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Export Academy

The Export Academy, from the Department for International Trade (DIT), gives small and micro-businesses the know-how to sell to customers around the world with confidence.

It’s applicable to a wide range of businesses – you could be selling children’s clothes to Spain online, or providing PR services to a new client in the US. Whether you want to start exporting, or you’re aiming to enter new markets, we’ll help you overcome many of the common challenges that small businesses can face.

The Programme

The programme is made up of a series of ten core interactive educational sessions with exclusive content based on feedback from our delegates and designed specifically to help small and micro businesses understand everything they need to know in order to sell internationally.


1. Understanding the benefits of, and barriers to, export

An overview of the risks and benefits of export; first steps to making informed decisions about internationalisation; laying the foundation for an achievable export plan

2. Steps to export

An overview of export documentation, including customs declarations at home and abroad; as well as invoicing and evidence of export; and additional support

3. International market research

Understanding what constitutes effective market research; which key markets to prioritise; when your business should consider it; and why it’s important to profitability.

4. Pricing strategy and route to market

Getting to grips with price versus cost; export costing; researching prices in a given market; pricing strategies; and routes to market.

5. Customs, export controls, and trade deals

Understanding key documentation, and legal requirements; understanding prohibitions and restrictions; overview of free trade agreements.

6. Selling services overseas

Marketing your service; ways to develop successful relationships; considering factors that could open the door to opportunity.

7. International commercial (INCO) terms

Understanding the Incoterm ® 2020 rules; what they do; what isn’t covered; and the impact on the cost of goods.

8. Movement of money

Getting paid: risks and costs; financial regulation; economic considerations in the movement of money over international borders.

9. Customs, VAT, and rules of origin

Understanding export paperwork in a little more detail; particularly with regard to VAT and place of service; and key documentation in the shipping process.

10. Creating an Export Action Plan

Institutional support available in your strategic planning; overseas visits; translation and interpretation; exhibitions and promotions; legal costs; overseas staff.

Master Classes

Additional master classes will be available as part of the overall programme, led by international specialists with experience across both public and private sectors. Registration for these sector and market-specific courses can be found on the main Export Academy registration page.

In this master class, we will look at the language and cultural factors that influence success when selling your services or goods internationally. We will explore why people think and communicate differently across cultures and how to adapt your sales and communications strategy accordingly. We will consider the importance of language localisation for your communications, website, packaging, digital and printed promotional material, and how to select and manage translators and interpreters.

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The key to export success is the understanding and acceptance that cultural and communication differences influence business and consumer behaviour. This masterclass prepares businesses interested in the DACH markets (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), a predominantly German-speaking region of 100 million inhabitants and strong purchasing power, to embrace the business culture and local nuances of the region from the start in order to maximise market entry success.

Hear from Munich-based Kreis Consulting on making the right early-stage decisions; our NPH Export Champion, Forest, and Co, on how they successfully adapted their approach and products to succeed in the region; our overseas DIT teams covering Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, adding their views to market entry strategy and where they can add value, and of course, the team at DIT NW who can help link all this support together for your business.

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This webinar is hosted by Sarah Peak, Export Manager with the DIT, who has over 25 years’ experience working in the food industry across manufacturing, wholesale, and retail. A buyer for supermarkets and product development in own label, Sarah has worked with brands in ambient, chilled, and frozen and she understands the challenges food businesses face from setting up her own food and drink company. This event will give you a roadmap to help you focus on the priorities and see new business opportunities clearer.

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Developing your marketing and website for an international audience is vital to your export success - and can be a difficult process for busy exporters. This webinar will take you through 7 practical and productive steps using case study examples from successful exporters to help you win more export business from your marketing and website.

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Do you want to generate enough high-quality international leads on LinkedIn that convert more quickly? You may have a good LinkedIn profile, but are you getting the results you really want? Do you understand how to leverage LinkedIn in international markets? LinkedIn is one of the most powerful online resources, which covers over 200 countries and regions and allows exporters to swiftly and effectively reach out to a global audience in over 24 languages. Effective for both B2B and B2C businesses, working smart on LinkedIn can bring significant results - competitive edge, brand awareness, and swift global reach. It can also bring good short-term results whilst you are internationalising your website.

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This webinar is hosted by Christos Kottis, Export Manager with the DIT, who has worked in Marketing and Business Development for over 20 years across many industry sectors predominantly in B2B industries. His international experience includes roles within PLCs and SMEs as well as running his own management consultancy firm in recent years. This masterclass will give delegates an insight into B2B marketing and business development and the best way to compile a strategic marketing plan for your business in order to achieve profitable and sustainable growth.

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Cross-border eCommerce is the fastest growing area of international trade. Across 2020, UK online exports increased by almost 40%, and 1-in-5 non-UK consumers make eCommerce purchases from British-based businesses. What are you waiting for?

John Baines is the DIT’s eCommerce specialist International Trade Adviser in the North West and works with businesses to increase their online sales potential around the world. John’s background has previously been in sports marketing, having worked for two of the world’s largest online publishers and an international sports fashion retailer.

This Export Academy session will offer insight into the fundamentals of online trade, the major considerations of your eCommerce activity, and how to develop a digital marketing strategy to help raise visibility, awareness, traffic, and sales across digital touchpoints.

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Enquire now

Due to the pandemic, the Export Academy will temporarily be delivered online, and will feature educational events, independent learning, networking and group mentoring. You’ll leave the course with a completed export action plan to take your business to international customers.

To find out more please click here or contact Chris Baxter, Export Academy Adviser at


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