Opportunities for Carlow Businesses to Export to Belgium

As part its Enterprise Support Programme,County Carlow Chamber is partnering with Carlow County Council’s Local Enterprise Office to host the Chamber Trade Connections – Belgium supported by the Enterprise Europe Network. 

The programme is a supported trade mission designed to help companies to build connections in Belgium and the wider Benelux region for sales and business development.

Eight highly subsidised places will be made available on the programme to suitable companies. The programme will develop their confidence in the field of exporting through attending 2 very practical half day export development workshops, working with a specialist export mentor to identify suitable export opportunities for the businesses and spending 3 days on the ground in Belgium as part of a group trade mission in late 2024. Selected companies with less than 10 employees may also be eligible for a TAME Grant to support the cost of developing materials for the trip.

Rowena Dooley , President of County Carlow Chamber said “We are delighted to be working with Carlow County Council on this project in 2024 with the support of the Enterprise Europe Network”. Rowena continued to say “We know from our members that embarking on their first export venture is not just a transaction; it’s the inception of a global journey, where every challenge becomes an opportunity and every border crossed is a step towards international success. Exporting isn’t just about products; it’s about forging connections, building bridges, and turning aspirations into accomplishments on the global stage”.

Expressions of interest are now being sought from Carlow businesses interested in participating. Applications are encouraged from businesses based in Carlow, trading for at least one year, involved in manufacturing or tradable services of a product or service that is considered to be exportable and currently securing no more than 30% of turnover outside Ireland. The cost to participate is €250 per business selected which is heavily subsidised.

Speaking at the programme launch Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council, Cllr. Andrea Dalton said “I strongly encourage Carlow businesses who manufacture products or offer services with export potential to apply for the new Export to Belgium program. Ireland enjoys a well-established trade relationship with Belgium and this program presents a golden opportunity for Carlow businesses to build upon these ties and to expand their export reach.” 

Séamus Doran, Assistant Head of Economic Development & Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office added “A significant element of the training and mentoring programme we have developed will assist Carlow businesses to understand how their product would be attractive to the Belgian market and how to market that message to the potential customers they will meet on our trade visit. This is a significant opportunity for ambitious Carlow businesses to be supported to explore a very attractive and accessible overseas market.”

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is 9th February 2024.

Expressions of Interest can be submitted at Consult.Carlow.ie

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