While exports from Enterprise Ireland supported companies increased to record levels in 2021, there’s no doubt businesses everywhere are facing headwinds in the coming year.
Challenges such as rising inflation, supply chain issues and skills availability will all continue to put pressure on Irish exporters in the months ahead.
Enterprise Ireland continues to provide support and advice for our clients as they face these challenges. And one such opportunity for clients to connect with our global team of market advisors kicks off this week, as Enterprise Ireland’s International Markets Week (IMW) is taking place at the RDS.
Client companies were invited to register in advance as it will give hundreds of Irish exporters the opportunity to meet face to face with market advisors from our team across our network of international offices to discuss their export strategies.
IMW is one of Ireland’s largest annual business events and has run for over 20 years, and this year will be one of our biggest to date, as it is also the first time that the event is taking place in person since before the pandemic.
Over the week ahead, more than 570 Enterprise Ireland client companies will hold one-to-one meetings with our market advisors, who are travelling to Dublin from our network of 40 market offices across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.
While exports from companies supported by Enterprise Ireland rose by 12pc to a record €27.29bn in 2021 – the highest ever level of growth in terms of export value – the forecasted global slowdown means it’s timely for businesses here to assess and formulate their export and internationalisation plans for 2023.
During their face-to-face meetings with more than 130 Enterprise Ireland market advisors at IMW, Irish enterprises can work out the most effective and impactful tailored strategy for each individual market to which they export or are considering for market entry.
We have consistently seen that having a joint action plan with Enterprise Ireland significantly strengthens a company’s opportunity to grow and scale internationally.
This year’s event will also include a schedule of meetings for companies that are currently focused solely on the domestic market, but that have the ambition to export and scale internationally.
These meetings will help them to understand their value proposition and potential channels to market and build their ambition to internationalise.
Our team of advisors will also be able to help these potential exporters to kickstart their research and gather market intelligence, so they can assess where they could potentially target first and how to approach developing a market entry plan.
Those attending IMW will also be able to drop into the Global Ambition lounge, where they can meet with specialist advisors to drill into specific areas of interest such as sustainability, digitalisation and driving competitiveness.
Other specialist sessions will revolve around how to attract, retain and develop the right talent within your organisation as well as sales and marketing and global procurement.
Funding for international growth is also an area of keen interest for exporters keen to grow their overseas sales, and relevant experts will be on hand to advise on the supports available in this regard.
Online marketplaces, such as Amazon, are becoming increasingly vital global sales channels for many Irish exporters, and companies attending IMW can also arrange meetings with experts on these fast growing sales channels.
Whether it’s advising existing exporters or supporting the next generation of potential successful exporters, time and again IMW has proven to be an invaluable event that supports Irish businesses to identify new opportunities and to develop strategies.
Tom Cusack is Divisional Manager, Global Markets at Enterprise Ireland