Tuesday, 14 Sep 2010
Image of students
English language speaks volumes for exports
UK Trade & Investment is helping a York-based English Language consultancy firm to widen its business worldwide.
(PEC) helps, guides and supports international students seeking to come to the UK to further their education at English Language Institutions, universities or specialised courses for companies. PEC not only liaises with education institutions for prospective students but also helps them in their travel and accommodation arrangements in the UK.
Sera Sekerci, Managing Director and her Turkish husband had been helping young Turkish students arrange study programmes in the UK for some time on an informal basis when they realised the full potential of the business as a bona fide consultancy.
Part Turkish herself, Sera decided to step outside of her comfort zone and to examine the business opportunities in what seemed the smaller and more manageable markets of Luxembourg and Qatar. It was while researching material for this on the web that she stumbled upon UK Trade & investment with its range of export support services.
“I suddenly realised there was a whole range of export events and services out there that were available to help me. The first thing I did was attend a Going Global event organised by UK Trade & Investment with Yorkshire Forward where I took part in a couple of very useful Master classes.”
“One of these dealt with UKTI’s Export Marketing Research Scheme, which helps companies analyse and research information on overseas markets and the other was on the Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) which can help UK companies take part in overseas exhibitions”
“Soon I was speaking regularly to Peter Tweddle, International Trade Adviser who got me onto the Passport to Export programme, he also signposted me to a UKTI event in Birmingham on business in Qatar. Here I met a number of key contacts in the country including the Education Attachè at the British Embassy there. This was extremely useful as, with Peter’s guidance, I was then able to access support funding from Yorkshire Forward to visit there myself.”
During the stay in Qatar, Sera and her husband visited more than 30 schools in just eight days talking to teachers and students about the services that PEC could offer them.
Adds Sera; “Even with funding assistance these export fact-finding projects are very costly so you have to make sure that you get as much out of them as you can. This means being well prepared before you go and , putting together a pretty intensive programme however tough”
“Nowadays I wouldn’t think about entering a new market without first touching base with UK Trade & Investment. They have so many export tools available it doesn’t make sense not to make use of them”
“Last year, Peter told me about a UKTI sponsored trade mission to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan which might be useful to PEC. I have a small child, so my husband took part and he was amazed at the access the UK companies got with the help of the British embassies. Al lot of these contacts are gradually paying off as more and more clients from these countries make enquiries and use our services.”
Peter Tweddle has been working alongside PEC over the last two years and is very optimistic about its future overseas business prospects.
“Nowadays the English language is one of our biggest exports and with PEC, Sera is turning it into solid business. Even though she may have discovered UKTI by accident, given the range of the services we can provide, it’s now an essential part of the company’s export plan and both Sera and her husband have the essential drive and determination to make it work.”
If you are based in the Yorkshire and Humber region and are interested in developing your business overseas please contact:
Tel: 08456 048048