Export to Netherlands Programme

What makes The Netherlands an attractive market for Irish exporters?

Because of the ongoing uncertainties relating to Brexit and the potential implications for Irish exporters, it is essential that Irish SMEs and micro enterprises explore new export opportunities.

According to CSO statistics, the Netherlands has consistently been one of the popular export markets for Irish SMEs over the last 10 years.

There are a number of reasons for this:

  •  English is widely spoken in business circles, making this an ideal launch-pad in mainland Europe for relatively inexperienced exporters to dip their toes into.
  •  Accessibility. With dozens of flights from Dublin, Cork and Belfast every week, Irish exporters can service the needs of Dutch customers quickly, easily and cost-effectively.
  • The size of the market. The Dutch population is now 17.1 million, all contained within 33,880 square kilometres. To put this into perspective, the population of Ireland is 4.7 million people in 70,280 square kilometres.
  •  Netherlands has historically been a trading nation – Dutch business people are immersed in the practice of buying from and selling to businesses in other parts of EU and further afield.

As a result, many early stage exporters from Ireland see the Dutch market as an excellent place to start to explore business opportunities in mainland Europe.

So what is the Export to Netherlands Programme?

The Programme is funded by the Local Enterprise Offices of Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford and is delivered by Full Circle Management Solutions.

The purpose of the programme is to provide you with the skills and the confidence to identify, target and exploit new business opportunities in the Dutch market ….and to then put you in front of potential customers in The Netherlands during the course of the Programme.

This is therefore a highly practical programme where the emphasis is on finding and converting REAL sales opportunities in The Netherlands …. during the Programme and beyond.

Who should apply for a place on the Programme?

You should apply for a place on the Programme if you:

  • Own and / or manage a business that is based in Offaly.
  • Employ less than 25 people.
  • Are involved in manufacturing or tradable services.
  • Have a product or service that is considered to be exportable.
  • Currently are doing no more than 30% of your turnover outside Ireland
  • Are serious about exploring business opportunities in mainland Europe

What will you get from the Programme?

During the Programme, you will:

  • Develop your skills and confidence in the field of exporting by attending 2 very practical half day skills development workshops.
  • Be allocated your own export development mentor who will gear you up to move from talking about exploring business opportunities in mainland Europe to actually doing it.
  • Meet with a minimum of 5 potential customers in The Netherlands who have expressed a [provisional] interest in doing business with you.
  • Spend 3 days on the ground in The Netherlands as part of a group trade mission there in late September 2019 – participation includes return flights, 2 nights’ hotel accommodation in The Netherlands and 1 group dinner in The Netherlands for 1 person per business.

The Commitment from you:

The Export to Netherlands Programme is very heavily subsidised by the 4 Local Enterprise Offices, highlighting their commitment to support early-stage exporters across the 4 regions.

The total cost to you is therefore only €275 per business. This will be invoiced by your own Local Enterprise Office.

How do you apply?

Simply contact us on any of the following telephone numbers / email addresses for further information and an Expression of Interest form:

Martin Feury T 057 9356603 / 057 9357480       E martin.feury@leo.offalycoco.ie

Expressions of Interest should be completed and returned to martin.feury@leo.offalycoco.ie.ie as soon as possible, but no later than 4:00pm Monday 27th May 2019.

Full Circle Management Solutions will hold one to one meetings in Tullamore with shortlisted businesses who have returned an Expression of Interest form by the deadline. Date for meetings – 30th May 2019.

They will then select 3/4 businesses from Offaly, based on their state of readiness for this programme, and invite them to participate in the local workshop and subsequent client meetings in The Netherlands.