BUSINESSES in the region are being invited to find out the secrets behind access to hidden funding streams to support export.

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, which covers York, is hosting its first We Are International Network event this year at Deloitte in Leeds.

More than 100 novice exporters are expected to attend the event on June 2, where speakers from UKTI, Enterprise Europe Network and Yorkshire Innovation Fund will explore grants, funding and no-charge assistance for exporters.

The We are International initiative, which is delivered by the Leeds City Region LEP with support from international trade specialists Chamber International, UKTI Yorkshire and Humber, Enterprise Europe Network and MY Export Hub, aims to add £1.6 billionn to the City Region economy and create thousands of jobs by 2018.

The latest Export Network event is the fourth since the initiative was launched in March 2013.

Since then more than 300 businesses have contacted the We Are International export network and the campaign’s Export Ambassadors seeking support with issues including setting up overseas offices, establishing distribution channels, researching their product’s suitability, finding agents and distributors and advice on logistics and export documentation.

The Export Network of ambassadors from successful exporting businesses has now expanded to almost 40.

LEP board member, and lead export network ambassador Eric Hawthorn, said: "I am delighted that the Export Network continues to generate significant interest from SMEs wanting to break into exporting – and from successful exporters willing to give up their time to support them as Export Ambassadors.

"We are determined to capitalise on this momentum, help more SMEs realise their products and services could have markets internationally, and ensure the Leeds City Region becomes a net exporter."