business | CommonwealthFirst | World Champion in SME Support
27
Nov

Only One Week to Go! Commonwealth Export Champion Application Deadline Closes Monday 4th December

CWF-SME-Cohort

Over three years, 100 leading UK SMEs will be selected to become Commonwealth Export Champions. Export Champions will be provided with unique access and support in their quest to win new business in the fast growing Commonwealth markets. Their success will be showcased as an encouragement to the wider UK business community.

Tags: CommonwealthFirst, Export Champion, UK SME, SMEs, UK, Trade, Export, Commonwealth, Business, Fourth Cohort, Application Deadline, Royal Mail, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, CWEIC, i-genius, CWF, Export Champions, Commonwealth Export Champion Application

8
Nov

Export Champions create new route to market in Toronto, Canada

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Canada open for Commonwealth Business

CommonwealthFirst has recently returned from taking a delegation of our Export Champions led by Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council Chairman Lord Marland and the Chief Executive of Royal Mail Group, Moya Greene, to participate at the 11th Toronto Global Forum (TGF) in Canada. The TGF is a major annual business event organised by the International Economic Forum of the Americas.

CommonwealthFirst were invited to participate in the TGF that carried the theme of “Redefining Globalisation” during a year when both Canada and Ottawa are celebrating their 150th anniversary and the new Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement came into force.

Lord Marland said “I was incredibly impressed by the rapid development of Toronto in recent years. Toronto is on track to become one of the world’s leading commercial centres with a fantastic infrastructure to support innovation. Canada could play a leading role in supporting a greater focus on trade and investment within the Commonwealth.”

The intensive trade mission to Toronto included briefings with Councillor Michael Thompson from the City of Toronto, The Honourable Michael Chan, Minister for International Trade Ontario and host of Canadian leaders, trade organisations, accelerators and research institutions. The programme even included a Beethoven Concert by the world leading Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the Roy Thomson Hall.

In addition to helping our Export Champions to do business in Canada this was an opportunity for CommonwealthFirst to strengthen its ties with the Canadian, Ontario and Toronto Governments, and raise the profile of the Commonwealth amongst the Canadian business community.

The visit to Toronto, Canada was the third SME trade mission and follows successful visits to Malaysia/Singapore and the inaugural venture last November to Delhi as part of the India-UK Tech Summit, attended by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

UK SMEs can apply to become part of the fourth cohort of CommonwealthFirst Export Champions through the website: www.commonwealthfirst.org. Applications close on Monday 4th December.

10
Oct

Luke Johnstone, PACK’D, Export Champion Interview

Luke Johnstone, Managing Director, PACK'D

Luke Johnstone, Managing Director, PACK’D

What difficulties have you encountered setting up your business?
The biggest difficulties have been navigating a new industry. It is both an advantage (as we have a unique and innovate approach) and a difficulty as we are often learning things for the first time. Mentoring and support from The Prince’s Trust has been a huge help.

What are the biggest trade and export challenges you face?
Entering new markets for the first time. Experienced mentors through CWF will be invaluable.

What are the most crucial things you have done to grow and develop your business?
Building our community of mentors through The Prince’s Trust, Virgin StartUp and CWF. Bringing strategic investors on board with experience growing Nakd, Chrysallis, MySale, Cardsave and Planet Organic.

How did the idea for your business come about?
A tennis scholarship was abruptly ended by injury but my passion for nutrition remained. Whilst working at the BBC I sought a way to make nutritious smoothies quickly and PACK’D Smoothie Kits were the solution.

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22
Sep

52 Commonwealth Nations to gather in London for CHOGM to discuss Trade, Business and Investment, April 2018

Commonwealth Business Forum 2018

16-18 April 2018
London, United kingdom

In April 2018, for the first time since 1997, the UK will host Commonwealth leaders for the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM); representing the interests of over 2.4 billion people. Throughout the week leading up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), 2,000 top leaders from business, politics, cvil society and culture will come together to showcase the Commonwealth’s vibrant and diverse network. This is a truly unique and historic opportunity to promote and celebrate the very best of the Commonwealth to a global audience.

With a combined GDP of US$13 trillion by 2020 it is estimated that the Commonwealth Advantage of shared values, regulatory systems and language, makes trade costs on average 19% lower between Commonwealth countries.

The Commonwealth Business Forum is an integral part of the CHOGM and brings together businesses critical to trade and investment with governments to debate the issues facing their countries in 2018 and beyond. Organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), working with the host government of the United Kingdom, and in partnership with the City of London, this top level business gathering is only accessed by special invitation and will be held across three iconic London venues.

