Seven thousand UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from a new programme to help them attract overseas customers through the internet, Business Secretary Vince Cable will announce today.
Vince Cable will also announce that for the first time, the UK will have an approved global network of business-to-business support to rival the world’s best. By the end of 2014 UK SMEs will benefit from 40 approved support networks in UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) top high growth markets including China, India and the UAE.
West Midlands firms are invited to attend a free e-commerce workshop on how to optimise websites to generate a higher volume of web traffic and gain new business from international customers. ‘Website Enquiries: Next Steps for Growth’ is being led by an expert in international websites and effective communication and is taking place at Worcester Warriors, Sixways Stadium on 13 November. This master class is one of the many events taking place across the region as part of Export Week (11 – 15 November).
One firm hoping to expand their online exports is Worcester based security and compliance software firm, Titania Ltd. With help from UKTI, Titania exports their software to government agencies, business corporations and independent security auditors in 50 countries – including some of the most security conscious organisations in the world, such as the French MoD, Australia Air Force and the U.S. FBI. Overseas trade now accounts for 90% of Titania’s revenue.
This SME received the highest ranking award for network security at the Government Security Awards in Washington, USA (May 2013) and was recently shortlisted as a finalist alongside BT and Randomstorm in the prestigious UKIT Industry Awards for exports.
Ruth Inglis, Titania Ltd Marketing Manager says:
“International business opportunities are enormous and should definitely not be overlooked. With e-commerce more widespread than ever and single economic markets all over the world experiencing difficulties, spreading the risk can help protect revenue. We’ve had a wide variety of help and support from UKTI and have completed UKTI’s Passport to Export and the Gateway to Global Growth programs. We’ve also used the Overseas Market Intelligence Service (OMIS) ahead of trade visits to Canada and the U.S.A and we’ll be attending the UKTI trade visit to Australia in December. I’m looking forward to attending the e-commerce workshop in November as we can always improve on how we attract and interact with overseas customers through our website.”
The UKTI ‘Grow Online, Expand Worldwide’ campaign will deliver training and advice to SMEs and provide funding to help improve their web capability over the next two years. Business Secretary Vince Cable will announce the campaign in a speech today at a UKTI exporting conference. He will say:
“Britain’s 220,000 online retailers export more than the rest of Europe’s e-retailers combined but other countries are catching up fast. UK companies need to stay ahead of the game and capitalise on the rapid growth of mobile technology and social media to find new international customers.
“Supporting more small and medium sized businesses to export is a crucial part of the Government's plan to rebalance our economy, create jobs and boost prosperity. Britain has moved back up into 5th place in the IMF's worldwide ranking of exports of goods and services. UKTI's ‘Grow Online, Expand Worldwide’ campaign will help even more businesses to tap into the global appetite for British goods and services.”
Paul Noon, Regional Director for UKTI West Midlands says:
“There are thousands of companies in this region - large and small - who would benefit from support to grow their exports through internet based technologies. These technologies might include optimising their international web presence, making better use of social media and/or engaging with e-commerce business-to-business platforms. In the West Midlands we are also piloting a new suite of services to support firms that have the potential to grow through web based exporting.”
UKTI’s ‘Grow Online, Expand Worldwide’ campaign includes local support for:
- 4,000 aspiring web exporters through awareness raising sessions, a webinar campaign and international web workshops.
- 1,200 web export ready businesses through e-commerce masterclasses.
- 1,500 web exporters with bespoke one-to-one advice from experts, tailored website reviews and action planning to access web exporter vouchers - up to £3,000 matched funding.
- 600 companies from the UK retail sector to sell online by helping them to list their products on the world’s leading online sales sites including Alibaba in China and Tejuri in the Gulf.
The Government wants to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business. In the autumn it will launch a public campaign to celebrate GREAT British business success stories. The Government wants to inspire other small businesses and point them towards the support that can help them grow. It will also launch a new strategy for how the whole of Government will back them. This will set out a range of measures to continue helping budding entrepreneurs and existing businesses succeed.
Notes to editors:
- The Business Secretary will be speaking at 14.00 at UKTI’s Click:Connect:Sell event held at Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank London, SW1P 4QP, on Wednesday 16 October.
- If you are a business interested in the ‘Grow Online, Expand Worldwide’ campaign, please call 02070344848 and speak to a member of the Click:Connect:Sell team.
- During October 2013, the Government is launching, or working with its partners on, several initiatives to help small businesses and individual members of the public make the most of the internet and digital technologies. These will ensure that the infrastructure is there to enable people to get online, that small businesses are given practical help to operate more effectively online and that disadvantaged adults are helped to access to the internet and the skills to get the most from these technologies.
- The Government wants to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business. In the autumn it will launch a public campaign to celebrate GREAT British business success stories. The Government wants to inspire other small businesses and point them towards the support that can help them grow. It will also launch a new strategy for how the whole of Government will back them. This will set out a range of measures to continue helping budding entrepreneurs and existing businesses succeed.
- 16 million people in the UK aged 15 and over still don’t have basic online skills, although 90% of all jobs will require ICT skills by 2015.
- Just 33% of small to medium-sized companies have a digital presence and only 14% sell their products online. But research suggests that if UK SMEs fully adopted online technologies, they could increase annual turnover by £18.8 billion. Here in the UK we’re twice as likely as the OECD average to buy goods online.
- The potential of online and digital technologies is huge and is growing by the day.
- The government is working with partners to ensure that the country, businesses, communities and individuals reap the full benefits of online and digital technologies, and do so securely.
- Infrastructure connects the country, helping businesses expand. It gives us a competitive advantage, underpinning economic growth and high quality jobs.
- The Government is making a £1bn investment in extending broadband infrastructure to 95% of the UK.
- Individuals need digital skills to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that broadband provides so that they can get high-quality jobs and improve their quality of life.
- In the 2012 Autumn Statement, UKTI was awarded an additional £70m for each of 2013/14 and 2014/15, enabling the recruitment of more international trade advisers around the country, expansion of existing services including the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), and support to expand the range of assistance available to UK companies through overseas British chambers of commerce.
- The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
- To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
- To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
- To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
- To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
- Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.
- UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media.
- The GREAT Britain campaign is the Government’s most ambitious international marketing campaign ever and showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer in order to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.
- For more information about Export Week and how to book your place at events in the West Midlands, log onto the website at: http://www.exportweek.ukti.gov.uk/full
· To find out more about the wide range of support services available through UK Trade & Investment to help your company succeed overseas call the West Midlands Central Service Team on 0845 074 3515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jo Sheppard RNN: 0115 872 4744, firstname.lastname@example.orgISSUED ON BEHALF OF UKTI BY REGIONAL NEWS NETWORK
At Titania we develop cyber security auditing software. We currently provide our flagship product Nipper Studio to global organisations in 40 countries. Nipper Studio allows organisations to produce their own network security audits on network devices without generating network traffic. We have recently launched our new product Paws, (Professional Auditor for Workstations and Servers). This tool enables organisations to produce advanced and intelligent compliance audits on their own network windows based, workstations and laptops.Our customer base is made up largely of organisations in the financial, telecommunications, IT security, and government and defence industries. However any organisation that has sensitive data to protect can benefit from using our network security auditing tools.