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Go Global' Lessons From Seasoned Exporters

Go Global' Lessons From Seasoned Exporters

The secrets of some of New Zealand's most successful exporters will be shared with entrepreneurial high growth exporters through a new programme launched this week by business accelerator, The ICEHOUSE.

Icehouse's '321GoGlobal' programme has the backing of veteran exporters like Navman's Peter Maire and Bill Day of Seaworks, who will be amongst the high profile business leaders presenting at the workshops in November in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Maire says while the 'awesome Kiwi attitude' can take exporters a long way, listening to the hard lessons learned by experienced companies can catapult business into the global stratosphere.

Peter Hiscocks, one of Cambridge University's leading proponents of technology companies, launched The ICEHOUSE 321 Go Global programme this week, and says learning from real-life business cases is one of the key strands woven into the strategies of success for aspiring companies.

Hiscocks, who is also a successful entrepreneur in his own right, heads Cambridge University's Entrepreneurship Centre, which supports over 70 new business ventures and already has 13 successful exits. The Centre, under Hiscocks, is implanting a culture of entrepreneurship across the University, which Hiscocks describes as having 'developed a very sophisticated defence mechanism against change'.

The Cambridge region also has over 1,500 hi-tech exporters, whose experiences contribute to the culture of success for aspiring exporters there.

David Irving, ICEHOUSE chairman, says 321 Go Global has been set up to encourage emerging exporters and help them gain confidence to grow.

"Over half of NZ's exporters are doing $50,000 pa. or less in exports and many will not export in subsequent years," he says. "We need to grow this revenue significantly as well as get more companies delivering greater export earnings year on year. Ideally this will be from industry sectors the ICT Taskforce identified as offering the greatest potential for growth, including biotech, creative, boat building, wine and tourism."

Andy Hamilton, ICEHOUSE CEO, says the 321 Go Global programme is a new initiative for the three year old business accelerator, attached to the University of Auckland's Business School.

"We're looking to help emerging and high growth companies become successful in offshore markets, and establishing a true international business, based in New Zealand, but operating across a number of countries.

"These companies are typically strong on action, so an academic programme has little added value. Our feedback from highly successful entrepreneurs and people like Peter Hiscocks tells us that these Kiwi companies want real-life business cases from people who have been there and faced exactly the same issues."

The 321 Go Global Programme will kick off with three regional workshops in November, followed by three, 3 day blocks in early 2004 for companies selected by invitation.

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