Local businesses ready to take on the world!
  • Thursday 02 April 2015

A digestive aid for dogs, a longer lasting mobile phone battery and tuna fishing hooks designed to save threatened seabirds and turtles… It’s not the latest episode of ‘Shark Tank’, these are some of the innovative local products and services that could soon be in hot demand overseas.

Twenty more businesses from across the Sunshine Coast have completed council’s Export and Global Capability Program. The six-week course provided each business with the tools to develop export strategies and to understand Free trade Agreements, logistics and pricing.

Oceansmart Managing Director Hans Jusseit said he now had the confidence and the contacts to cast his ‘Smart Tuna Hook’ into international markets.

“This is essentially a start-up business and the export program opened my eyes to the steps that are necessary and the things I need to tick off and plan against to step into the export market,” he said.

“The biggest challenge for any business looking to step into the export market is finding the funds and resources to be able to do it and that’s what this course has provided – the opportunity and the resources to say ‘I need to do this, now I know where I can go to do it’.

“Now I know where I can go, whereas before I was searching around on the internet wondering what’s right and what’s not. I found it absolutely fantastic that a regional council was able to provide this and I think they really need to continue doing this program in the future.

“This is a community and a region that can support a business. The infrastructure is here, you’ve got human resources if you need it, you’ve got technology, and Sunshine Coast University has been fantastic helping me with marketing plans.”

Concept Laboratories Manager Sue Jackson said finding an overseas market to increase sales during the Australian winter was now within reach.

“Our range of sunscreen and skincare products have been well established in Australia for the past two decades and over the years I’ve tried off and on to do a bit of research into exporting,” she said.

“It has been very difficult and I’ve not really got anywhere but the information, the resources and the contacts I’ve got in the last couple of months through this program, I know now that I can make it happen.”

Co-inventor of ‘Dig-in’ dog superfood, Frank Van Doore said canines across the world were now  closer to reaping the benefits of his unique product.

“We recognised that the Australian pet market is too small and we need to export because one city in one country overseas can have the same market size as our entire country,” he said.

“What this export program has shown me is that I really wasn’t aware of what we had to go through to export a product like this. Every country has its own import regulations and we must make sure our labelling and our pack and all the testing we do for the product is compliant and ticks all the boxes.”

Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson said more local businesses would have the opportunity to benefit from the Export and Global Capability Program in the near future.

“Council will continue this terrific program and we’re also exploring avenues to tailor an export program specifically for food businesses,” he said.

If you missed out on participating in this year’s export program, you can join the Sunshine Coast Export Network Linked In page to connect with some 200 people involved or interested in exporting and share tips, contacts and opportunities: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Sunshine-Coast-Export-Network-6753175

To express your interest in the Export and Global Capability Program, call 54759887 or email: economicdevelopment@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au