The South East Export Development (SEED) was a project funded by SELEP (the South East Local Enterprise Partnership) which supported small businesses from East Sussex, Kent & Medway, Essex and South Essex. While visits to major International Trade Shows and the ability to travel abroad to do business were very much on hold due to the covid pandemic, SEED focused on helping companies to make new virtual connections overseas.
The project officially ended in October 2022 and a series of virtual trade missions and activities were organised to help companies to access unique export opportunities to grow their businesses internationally.
The project focused on the following sectors:
- Food & Drink
- Health & Life Sciences
- Digital & Creative
The target markets were Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, and Vietnam for Food & Drink, Ireland, Canada, Malaysia and the UAE for Health & Life Sciences, and Canada for Digital & Creative.
SEED offered businesses a range of FREE support services to help them access new international markets through an innovative support programme culminating in a series of Virtual Trade Missions. These programmes were aimed at SELEP-based companies who were keen to increase their international activity.
Activities kicked off in September 2021 when the SEED partners shipped a range of product samples from companies in the SE of England, to Hong Kong’s HOFEX trade show with support from the Department for International Trade in Hong Kong. The products were showcased on the UK pavilion and the companies involved were able to follow-up virtually with business contacts made at the show.
The project successfully delivered several other market-specific programmes of activity which started in December 2021. These included bespoke market briefings and insight, 121 support from ‘in-market’ specialists, and meetings with in-market business contacts as part of the virtual trade missions.
SEED was funded by SELEP (the South East Local Enterprise Partnership) and was run by the organisations shown below with additional support from the Department for International Trade and Enterprise Europe Network.