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More firms encouraged to export

Published: 20/02/2020

An event has been organised to encourage and support more Highland firms to consider exporting as an effective way to expand.

Henry Blake of WoodBlocX

‘Grow Your Business Overseas’ takes place at An Lòchran, Inverness Campus, on Tuesday 3 March 2020.

It has been organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI), and with support from the European Regional Development Fund.

In addition to getting access to industry experts, delegates will hear from Henry Blake whose firm WoodBlocX has thrived after looking beyond the traditional domestic market.

WoodBlocX designs and builds wooden blocks that can be built-up into raised flower beds. It has been able to increase revenue after expanding its operations overseas.

Henry will share his experience of tapping into overseas markets with businesses who are looking to take their first steps towards trading internationally. He said:

“Exporting has totally changed our operation – the potential is huge. It raises your profile and opens doors at home and abroad. Why wouldn’t you?”

In addition to Henry’s insights, a two-hour ‘Preparing to Export’ taster session will be delivered by Giraffe Consulting. This will provide essential practical information on how to start exporting and will include guidance on effective costing and pricing, negotiating agency and distribution agreements and developing strategies to protect businesses in international markets.

Laura Robertson, development manager – International Trade at HIE, said:

“The provenance and reputation that our country has overseas presents great opportunities for companies to export. Many businesses of all sizes across the Highlands and Islands have capitalised on this very effectively.

“For some businesses looking to start their international trade journey it can be hard to know where to start. That’s what this workshop is all about. We will help provide attendees with the right knowledge and support, to ensure they are in a good position to reach new overseas markets and to showcase Scotland on the global stage.”

Information on the support available from HIE and SDI will also be discussed during the session. In addition, individuals can pre-book one-to-one meetings with Stewart Miller, SDI export adviser for the Highlands and Islands, when signing up via Eventbrite.

For further information and to book a place at the exporting workshop in Inverness on Tuesday 3 March from 9:30am to 1:00pm, visit HIE’s website at

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