A NEW initiative aiming to help south coast businesses expand into overseas markets has been launched across Sussex and Surrey.
The year-long Hot House programme, led by the University of Chichester, is aimed at entrepreneurs who are considering exporting to other countries and continents.
Start-ups in Sussex with an exciting new product are encouraged to apply for the scheme.
The scheme, which starts in May, will be launched at a period of record-high export sales in the UK according to a recent report from the British Chambers of Commerce.
Gareth Sear, business start-up manager at the university, said exporting was high on the government’s agenda to help grow the economy.
He said: “We want to help nearby businesses make the most of the global market place, and the Hot House programme will ensure entrepreneurs understand the fundamentals of getting ready to expand overseas.”
The initiative aims to introduce the principles of exporting through a number of one-day boot camps, which will be fronted by lecturers from the university.
It will also feature a six-day workshop, run on a bi-monthly basis, which will focus on developing strategies, marketing, and preparing for tax and legal implications.
The programme has been heavily subsidised by the government in a bid to encourage more businesses to export their goods into new territories.
The grants, which were announced last month, have already inspired growth in the UK, according to the Chambers of Commerce report, which added to the record number of sales to other countries.
“UK growth is still reliant on consumer spending, but exports will play a larger contribution to our economic future,” said Mr Sear.
“Thanks to the government grants, the fully comprehensive Export Hot House programme costs just £1,000 – that is about ten per cent of the actual amount.
“This is a programme for ambitious businesses which will provide mentoring and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs to achieve the first of many exports.”
Applications for a place on the Export Hot House programme are available at www.chi.ac.uk/exporthothouse