Leading business women will encourage other female entrepreneurs to look overseas to expand their business during Export Week, Lord Livingston announced today.
This year there will be an emphasis on women-led businesses with women-focused events being held from Southport to Somerset and Burnley to Birmingham.
Export Week is organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to seek customers overseas with over 90 events across the UK and over 6,000 businesses expected to attend.
There will also be over 130 export specialists from more than 70 countries.
From Local to Global – a new guide for first-time exporters – will also be published today, fronted by Dragons’ Den investor and Government Export Ambassador Kelly Hoppen.
The most recent Small Business Survey in 2012 from BIS shows that 13% of women-led small and medium-sized businesses in the UK export compared with the national average of 19%.
This gap represents an opportunity, and projections suggest that the UK could have up to an extra 10,000 exporters if these businesses grew and exported at the same rate as the average.
Trade Minister Lord Livingston said: “The number of women setting up businesses has doubled compared to a few years ago, but at the moment companies set up by women are consistently less likely to export. We have hugely increased the number of companies receiving Government export support but currently only one in ten of these firms are women-led.
“UK businesses can be great exporters, and Export Week is an excellent opportunity for us to do more to promote women-led firms.
“By offering dedicated events, support and our introductory guide, we will make UKTI’s services more engaging and accessible to female businesses and help create new exporters who can take Britain’s GREAT products and services to the world.”
As well as being fronted by British interior designer, Kelly Hoppen, UKTI’s From Local to Global guide will include examples of women-led companies that have successfully cracked international markets such as London-based frozen yoghurt company, Yoomoo, Staffordshire’s children seat belt makers, Belt Up Kidz and Manchester-based Chinese sauce manufacturer Sweet Mandarin. The guide will be available to view online at www.gov.uk/ukti.
Kelly Hoppen said: “There are many great examples of women-led companies taking their skills and expertise to the world.
“Through the guide we aim to take the fear out of exporting and show that exploring new markets is not only financially rewarding but exciting.”
On Sunday, UKTI announced that it had doubled its number of medium-sized business helped from 1,000 to 2,000 after Lord Livingston wrote to every medium-sized business in the country offering tailored trade advice and an intensive programme of UKTI support
Export Week is running from November 10 -14. It is the sixth time UKTI has organised the week-long event to showcase the growth opportunities international markets can offer and the specific services UKTI can provide to help firms take advantage.