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Latest News / International trade visits become reality with Shell LiveWIRE's Let's Go Trade

 

• Shell LiveWIRE enables young entrepreneurs to undertake international trade visits.
• $65,000 committed to 25 young businesses.
• Enterprises from 9 different countries already supported.

Young entrepreneurs from nine different countries have successfully undertaken international trade visits that will potentially open up new markets and accelerate innovation within their businesses, thanks to the Shell LiveWIRE International Let’s Go Trade (LGT) programme.

LGT is aimed at those who have been in business for between 18 months and five years, who would like to undertake an international visit to investigate new markets and ways to innovate in their business – in order to become more sustainable, increase their turnover and the number of jobs they create.

LGT funding, totalling up to US $65k, has been approved for 25 businesses from nine Shell LiveWIRE countries, namely: Brazil, Brunei, Indonesia, Italy, Nigeria, Netherlands, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UK. The successful applicants to date include businesses involved in sectors ranging from renewable energy to natural cosmetics, and medical training to e-health. The LGT grants cover 50% of the costs of travel and accommodation, up to a maximum of US $3,000 per participant.

The UK is the most popular destination selected by participants, with seven entrepreneurs planning to visit there, closely followed by the US. Other visit destinations include, China, Italy, the Middle East, France, Mexico, Canada, India and Sweden.

All of the entrepreneurs have an ambition to trade internationally and have identified a gap in their business sector which can be addressed through innovation within the business. The gaps defined by the entrepreneurs include, for example: a product that isn’t available in their country; the delivery of a new, or added value, service in their sector; a business model that isn’t in use in their country; a unique delivery channel; or, a unique method of engaging with their clients on some aspect of their service.

Specific reasons identified by participants for undertaking their LGT visits range from implementing the latest production technology to improving production efficiency and conducting market research to establishing regional distribution networks.

Among the entrepreneurs to have just completed their LGT visits is technology entrepreneur Erica Castilho from Brazil, whose company, Web Moment specialises in digital marketing and web development. Erica chose to visit London to explore the potential for internationalising her marketplace builder product, N2N Virtual, which provides a platform to connect SMEs with customers and potential collaborators. During her visit in June, Erica attended London Tech Week and a series of business events organised by United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI). As a result, Erica was able to benchmark her business against other similar IT companies and to meet potential partners and competitors. She also visited incubator workspace facilities, with a view to opening a new international office.

Looking for opportunities to innovate within her business in order to facilitate international expansion, Erica also investigated online payment platforms and selected PayPal as the best solution for her business.

Commenting on the impact of her Let’s Go Trade visit, Erica said, “The visit has been a game changing experience! It has enabled us to investigate new technologies that will allow us to reach new markets around the world, and we have validated our business model in Europe.

“The visit to London will help us scale up and improve our productivity and competitiveness through process reforms. Now we plan to expand the business around the world!”

Over the next five years, Erica expects to achieve 40% of sales from international customers and to establish affiliated companies in Europe, Latin America and the US.

Erica concludes by saying, “Without our Let’s Go Trade visit we would definitely not now be on the threshold of expanding the business internationally.”

Another entrepreneur, Niels de Greef, from the Netherlands used his LGT award to investigate the potential international expansion of his innovative car sharing business, ParkFlyRent, which specialises in car sharing and rental solutions for travellers at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. Niels used his LGT award to visit Stockholm Arlanda Airport in order to investigate the opportunity for establishing the company’s first international location.

Summing up his LGT visit experience, Niels said, “It was an excellent visit. I had meetings with the airport operator, as well as players in the local sharing economy, and explored the area surrounding the airport to identify a suitable location for ParkFlyRent.

“We found that there are no direct competitors, and that there is a decent sharing economy and a mentality comparable to that in the Netherlands.

“The visit has helped us to get a good view of the local market for expansion. Alongside two other trips in October, we will have the detailed information we require to make a decision on where to locate our first international ParkFlyRent operation.”

Anita Yuli from Indonesia used her LGT grant to travel to the UK to investigate innovations that would enhance her fashion label for breastfeeding mothers.

Explaining the outcome of her visit, Anita said, “The LGT experience was awesome! It has enabled me to prioritise R&D to improve and grow my business. Innovations I have already implemented have led to a 10% increase in earnings, and I am also introducing a new online store.”

Leonardo Martins from Brazil chose to visit India in order to establish a strategic partnership that would enable his fledgling photographic image bank business, Oliandro Imagens do Brasil, to compete on an international level.

Commenting on the result of his visit, Leonardo said, “My LGT visit to India has enabled me to outsource some operations which will reduce my costs by up to 85%. This will lead to accelerated growth and enhance my ability to compete with any image bank in the world.”

 


 

International trade visits become reality with Shell LiveWIRE's Let's Go Trade
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