will enable and empower small and first time exporters to grow their business through exporting. It is imperative that indigenous Irish companies expand their distribution to international markets to grow. Initiatives like the Export Knowledge Programme are going to be paramount going forward to not only educate companies on the logistics of exporting, but to teach them about distribution avenues and how to make a plan and find their target audience globally. The IEA look forward to continuing to work with the key partners of this project.”

Shauna Gallagher, founder of The Natural Beauty Pot and Class Representative 2017 of the Export Knowledge Programme commented: “The Export Knowledge Programme has given me a huge insight into exporting and access to industry experts which small businesses can normally only dream of. Since starting the programme my business has already seen the benefits. The knowledge I gained has given me the confidence and skills to attend my first European tradeshow where I secured my first international wholesale order last month.”

Margaret Hearty, Director of Programmes and Business Services, InterTradeIreland stated: “InterTradeIreland is delighted once again to be involved in the Export Knowledge Programme. This is our second year working with the Irish Exporters Association on the initiative which gives SMEs practical advice on how to break into export markets. Several companies from Northern Ireland took part in the programme for the first time this year giving it a true all island focus. The workshops focus on pertinent topics such as currency issues, logistics, legal and IP issues and marketing which are becoming more and more relevant to small companies in today’s ever changing exporting environment.”