InterTradeIreland's Acumen Programme Helping Businesses Increase Sales


InterTradeIreland’s all-island Acumen programme has been running for more than 15 years and is regarded as a huge success by the business community on both sides of the border with companies typically reporting an average increase in sales of £250,000 following support. Find out how one company, Viltra Wastewater Technology has used this programme to increase turnover from exporting:

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Viltra Wastewater Technology seizes new cross-border opportunities

One of the businesses that has seized a new cross-border opportunity is Viltra Wastewater Technology in Co. Down.  With support from the Acumen programme, the company hired a full-time sales representative to grow their business in Ireland. It turned out to be a crucial decision for the business.

Viltra Wastewater found that having a team member out on the road in Ireland made a huge difference. The new staff member built a database of architects and engineers and started knocking doors and getting the company’s name out there. As a result, Viltra Wastewater got an enquiry about Fanad lighthouse in Donegal and secured a contract to solve the waste water problems for the new visitor centre.

Now 25% to 30% of the firm’s turnover comes from Ireland and is expected to continue to grow. 

Recommended reading: CDEnviro Transform Their Innovation Approach Through InterTradeIreland's Challenge Programme

About Acumen

Acumen helps firms to develop new markets, attract new customers and secure new sustainable income. Since its inception in 2003, Acumen has helped more than 1,000 companies across the island, generating more than £227 million worth of additional sales.

It provides tangible support for small companies trying to break into a new and often unfamiliar market in the Republic of Ireland or vice versa, to Northern Ireland.  Cross-border trading is an essential part of a company’s growth strategy but lack of knowledge and feet on the ground can hamper progress.

It is challenging for firms to find the time and funding to recruit a dedicated professional to win sales in the cross-border market.  Companies eligible for the Acumen programme can get help recruiting a sales person along with funding of up to 50% of the cost of the sales person’s salary in the first year.

Exporting for growth

The latest research from InterTradeIreland shows that SMEs that export have better outcomes across a key range of indicators; including turnover, productivity and employment. That is why, with the Acumen programme, InterTradeIreland will also now be running a series of sales training workshops for eligible applicants. This will help to build more sales skills into businesses and develop networks on the island which will enable more exporting to take place. 

For additional information and eligibility criteria for Acumen, visit




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