Novices get top ten tips from the experts as potential new exporters tops 120 mark

2 December 2013

More than 150 businesses across Leeds City Region have joined the Local Enterprise Partnership’s We are International Export Network campaign this year in a major drive to boost overseas trade.

The businesses, which include more than 30 export ambassador businesses, come from virtually all ten local authority areas within Leeds City Region which aims to earn an additional £1.6bn in exports in the next five years and create thousands of jobs.

Among potential new exporters which have come forward since Leeds City Region Export Week held between November 11 and 15 is Eye Pharmacy, Dewsbury, which wants to explore selling pharmaceuticals overseas and SOMI Trailers, Scunthorpe, which aims to export a major new trailer within Europe.

We are International lead export ambassador, Eric Hawthorn, managing director of Radio Design Ltd, Shipley, said:

There is no shortage of interest and enthusiasm from businesses who want to embrace the benefits of overseas trade and access the help available.

We are pleased with where we are but we still need to appoint more export ambassadors and spread the message to more businesses who may not yet have identified themselves as exporters but who could benefit significantly from doing so and also businesses which would like to export but fear it will prove too complex or time-consuming.

The most recent We are International event at commercial law firm, Pinsent Mason, Leeds, on November 12, sponsored by Yorkshire Bank, saw an audience of almost 100 new and would-be exporters discover the secrets of effective selling and top ten tips for successful exporting from experts.

Author, life and sales strategist, Darren Kelly, whose new book Hello Profit is published this autumn, discussed his ‘3D formula’ for global sales growth, partner in Fitzpatrick International, Batley, near Bradford, Ernie Fitzpatrick, described how product analysis and studying customer needs helped him increase sales of a British-made Christmas pudding to Australia from £10,000 to £1.4m in two seasons and managing director of specialist hygiene products, The Proton Group, Normanton, near Leeds, Murray Angus, said that businesses should not get wrong-footed by exaggerated cultural differences.

Meanwhile, export sales manager with Optimum Medical Solutions, Leeds, Victoria Boldison, whose business was founded in 2008 and already exports to 50 countries, said that playing on the British brand and heritage gave confidence to overseas customers as did being open to ideas and optimistic. She said: “You must view exporting positively and not see it as a threat.

Alan Young, regional director for Yorkshire Bank in the East of England, who welcomed delegates, said Yorkshire Bank’s experience was that for many customers economic conditions appeared to be getting better. This was reflected by the number of businesses coming to the Bank seeking advice and international trade finance to target new overseas markets.

The export network is a key element of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership’s We are International campaign. The initiative is being delivered in partnership with international trade specialists Chamber International and UKTI Yorkshire.

We are International is a campaign led by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in partnership with UKTI Yorkshire and Humber, Chamber International and Enterprise Europe Network Yorkshire. It aims to add £1.6bn to the Leeds City Region economy by encouraging more companies to realise the significant business opportunities of international trade


The key elements of the campaign are:

  • We are international Export Network – delivered by Chamber International, the We are International Export Network connects companies looking to trade overseas with experienced exporters and with the significant export support available. It gives businesses opportunities to share contacts and advice, and *learn from the experience of other firms.
  • We are International ambassadors – a City Region-wide network of experienced exporters providing mentoring and practical advice to firms looking to break into overseas markets. Exporters can apply to become an ambassador by registering at In return for their support, export champions will have the opportunity to promote their export successes through the We are International campaign.
  • Online tools and resources – online tools and resources to support would-be exporters are available at A range of new online tools will be launched in 2013
  • Coherent support offer – campaign partners will be delivering a programme of events and other support services as part of the We are International initiative. Details will be available at

Main Photograph: Pictured (L to R) at the We are International Export Network event in Leeds are: partner in Fitzpatrick International, Batley, near Bradford, Ernie Fitzpatrick; author, life and sales strategist, Darren Kelly, and Alan Young, regional director for Yorkshire Bank in the East of England.

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