THE EXPORT READINESS PROGRAMME
We aim to grow exports by increasing the number of companies which are actually exporting. Our Export Readiness Programme which exposes companies to the rudiments of exporting, was launched in 2011 and aims to:
- Increase the value of exports and the number of exporting companies with sustainable export markets
- Increase the number of businesses with formal training in exporting and preparation of export marketing plans
- Enhance management expertise available within SMEs
The extensive training programme was designed to identify areas of organizational weakness in the participating businesses and administer a customized export marketing and management training programme to address common problems.
Programme components include:
- Company audits and identification of areas for training
- UWI management training in select areas such as financial management, negotiation and contracts, export documentation and industrial health and safety
- Practical role playing and business pitching sessions
- Trade Mission to a selected territory.
The trade mission organized as the practical component of the Programme seeks to:
- Provide a supervised opportunity for fledgling exporters to explore export markets
- Provide Barbadian manufacturers the opportunity to capitalize on the CARICOM Trade Agreement
- Initiate new contacts, renew previous contacts and forge trade relations in the islands
- Provide participants with the practical experience of developing linkages with potential distributors and to experience market conditions in other markets
- Increase the number of exporters and value of exports of Barbadian goods and services over time
There were eleven companies graduating from the 2014 programme, all with positive feedback on its usefulness and practical application.
Graduate companies are encouraged, with the help of an assigned Business Development Officer, to prepare export marketing plans and set realistic targets for market penetration. Further, the onus will be on graduands to actively engage and follow-up on any contacts or business leads made in the structured market visit as part of the Programme to gain market traction and build new export business.