Yell Group joins forces with UKTI to drive SME exports

The aim of the partnership – called ‘Open to Export’ – is to provide a dedicated platform that enables UK-based companies to collaborate and share intelligence about export market opportunities, means of entry and participation.
Speaking at the UKTI event “SMEs Exporting and Growth” in central London today, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “UKTI is working with Yell to develop an online service called Open to Export which will provide SMEs with access to more information, advice and support from intermediary organisations like many of you here today.” 
Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, welcomed the partnership: “Local businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and their success is key to getting the UK economy moving. By helping SMEs grow exports, we will see a significant boost to UK economic growth.
“This innovative partnership between Yell and UKTI – Open to Export – will provide an invaluable online marketplace where SMEs will be able to overcome the complexities of trading overseas through relevant advice and support.”
The initial pilot will be built on Yell’s local eMarketplace platform to act as a hub where content and services are shared and SMEs can transact with service providers who are specialists in supporting exports. 
Mike Pocock, Chief Executive Officer of Yell Group, said: “This partnership is an important element of Yell’s strategy to become a leader in the emerging eMarketplace connecting SMEs and consumers locally. The ‘Open to Export’ platform is a model which Yell Group can extend across its geographies to help governments drive export growth for SMEs.”
Bob Wigley, Chairman of Yell and one of the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassadors, said: “I have committed to devote my time as one of the Prime Minister’s Ambassadors for UK Business to championing the interests of our SME customers. Yell delivering Open to Export forms part of that commitment.” 
About Open to Export 
Open to Export is a partnership between Yell and UKTI aimed at helping local businesses trade overseas.
The initiative comprises a new online portal – currently under development – where local businesses, existing exporters and export industry suppliers can find and transact with each other much more easily and effectively. Yell was selected as a partner by UKTI following an open competition.
Open to Export will give SMEs access to service providers and trade bodies they need to connect to. This will mean that local businesses get the right support they need when considering or wanting to export. 
The portal will offer forums where SMEs can ask questions, get advice and share information.  To support this drive, the portal will also feature detailed content such as a ‘Beginner’s Guide to Export’, guides on exporting to specific countries and the option for users to rate and review what they read. 
Trade bodies, industry experts and service providers will also be able to post informative articles or blogs. Service providers ranging from legal firms to freight companies or non UK-based specialists such as accountants, will be able to promote their products and services and SMEs will be able to transact with them.