How Elevate Works
Small businesses participating in ‘Elevate’ can choose from a list of more than 100 experienced industry specialists who can then help them to identify sales leads in the cross-border market, negotiate deals, share relevant market insights, identify market research requirements and offer advice on the development of marketing materials.
Yummy Bakes - Jordanstown
One such company that benefitted from the Elevate Programme was Micro-business, Yummy Bakes, based in Jordanstown, Newtownabbey. Owner, Anna Taggart, credits the InterTradeIreland programme with helping to open up the Irish market for her high-quality ‘golden moment’ pastry and biscuit ranges.
“I knew that I needed someone who came from the food industry and knew the market inside out. With more than 100 experts to choose from, I was able to choose the perfect match for me. He was able to help me to research the market and organised two interviews for me with potential major distributors and I am waiting to hear the outcome of these.”
She explains: “I had grown the local element of my business substantially and wanted to take Yummy Bakes NI across the border but was unsure about how and where to start. I looked at InterTradeIreland’s Elevate programme, the application process was very straightforward and I was accepted onto the programme. Taking part in the Elevate programme gave me the confidence to break into the market and having the support of my Elevate Industry expert made my goals a very real possibility.’
Margaret Hearty, explains: “We regularly review our available support for businesses and a few years ago realised there was a funding gap for small micro enterprises. As they make up 96% of businesses on the island it is essential that they receive the support they require to expand and flourish.
“The cross-border market is an often an underutilised but logical first step to wider export markets, giving experience of varied legislation and working with a different currency but has the comfort of being more accessible. Once mastered this makes looking at European markets a more realistic prospect. The Elevate Programme was designed with simplicity in mind to remove as much bureaucracy as possible. As such, a relatively simple and straight-forward application process was devised and put in place.I would urge all interested small businesses with less than £1million turnover to register their interest and apply to Elevate today.”
Anna concluded “I may have got to the point of considering breaking into Ireland but it would have been many years down the line. Participation in Elevate sped this up greatly and has got Yummy Bakes NI’s name out there and onto people’s lips – literally!”
For more Information
For more information on the Elevate programme, including eligibility criteria visit www.intertradeireland.com/elevate.