SOURCE: dcppr

A taste of success: Margaret Hearty, director of programmes and business services for InterTradeIreland joins Newtownabbey business woman, Anna Taggart, owner of Yummy Bakes NI, to encourage all micro-businesses across the province to take advantage of the Elevate programme which is now open for applications. Yummy Bakes NI credits the initiative, which is fully funded by InterTradeIreland, with helping to open up the Irish market for its high-quality pastry and biscuit ranges and is urging other small firms to benefit from this cross-border growth opportunity. For more information, visit

InterTradeIreland recently launched the next phase of its sales development programme, Elevate, which aims to help small businesses develop sales opportunities through first time cross-border exports.

Through Elevate, InterTradeIreland provides sector-specific sales support across a range of areas, including food and beverage, construction, engineering and many others.  In the past two years, the programme has already helped 150 small businesses, generating new cross-border sales of approximately £3million.

Small businesses participating in ‘Elevate’ can choose from a list of more than 100 experienced industry specialists who can then help them to identify sales leads in the cross-border market, negotiate deals, share relevant market insights, identify market research requirements and offer advice on the development of marketing materials.

One such company that benefitted from the Elevate Programme was micro-business, Yummy Bakes NI, based in Jordanstown, Newtownabbey.  Owner, Anna Taggart, credits the InterTradeIreland programme with helping to open up the Irish market for her high-quality ‘golden moment’ pastry and biscuit ranges.

“I recognised that I needed someone who came from the food industry and knew the market inside out.  With more than 100 experts to choose from, I was able to select the perfect match for me.  He helped me to research the market and organised two interviews for me with potential major distributors and I am waiting to hear the outcome of these.”

She explains:  “I had grown the local element of my business substantially and wanted to take Yummy Bakes NI across the border but was unsure about how and where to start.  I looked at InterTradeIreland’s Elevate programme, the application process was very straightforward and I was accepted onto the programme.  Taking part gave me the confidence to break into the market and having the support of my Elevate industry expert made my goals a very real possibility.”

Margaret Hearty, Director of Business Services & Programmes, adds: “We regularly review our available support for businesses and a few years ago realised there was a funding gap for small micro enterprises.  As they make up 96% of businesses on the island, it is essential that they receive the support they require to expand and flourish.

“The cross-border market is an often an underutilised but logical first step to wider export markets, giving experience of varied legislation and working with a different currency but has the comfort of being more accessible.  Once mastered, this makes looking at European markets a more realistic prospect.

“The Elevate programme was designed with simplicity in mind to remove as much bureaucracy as possible.  As such, a relatively straight-forward application process was devised and put in place.  I would urge all interested small businesses with less than £1million turnover to register their interest and apply to Elevate today.”

Anna concluded “I may have got to the point of considering breaking into Ireland but it would have been many years down the line.  Participation in Elevate sped this up greatly and has got Yummy Bakes NI’s name out there and onto people’s lips – literally!”

For more information on the Elevate programme, including eligibility criteria visit


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply