Monday, September 9, 2013

News: Rotherham businesses offered help with expanding into US

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Businesses in Rotherham will now be able to take advantage of support to set up an operation in North America, thanks to a new partnership between RiDO (Rotherham Investment Development Office) and the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, based in Newark, USA.

The partnership came about after representatives of RiDO's ERDF-funded Growth and Prosperity in Rotherham (Soft Landing Zone) project pro-actively built links with the EDC after they recognised the benefits to local small businesses of trading with or expanding their operations in the US. The agreement also means that North America-based businesses will have the opportunity to expand their opportunities into Rotherham, potentially generating new employment opportunities in the area.

Amanda Parris, business development manager for RiDO, the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council, said: "We were aware of the great work that EDC does in helping international businesses to expand their operations in North America, so we began negotiations with them to see if they could also help Rotherham businesses. There are a large number of local businesses that could benefit by establishing an operation in the US and EDC could be the right overseas partner to help them do this. We are very excited about what this will mean for businesses in Rotherham."

The EDC, operated by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), offers office space and laboratory facilities, business support, access to seed fund and angel investors, and a program of Executives in Residence. The nearly 90 companies currently housed at the EDC employ over 300 people.

Jerry Creighton, senior executive director at the EDC in New Jersey, said: "We are pleased to be working with RiDO to extend our network of international incubators and business development centers. We will be able to act as a Soft Landing zone for any Rotherham business which wishes to expand into this part of the US and we look forward to working with them."

Both organisations are two of around 25 recipients of the globally recognised Soft Landings International Incubator designation from the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). The NBIA is the world's leading organisation advancing business incubation and entrepreneur support, and through its Soft Landings programme, NBIA recognises incubators that are especially capable in helping overseas companies enter the incubator's domestic market.

Rotherham-based SMEs are being encouraged to contact RiDO if they are interested in trading in the US, particularly in the North East (New York area) regardless of industry sector. Local enterprises in the medical technology sector are being targeted as the EDC is based within New Jersey's science and technology university.

Any Rotherham based company looking to expand into foreign markets could benefit from support through RiDO's ERDF Soft Landing Zone project, including research into the international marketplace.

The support package also includes free-of-charge consultation with a RiDO and an EDC mentor to make the whole process of establishing a business in North America much easier. They would also be eligible to access through the EDC translation services, domestic market research, access to capital and potential funders, support with intellectual property and patents, immigration and visa assistance and support in finding housing.

RiDO website

Images: New Jersey Institute of Technology

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