The Export for Growth project is designed to tackle two main obstacles in the area: the low level of businesses exporting and the dependency of current exporters to the EU and US markets. The project will reach out to those businesses that have a potential to export and provide them with intensive support with a view to help them break into export. It will also help more mature exporters, currently exporting only to a small number of near-to-home markets, to widen their horizons and compete in potentially high-return markets.

The local South West LEP areas host a great many enterprises who have the potential to compete in export markets and also has firms who have been exporting for many years but only export a small proportion of their output, exporting only to a small number of near-to-home markets.

Support for SMEs through the essential early stages of development is still lacking in the South West LEP areas.

The Export for Growth project provides intensive support to help SMEs overcome the common barriers to international trade. By enhancing their knowledge through the thinking phase, improving their skills through the planning phase and improving their commercial capability to sell to new international markets in the doing phase, the Project will enable more SMEs to win new business in export markets.

UKTI research confirms that exporting stimulates innovation which in turn leads to stronger growth. The project will tackle these challenges with the Export for Growth project which not only addresses explicit European Structural and Investment Fund strategic aims, but also contributes to the national ambition to double UK exports by 2020.