Considering that half of the United Kingdom's exports by value come from Small Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), Prime Minister David Cameron launched The Open to Export initiative in November 2011 to provide practical assistance and support to businesses that began operating in foreign markets.
According to U.K. Trade & Investment (UKTI) research, which has an established relationship with the SME community, almost 33 percent of businesses report that lack of contacts are barriers to export. Hibu plc, a digital services provider, and U.K. Trade & Investment (UKTI) decided to launch an online service called Open to Export to help SMEs to trade internationally.
Over the next few months, Open to Export is expected to run a number of features and participate in related events in order to give small businesses access to the knowledge necessary to grow with confidence outside the U.K.
Lord Green, minister of State for Trade & Investment, noted that the online service was a key part of the government's plan for growth and in keeping with the Prime Minister's national challenge that targeted 100, 000 British businesses exporting by 2020..
Businesses can register for free, connect and engage with the exporting community. Businesses trading internationally can buy products that will help them trade overseas. They will also be entitled to guidance and in-depth information from recognized third party experts and experienced small businesses positioned to offer help.
Almost 5,000 unique users per month are already using the site, with access to more than 2,000 pieces of editorial advice content and event information from 50 different organizations. Many companies that wanted to maximize international opportunities claim to have benefited from the expert advice that Open to Export provided.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli