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Trading overseas

There is a lot to take into account when you want to start trading overseas.

Department for Business & Trade (DBT)

The Department for Business & Trade (DBT) work closely with UK based businesses to ensure success in international markets, by helping to export products and services overseas. They have access to a large network of contacts, including staff in Embassies and Consulates around the globe, in more than 100 international markets, so they are well positioned to research opportunities and help your business to break into new markets.

DBT can support your business with the following services:

Trade Advisors

Local businesses can book a free 30 minute video consultation with an International Trade Advisor.

You can contact our local DIT Advisor at:

Export Academy

The Export Academy provides free webinars, round table meetings and mentoring sessions, to learn how to sell to customers around the world with confidence. If you complete the whole programme, you will graduate with a completed export action plan, enabling you to take your business direct to international customers.

Empowering SMEs in International Trade Programme

If you are a novice or an experienced importer or exporter based in the East Midlands, this programme provides 30 plus hours of fully funded strategic and operational support, to address your international trade challenges and/or expedite your global ambitions. Whilst the programme has a framework, support is 100% client-led and fully adaptable to ensure it delivers the greatest value to you and your business.

Markets guides

You can download free market guides to support your research plans and sign up for business events near you.

Get help to sell online, worldwide

Let the Department for International Trade help you export your products to consumers around the world through online marketplaces.

The UK trade show programme

Small or medium enterprises in the UK that are currently exporting or thinking about exporting, but are not currently doing so can apply for support. Support is offered to help businesses exhibit at or attend approved overseas trade shows and conferences. Grants between £2000 and £4000 to may be available to cover some costs; businesses must apply 6 weeks prior to the event.

Connect with international buyers

Let buyers find you by setting up a free business profile that highlights your company’s projects and experiences, to give buyers insight into what you do.

Other overseas trading resources

Open to Export

Open to Export is a free online information service for small and medium enterprises looking for support to grow internationally by exporting from the UK. Companies can work together and share information, advice and support about export market opportunities and means of entry. The information, answers, advice, and articles on Open to Export are all composed by the site's users, community, and key contributors.

Enterprise Nation International Trade Hub

The Enterprise Nation International Trade Hub provides advice and information on how small businesses can successfully import, export and expand overseas. You can also use this hub to access Deloitte’s easy to use platform, which helps you to submit your own customs declarations.​

Mentor City, USA

The US is the UK’s largest export market for goods and services, and accounts for 20.4% of all exports from UK which is worth £140.9 billion. Mentor City in Ohio have opportunities for local companies across a broad range of industries. They can help UK businesses ‘do business’ in the US, by connecting them with the right people such as lawyers, distributors, partners, manufacturers and identify investment opportunities and commercial sites, should you wish to expand your operations and establish a base over there.

If you’re serious about wanting to access new markets in the US, then the city of Mentor could be an excellent first step. Similarly, Mentor City have businesses looking to establish trade links over here, so this offers an excellent opportunity for Ashfield businesses to explore mutually beneficial relationships and trade with the US.

Innovate UK Edge

If you want to break into international markets and adjacent sectors to ‘grow’ and ‘scale-up’, then Innovate UK Edge can help. They have lots of connections, expertise and run a series of targeted global programmes that are supported by industry specialists. They can help you to learn about specific international markets and build relationships with overseas companies.