Seize opportunity to trade overseas

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A South Yorkshire entrepreneur is urging others to follow her lead and seize the opportunties offered by trading abroad.

Julia Gash, the founder of eco-friendly bag company BIDBI launched her call at the start of a week-long drive to boost exports, led by UK Trade & Investment

“Trading internationally has transformed the way we do business,” said Julia, who founded BIDBI – as ‘Bag It Don’t Bin It’ in 2008.

“It has opened up markets in the US, Middle East and South East Asia, and has given us a fantastic platform for future expansion.

“It can be a little daunting taking those initial steps onto foreign shores, but my message is firmly to embrace the challenge and to work closely with the likes of UKTI to utilise the services, support and experience they offer.

“It’s a big wide world with plenty of amazing opportunities, and it would be fantastic to see many, many more South Yorkshire companies competing internationally, driving jobs and growth, and fulfilling their undoubted potential.”

Overseas sales currently account for 10 per cent of BIDBI’s business, but Julia is confident that will grow to 25 per cent within the next 12 months on the back of growing orders and partnerships in Japan, South Korea, the UAE and beyond.

The week of activities runs until Friday, when it will end with a keynote event in Sheffield, entitled The World of Exporting.

The event, at the Mercure St Paul’s Hotel, will be addressed by international brand specialist Rita Clifton, a former strategy director for Saatchi & Saatchi.

For more information visit www.exportweek.ukti.gov.uk and view the Yorkshire and Humber programme.