The number of Fife businesses engaging in new trade development activity is on the rise.
This news comes as the Fife Trade Partnership marks a year since it launched its one-stop-shop to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) trade in the UK and internationally.
Businesses have been actively engaging in a host of training events, workshops, trade exhibitions and learning journeys aimed specifically at growing their sales outside their local area and increasing their market development opportunities. Businesses already exporting out with Scotland and wanting to improve current processes and expand further, have also benefited.
Much of this increase in activity has been attributed to the joined up one-stop-shop process, which Fife Council Economic Development spearheaded. Businesses are referred to partner services via the Business Gateway Fife enquiry channel, which in turn can advise on the range of support available.
Seeking to bolster local engagement further, a new business support pathway leaflet has been developed, which helps companies review where they are in their trade journey, by highlighting key questions and posing a range of decisions to be considered. Businesses are directed to one of the Fife Trade Partners – Fife Council Economic Development, Scottish Development International, Fife Chamber of Commerce or Business Gateway Fife. Support is then offered to build their business capability to improve opportunities to access new markets and increase their trading status. An extensive programme of business support is available to assist all SMEs.
Fife Economy Partnership Trade Chair, Michael Longstaffe, said:
“Our aim is to make it as simple as possible for businesses to increase their trading status within Scotland as well as supporting them to access other new markets within the UK and at an International level too. Our one-stop-shop approach has enabled us to provide more businesses with the tools to tap into these new markets, increase sales and create jobs.
“We’ve been encouraged by the number of businesses engaging in the Fife Trade Partnership’s support package. For some, it’s just about knowing where to start and having the confidence to access appropriate services to enable them to enter new markets and improve their trading opportunities. We offer advice on specific markets and can also support the development of ecommerce opportunities for UK and international sales.”
A host of training events have been well attended over the last year. Understanding Exporting was a full-day course offering an introduction to the role of export, and how the many elements of international trade fit together; whilst turnout to more targeted seminars, giving insight into specific markets, such as India, has been high.
Fife’s food and drink producers had the opportunity to pitch their products to key buyers from around the world. As part of Showcasing Scotland, international buyers visited Fife to sample some fantastic, quality products, to further the reach and impact of Fife’s food and drink sector abroad. For The Little Herb Farm it proved rewarding as its founder, Lindsey Anderson was introduced to a new Canadian buyer interested in its vinegars.
Dunfermline-based Greenfold Systems, a leading provider of outsource manufacturing services, has taken part in a Scottish Development International delegation to Dublin, with the aim of growing its business in Ireland. Opportunities to engage with businesses were identified, and strategic relationships built.
Bob Waterson, Managing Director of Greenfold Systems, said:
“This was an extremely worthwhile visit and provided the opportunity to familiarise us with the Irish market before fully committing to exporting.
“We had a number of fruitful one-to-one meetings, during which, we established relationships with Irish companies keen to work with us. The Irish market is very much open to Greenfold Systems and we’re working on developing opportunities as we grow the business.”
Another element of support is through Digital Boost, a national programme delivered by Business Gateway Fife. A host of emerging businesses have been advised in making improvements to their digital footprint, including local workshops on digital marketing and e-commerce strategies.
The Fife Trade Partnership will continue to help businesses identify opportunities, reach new customers, access in-country knowledge and international market intelligence, maximise e-commerce opportunities, overcome barriers to entry and develop overseas marketing strategies.
Pamela Stevenson, Lead Officer, Enterprise and Business Development for Fife Council Economic Development, said:
“Many of our small businesses trade at a local level, but we’re keen to encourage them, with the right tools and the right advice, to trade outside of Fife. This can open up a mass of opportunities for them, but also for the region as a whole.
“Fife is also home to a number of global brands that showcase great export success stories. So, whatever stage of your trading journey, whether it’s just an idea at the moment, or your business is established and you want to improve that process, the Fife Trade Partnership can help your business to explore new opportunities.”
An updated guide – Your Guide to Accessing New Markets – aimed at advising and supporting Fife businesses to trade nationally and internationally, is available to view online at: www.businessgatewayfife.com.
Notes to Editors
- For more information about the Fife Trade Partnership or for a calendar of relevant trade and new market related events, please contact Business Gateway Fife (call – 01592 858333; email – firstname.lastname@example.org; www.businessgatewayfife.com).