About this good practice
The programme is designed to accommodate different levels of export experience, and is specially aimed at small and micro-businesses, who traditionally can find it difficult to enter overseas markets.
The programme is applicable to a wide range of businesses, any UK business with a product or service that can be sold internationally. It is for businesses who know that they want to reach international customers and contracts as well as those who want to extend existing overseas markets.
The DIT Export Academy is a free resource for SMEs and consists of 9 key modules covering the basic information all businesses need to start trading internationally. These include modules on Creating and Export Plan, Researching Markets, How to get Paid amongst others.
Delivered virtually to over 400 unique businesses in the Yorkshire and Humber region, each module of 1 – 2hrs in length, is delivered by experts and Export Champions. The programme is supported with a workbook to enable businesses to create their own Export Action Plan by the end of the programme.
Due to the success of the 9 core modules the Export Academy has been expanded to include sessions on Selling Online Overseas, Digitising your Marketing along with some sector specific sessions.
The whole Export Academy is now available as an On Demand Platform allowing businesses to access the content in their own time and as many times as they want. This has proved popular with SME business owners.
DIT is publicly funded central government department who develop and manage the programme. Delivered regionally by DIT offices gives the Export Academy a local flavour to meet local business need. A Local trade adviser service builds contacts and follows up on developed action plans.
Evidence of success
DIT Export academy now has over 700 client registrations (as at March 2022). Webinars are accessible on an Online Portal enabling full flexibility for SMEs to gain the support and advice they need.
Companies registering for the Export Academy receive individual advice by the International Trade Adviser service on how to enact their Export Action Plans developed as part of the Academy.
We have evidence of SMEs who have gone on to export as a direct result of participating in the Export Academy.
Potential for learning or transfer
This best practice reflects a renewed focus in the UK that SMEs need the right support and business environment to increase their level of export or start trading internationally. Covid's impact on business triggered a refreshed export strategy:
-help businesses to open new markets
-build confidence to export
-set foundations for long term growth
Prioritising positive business behaviours is the key to increased productivity, resilience and export:
•Significant evidence internationally/ in UK: firms which export are 1/3 more productive than domestically-oriented firms.
•International Trade unlocks innovation: positive correlation between export and innovation, R&D, & productivity
•International Trade builds market and supply chain resilience & diversification.
Business' ability to adapt, pivot and survive is central to realise regional ambitions for inclusive growth.
This support programme underpins this objective of our regional and national policy-makers.