“It’s one of those courses I looked forward to every week. I learnt so much, dramatically increased my exporting knowledge and now have a huge network of other small business owners I now consider as friends. What more could I have wished for?”
That’s what WandsPro General Manager Chris Wands had to say about Sunshine Coast Council’s Export and Global Capability Program, after completing the 10 week program in December last year.
The first instalment of the 2017 program starts on April 19 and registrations are open via council’s website. The course is subsidised by $1000 for Sunshine Coast-based businesses (two representatives from the same business can attend for the one fee of $250).
Mr Wands said his local company, which designs and manufactures outdoor camping equipment, had benefited enormously from participating in the program.
“One of the biggest eye openers for me was understanding the huge amount of support and help there is available here on the Sunshine Coast!” he said.
“During the 10 week programme, we were exposed to just so many great resources, high quality information and valuable contacts who had all walked the export path already and literally were on hand to help with our journeys.
Some incredible resources I learnt from include the Sunshine Coast Council, Austrade and all the independent presenters at the workshops who were all literally oozing with help.
“When setting up a business it’s true to say knowledge is king; I found out that there is help and support in abundance right here at our fingertips, no matter what stage we are on our export journeys.
“I learnt that there are so many other small businesses on the coast on the same path as me and it was so awesome to network, share ideas and support each other, all while participating on a fantastic export course.”
The Export and Global Capability Program is an initiative of Sunshine Coast Council. This year’s program includes modules on selecting the right export market, the role of Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s), planning the right market entry strategy and international pricing strategy.
Experts from the Export Council of Australia and Trade & Investment Queensland will be on-hand to assess each participating business’ current export readiness, guide businesses through key elements of their export journey including exposure to new markets and developing an export plan.
The 10-week course culminates with participants preparing and presenting their own export plan and pitch.
Economic Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson said the Export Development and Global Capability Program was a key to stronger economy in the future.
“The Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-33 aims for 20% of our locally produced goods and services to be available for export outside the region,” Cr Robinson said.
“Council’s export program includes a range of face to face networking events, we have an online LinkedIn group with some 400 members and we also offer education and coaching programs.
“A lot of exporters need help now and what we’re trying to provide is that hands-on experience with people who’ve been out in the workplace doing it themselves, negotiating and battling their way through entering different export markets and I’m delighted we’ve got people of such a high calibre provided by the Export Council of Australia able to assist our local business exporters.
“I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about exporting or even an experienced exporter to get in touch with council and really understand what programs and support we can offer. Chris from WandsPro is ”
The key benefits for businesses who export include:
- Access to new sources of revenue
- Helps reduce risk by broadening customer base
- Assists with recruiting better quality staff
- Can be a catalyst for innovation