Kent International Business (KIB), a programme which encourages Kent businesses to export to overseas markets, has been named a winner at this year’s Enterprising Britain Awards.
The winners were announced today (Saturday) by Small Business Minister Margot James.
She said: “We have 900,000 more small businesses than in 2010 and they have an important role to play in building an economy that works for all.
“It’s great to see the support available for business owners making a real difference and driving entrepreneurial spirit across the UK.”
“These awards recognise the value of local support and show what can be achieved when people who know their community best make their own decisions.”
The Enterprising Britain Awards are part of the Government’s drive to increase entrepreneurial activity in the UK and KCC scooped the ‘support for exporting’ category.
It was decided that Kent International Business best encourages, supports and enables small and medium enterprises to export both inside and outside the European Union.
Kent International Business is led by Kent County Council in partnership with various business support organisations in the county including the Department for International Trade (formerly UKTI South East), Enterprise Europe Network and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce with backing from a range of banks and professional service organisations.
“Only a few years ago Kent was lagging behind other parts of the South East with exporting, but thanks to the support programmes that operate in Kent through the KIB programme, many more businesses are now successfully trading overseas.”
Trade Development Manager Steve Samson said: “It is a great honour to have received this award and goes to show all the hard work KCC and its partner organisations have put into helping Kent-based businesses broaden their reach.
“There are lots of opportunities for Kent businesses to expand and grow to overseas territories, whether that’s products or services, and through our partnership we offer a range of advice and support when it comes to international trade.
“That could be providing stand space for businesses at international trade fairs or optimising their websites for international trade.
“The KIB partners also offer opportunities for local firms to connect to new business contacts and potential customers from across the world.”
The award coincides with the launch of two new EU-funded projects which KCC is running to help firms find the right contacts in nearby European markets.
The Innovative Sector Exchange (ISE) project will help companies to adapt products and services to access business opportunities in Belgium, France and the Netherlands while the Boost4Health projects will help Kent-based Life Science firms to do business in mainland Europe.
For more information, visit www.kentinternationalbusiness.co.uk