The Commonwealth Business Forum is a unique platform for dialogue, bringing together business and leaders from across the Commonwealth

  • The 11th CBF and the first held in the UK in 20 years
  • Addressed by Commonwealth Heads of Government
  • Up to 800 CEOs and board members of leading global companies
  • Participation from Commonwealth trade delegations
  • 40+ sessions on key economic and business themes
  • VIP Areas, exclusive networking and bespoke events
  • Online business to business meeting booking system for CBF

CBF 2018 will address the key themes of:

  • Accessing modern financial services
  • Easing the pathway for business and growth
  • Harnessing Commonwealth technology and innovation
  • Creating a new attitude to sustainable business
  • Mobilising an export economy
  • Attracting inward investment

Your Opportunity

  • Unparalleled commercial exposure through an international and high profile event and worldwide media coverage, with ongoing content and networking opportunities
  • Showcase the very best of your brand and its relevance to Commonwealth nations as this trading body gains new prominence in our changing world
  • Align with and have your say on the key objectives and values of the Commonwealth Summit
  • Engage with International trade delegations
  • Network with senior business leaders and key global consumers

To register your interest in attending please contact: cbf2018@cweic.org

For more information on the programme please contact John Pemberton-Pigott. Email: john@cweic.org

To find out more about sponsorship, speaking and partnership opportunities please contact: Carolyn Meier, DL: +44 (0) 20 7104 6189, Email: carolyn@cweic.org

For more information on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Summit please visit www.chogm2018.org.uk

 

18
Sep

Karl Bond, Forest Gin, Export Champion Interview

Karl Bond, Director

What makes your Gin unique from everything else that is out there?
Forest Gin is the only gin in the world to have been awarded Two Separate Double-Gold Medals at the San-Francisco World Spirit Awards. We distill combinations of Organic, foraged and carefully sourced ingredients to create the spirit, before blending with fresh water from our own spring in the Peak District. These ingredients, combined with our English Porcelain bottle, really give our Gin unique qualities that we are very proud of.

Any good foraging tips that budding gin makers should be aware of?
Always get the landowners permission. Leave plenty for others. Never pick fruit below waist height (figure that one for yourselves!!)

How did the idea for your business come about?
We were home distillers. Making spirits & drinks for a bit of fun and our own enjoyment! It evolved from friends & family wanting to buy a bottle, to now being a very well respected spirits brand.

What difficulties have you encountered setting up your business?
Licencing and red-tape. There are very strict regulations in the UK for distilling.

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18
Jul

CommonwealthFirst Export Day for UK’s Best Small and Medium Enterprises

CommonwealthFirst hosted its first Export Day on Monday 17th July at One Great George Street, London. The event combined its eighty SME Export Champions with business mentors, government and business representatives.

The highlight of the event was the introduction of the latest cohort of UK SME Export Champions. These companies represent various regions and business sectors, showing rich breadth of innovation and excellence that the UK has to offer the world. These include businesses delivering off-grid renewable energy, healthy snacks, innovative antimicrobial technology, teddy bears, and even a digital knitting machine.

Whilst most of the Export Day was focused on encouraging cross sector collaborations, there were presentations from Richard Snowdon, Director at Royal Mail International on ‘exporting through ecommerce’, and Luke Walden, FX Specialist at Godi Financial on ‘FX management as an early stage exporter’.

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22
May

Export Champions make new business connections in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

CommonwealthFirst has returned from its highly successful trade mission to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which saw our talented delegation of outstanding UK SMEs make new business and invaluable connections within the ASEAN region. The thirteen-person delegation was led by Richard Burge, the newly appointed Chief Executive of Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council with Export Champions representing industries of manufacturing, defense, health, technology, education, science, engineering and consulting.

The intensive programme commenced with a first stop in Kuala Lumpur where the Export Champions received a briefing at British High Commission before going on to meet the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and take part in a on-site visit to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). They then met with Mr Zaky Moh, Senior Director at the SME Development Corporation before meeting with Hon Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry.

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11
May

New Commonwealth Business leader leads SME Export Champions delegation to Malaysia and Singapore

 

Recruitment for the third cohort of Commonwealth Export Champions closes 5th June

The 2nd CommonwealthFirst trade mission will see a delegation of outstanding UK SMEs travel to Malaysia and Singapore on 14-18 May in an effort to win new export contracts.

The thirteen-person delegation will be led by Richard Burge, the newly appointed Chief Executive of Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council.

The Export Champions were selected to represent the best of what British business has to sell to the world with companies drawn from diverse sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, education, technology, food and beverage and creative industries.

The visit to South East Asia is the second such SME trade mission and follows the hugely successful first venture last November to Delhi as part of the India-UK Tech Summit, attended by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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4
May

April Export Champion Interview Spotlight

In this monthly round up of Export Champion interviews we learn about the value of drones and better learning experiences.

31
Mar

March Export Champion Interview Spotlight

This month we learn about the home of ‘The World’s Original Marmalade Awards’, fibreglass composite structures, innovative fire safety solutions and hospital and healthcare medical lighting.