Today the CommonwealthFirst programme formally opened applications for its fourth cohort intake of UK SMEs. The programme’s mission is to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to trade and invest across the Commonwealth; a market comprising 52 English speaking countries with a combined population of 2.2 billion – at least 60% of whom are under the age of 30 – and a combined GDP in excess of US$10 trillion.
The Commonwealth Factor, with its shared language, complementary legal systems and business practices, helps to reduce trade costs by around 19% between member countries. By 2020 Commonwealth trade is expected to double to US$1 trillion and the CommonwealthFirst programme will be at the forefront of this new wave of Commonwealth businesses.
This prestigious programme has been developed through a partnership between the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) and Royal Mail with support from i-genius as implementation partner. Export Champions are provided with unique access and support in their quest to win new business in fast growing Commonwealth markets. Their success is showcased as an encouragement to the wider UK business community.
Building on the significant success of the three current cohorts, the fourth cohort will be selected to become Commonwealth Export Champions according to their ambitions, innovative and flexible approach, potential for overseas growth and export-readiness.
Lord Marland, Chairman of the CWEIC, said “as we select the final companies to be part of the initial programme we expect standards to be higher than ever. This is the right time for UK companies to be thinking about global opportunities.”
Successful businesses will have the opportunity to take part in the Commonwealth Games in Queensland in Australia and the Commonwealth Summit in London in April 2018. There will also be a Trade Mission to Africa building on previous missions to India, Malaysia, Singapore and a visit to Canada in October. They will also receive expert mentoring as well as access to tailored training and networking events.
SMEs can apply to become a CommonwealthFirst Export Champion via www.commonwealthfirst.org. Applications close on 4th December and the fourth and final cohort of the initial 3 year pilot programme will be announced in January 2018.
16-18 April 2018
London, United kingdom
|In April 2018, for the first time since 1997, the UK will host all 52 Commonwealth leaders for the 25th Commonwealth Summit; representing the interests of over 2.6 billion people. Throughout the Summit 10,000 top leaders from business, politics, academia 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$14 trillion by 2020 it is estimated that the Commonwealth Factor, shared values, regulatory systems and language, makes trade costs on average19% lower between Commonwealth countries.
The Commonwealth Business Forum is an integral part of the Summit and brings together businesses critical to trade and investment leadership together with Government to debate the issues facing their countries in 2018 and beyond. Organised by The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, 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 Guildhall, Mansion House and the QEII Conference Centre.
|The Commonwealth Business Forum is a unique platform for dialogue, bringing together business and Government leaders from across the Commonwealth|
|CBF 2018 will address the key themes of|
CommonwealthFirst is delighted to announce the third cohort of Commonwealth Export Champions programme. Representing various regions of the UK and business sectors, our latest batch of Export Champions applicants proved to be of the highest calibre yet and they highlight the variety of innovation and excellence that the UK SME sector has to offer the world. Applicants included off-grid renewable energy, healthy snacks, innovative antimicrobial technology, teddy bears, a digital knitting machine, as well as award winning baby and children’s food.
CommonwealthFirst, in partnership with Royal Mail and i-genius as implementation partner, was established by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to trade and invest across the Commonwealth; a market comprising 52 English speaking countries with a combined population of 2.2 billion – at least 60% of whom are under the age of 30 – and a combined GDP of approximately US$9.6 trillion.
One hundred outstanding UK SMEs will be selected over three years to become CommonwealthFirst Export Champions.
• Do you want access to 1/3 of the world’s population?
• Is your business growing fast with high export potential?
• Do you have ambitious plans to grow internationally?
• Do you have what it takes to become a Commonwealth Export Champion?
The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council launched CommonwealthFirst, a three-year training programme aimed at encouraging UK Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to export to the Commonwealth. The Council launched the programme at Marlborough House on Tuesday 26th April 2016, the headquarters of the Commonwealth, at a breakfast session addressed by Moya Greene, CEO of Royal Mail plc.