Navigating the world of exporting can be a daunting task. Many companies consider exporting as the next step in their business plan, and have the potential to succeed as exporters, but need focused, tailored support in achieving their goals in the export arena.
In response to this challenge, exporTT, the national export facilitation organization of Trinidad and Tobago, developed two programmes, similar in nature, but each targeting different companies based on their experience with exporting.
The Export Incubator pilot programme, launched in August 2021, is designed to support businesses with no export experience, while the Export Accelerator, launched in July 2021 under the Export Booster Initiative, caters to companies with minimal export experience. In both programmes, exporTT works with companies to maximise their export capabilities.
In the Export Incubator and Export Accelerator Programmes, participating companies benefit from in-market research, export training, one-on-one export coaching, export training and consultancy, development of their digital catalogue and company profile, business matchmaking and access to export financing from exporTT.
Mandisa Granderson, exporTT’s Client Services Manager said: “The Incubator was borne out of the need to create new exporters. Through the pilot programme we learned even more about the unique needs of companies at this stage, took those learnings and used them to enhance our offering to companies this year.
“In terms of the Export Accelerator, our first cohort has made great strides in their development to date. As a direct result of our interventions and the guidance provided by their coaches, companies have developed market penetration strategies, diversified product lines, expanded their digital marketing, seen an increase in orders and even entered new markets. We are still working and building but this progress tells us that we are doing something right. We are seeking another batch of companies that are similarly committed to their export growth so that we can exceed these results by the end of the programmes.”
To be considered eligible to participate in either of the programmes, companies must meet the following criteria:
- Locally registered manufacturer
- Supplying major retailers for a minimum of 2 years
- Have sound financials and the ability to financially invest in exporting
- Have sufficient human resources (both management and staff) to dedicate to export focus
- Have excess production capacity to dedicate to exports
Companies with no export experience will be eligible for the Export Incubator Programme, while companies with very little export experience will be considered under the Export Accelerator Programme.
Among the companies who participated in the Export Incubator pilot programme were Bwana Business Incorporated, Montanos’ Chocolate Co., Happy Girls, Happy Curls Ltd. and Pascal’s Bakery.
Participants in the first cohort of Export Accelerator included Trincarb, Twigs Naturals, Ice Connection Industries, Lifetime Solutions, Steel-framed Engineered Solutions, Caribbean Adhesives and Chemicals Ltd., Supplies in Paper Structure (SIPS), Fresh Start and Farm and Function.
Through their participation in the first cohorts of these programmes, a number of these companies have gone on to review and revise their logo and packaging, apply for necessary certifications, develop detailed export plans and strategies, made structural and process changes within their businesses to align with those export strategies, and gain buyer interest in new markets.
Interested persons can find more information and apply to the Export Incubator Programme by visiting https://exportt.co.tt/export-incubator/ and to the Export Accelerator Programme by visiting https://exportt.co.tt/export_accelerator/.
About exporTT Ltd
exporTT is Trinidad and Tobago’s Official Export Facilitation Organization. Overseen by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, exporTT’s main aim is to boost both the dollar value of national non-energy exports and range of goods and services exported from Trinidad and Tobago.
About the Export Booster Initiative
The Export Booster Initiative was developed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in collaboration with exporTT Ltd and the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) in a strategic effort to counteract the impact of COVID-19 on the manufacturing sector. The Export Booster Initiative is geared towards developing overseas markets and promoting exports.
The EBI consists of sixteen initiatives under three broad strategic areas, namely Export Promotion, Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening.