Is it time to rethink SME internationalisation and SME export support programmes for a digital era?

These will be the two key questions addressed during our CONNECTS webinar on Monday 30th November at 3pm GMT

To stimulate discussion before, during and after the event, the four core propositions underpinning the Webinar are listed below:

  • Having a strong base of SMEs competing internationally is critical to national economic growth, competitiveness and employment. Consequently, the promotion of SME internationalisation has long been a major policy objective of most national governments. The international Chamber of Commerce network has been heavily involved in the delivery of related support programmes. 
  • Unfortunately, export support programmes in most countries remain stuck in a 30yr pre-digital time warp. The advice currently being proffered is little different from that provided in our popular International Market Entry and Development textbook published three decades ago. 
  • Used effectively, digital technology can help to overcome many of the barriers and obstacles to exporting commonly experienced by SMEs. Few SMEs, however, are leveraging the full potential of current and emerging technologies for ‘going global’. Export support policy, at best, pays lip service to the new opportunities created by digital.
  • Consequently, it is time for a major rethink of our approach to SME export support. We urgently require export support programmes ‘fit-for-purpose’ in a digital era, especially in a volatile, uncertain global economy. 


About the Webinar

The highly interactive and fast-moving Webinar will provide practical advice in developing and implementing a cost-effective digital supported international marketing strategy. The framework used will allow participants to evaluate their own organisation’s digital dexterity benchmarked against accepted international best-practice in this area.


Webinar content will cover six key success factors in digital supported SME internationalisation:

  • ‘Shut Up and Listen’ - the use of digital and social media channels for improving your knowledge and understanding of export market opportunities. ‘Know your market, know your customer’. How to set-up a digital listening system to support your international growth. Use the knowledge gained to develop an agreed vision and strategy covering your involvement in international markets.
  • ‘Build your Digital Brand’ - ‘First Impressions Count’: audit your existing digital footprint. What does your current online presence say about your brand? What does it say about you personally?
  • ‘Tell Your Story’ - develop and implement a Content Marketing Plan to support international growth.
  • Engage and Build Relationships - ‘Relationships Count’: the proactive use of digital channels and social media to build a strong online network of relationships as the foundation for export success. LinkedIn Sales Navigator as an international marketing tool. ‘Get Involved’: participate in International Business Online Communities such as Connects. ‘Prepare in Advance’; how to use digital and social media channels to support your participation in International Trade Missions: making the right connections before you go.
  • ‘Improve Efficiency and Competitiveness’ - leverage the full potential of digital internally to automate key business processes, reduce costs, improve efficiency and productivity.
  • Monitor and Measure - measuring progress and business impact.

A live Chat Forum will be used during the session to maximise two-way engagement and interaction.

Is it time for a major rethink of our approach to SME export support in a constantly connected world?

The webinar will be hosted on the Connects platform, to attend, your must first join this platform:

Once done, you need to join the community where the event will be hosted: