Scale up founders in the West of England don't tend to mention 'markets' as one of their top 3 challenges in conversation with the Scale up Enabler. That's not to say that it isn't a challenge - certainly securing contracts with government and corporate clients is something that proves difficult, but perhaps it's not such a pressing or immediate challenge.

What's happened this year?

Engine Shed partnered with PwC to run the inaugural Scale SW programme which saw 12 local scaleup companies receive workshop support and the opportunity to pitch to a couple of room-fulls of 'buyers' from target enterprise clients.

Business West offers a range of support in partnership with the Department for International Trade including their 'Export for Growth' programme which offers:

  • You Can Export: How to get started masterclass
  • International Market Research
  • Intellectual Property Protection
  • International Mentoring Scheme
  • Digital Marketing Support
  • Export Funding and Investment Advice And 'Extend your Global Reach' which helps companies access up to 12 days bespoke consultancy support for market entry consultancy.

The Global Business Accelerator Programme run in partnership by InnovateUK and Business West was heralded a great success - taking founders on a visit to specific global markets to accelerate export activity. The programme will run again in September 2018 and more information is available here.

Where can you find help?

There are also a number of online services to help companies identify and respond to international opportunities. For example, OpenOpps helps make Government contract opportunities openly available, and googles 'Market Finder' released in 2017 recommends the best markets for your business and provides resources to help you go global and the Department for International Trade has it's own opportunity finder.