intertradeirelandInterTradeIreland has today launched the 2012 phase of its exciting sales development programme, Elevate, which aims to help small businesses across Ireland develop sales opportunities through first time cross-border exports.  Research carried out by InterTradeIreland indicates that small businesses which are not exporting have been hit hardest by the recession

The Elevate programme was designed specifically for micro businesses with a turnover of less than €1.2 million and less than 10 members of staff, so is tailored very precisely to their needs. The programme aims to help these businesses to become export ready by providing full financial funding to increase their cross-border sales, through access to industry specific experts who will work with each company on a one-to-one basis to develop a sales plan tailored to their sector. This will ultimately help each participating company to access new markets and win new business.

Liam Nellis, CEO, InterTradeIreland, explained: "InterTradeIreland's most recent business monitor survey revealed that 78% of Irish business do not currently export .  However, it also indicates that those who do look to other markets, outperform those who depend solely on a local market.  It is vital that we provide small businesses in Ireland with the practical supports to help them to survive and grow.  Elevate is designed to encourage these small firms to target new markets for the first time and stimulate export -led recovery."

Also speaking at the launch, Mr Mark Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer, SourceDogg.com, based in Co. Dublin, who participated in the pilot phase of the programme said: "Elevate was just the right programme for SourceDogg.com to begin our business entry into Northern Ireland, a brand new market for us.  InterTradeIreland matched us with the perfect market expert for our business as he really understood our requirements and challenges.  He very quickly introduced us into a series of high level engagements which allowed us to gather the market intelligence we need to make secure plans for the future.  Having the access and advice of someone who has 'been there, done that' was really invaluable." 

Liam Nellis concluded: "The application process is very simple and as places are limited I would urge all small companies interested in increasing their sales to apply for Elevate as soon as possible or to contact InterTradeIreland for information on our other support programmes." 

For more information and to apply to the programme, please visit www.intertradeireland.com/elevate .

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