Mon 9th Jun 2014
Well connected for export growth
NI Chamber and Ulster Bank launch new support initiative to help businesses tap into an unrivalled local and global network of business leaders
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) and Ulster Bank have renewed their commitment to assisting local companies to grow and trade internationally with the launch of a new service – ‘NI Chamber Connections partnered with Ulster Bank.’
The new service will offer businesses the opportunity to connect to over 400,000 chamber contacts from across the globe that are able to advise and assist businesses to break into and operate successfully in international markets. NI Chamber Connections partnered with Ulster Bank will also utilise local Chamber of Commerce contacts, offering businesses the prospect to meet and learn from other Northern Ireland companies who are already exporting and who have become experts in their field.
Ulster Bank has £1bn available to lend to businesses this year and is committed to supporting growth. Earlier this year at its ‘Ahead for Business’ roadshows, the bank provided information to businesses on accessing finance, business planning and cash flow management.
Commenting on the initiative, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of NI Chamber said:
“It is vital that Northern Ireland firms take a global perspective when they are doing business. Exporting is central to the growth of the Northern Ireland economy – but it is not always an easy road to navigate.
“NI Chamber Connections partnered with Ulster Bank, will provide businesses with the opportunity to tap into the Chamber network and to seek advice from experienced exporting professionals and leading local businesses.
“NI Chamber is uniquely placed as it is also a member of the worldwide chamber network, and as a result we have access to contacts in countries all over the world who are be able to assist companies make useful contacts in international markets.”
Ellvena Graham, Head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland & Managing Director SME Banking at Ulster Bank said:
“The development of our exporters is going to play an important role in helping the Northern Ireland economy to grow and rebalance. Locally, there are a great deal of high-quality companies in the food and drink, engineering and technology sectors that can benefit from further international links, reaching out to fulfil global demand.
“Through initiatives like this, and by providing significant financial support through our £1bn available for business lending this year, Ulster Bank is confident of playing a leading role in supporting local enterprise and entrepreneurship.”
The service has already resulted in a number of businesses connections for companies across Northern Ireland during a six month pilot phase earlier this year. Belfast drinks company CocoMojo, a manufacturer of a new innovative fresh coconut lifestyle drink, used the service to seek advice on a product distribution strategy for Sweden, Finland and the United States.
Tricia McNeilly, Founder and Director of Coco Mojo said:
“NI Chamber Connections partnered with Ulster Bank is just what a company like mine needs. A warm introduction to someone that can provide genuine advice makes all the difference. NI Chamber has presented CocoMojo in a very positive light and has now paved the way for what could be a very constructive meeting which will help inform our distribution strategy.”
For further information on NI Chamber Connections partnered with Ulster Bank, please contact Richard Willis / Martina Crawford by telephone on 028 90 244113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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