How did you hear about the CWF programme and what made you apply?
I was looking to expand the business by incorporating teaching standards from countries apart from the UK when I came across the Commonwealth Standards Framework for Teachers & School Leaders. This led me to the CWIEC website which, in turn, took me to the Commonwealth First Export programme.
As I had an innovative solution that could potentially help 52 countries document and evidence their professional teaching standards on one platform, I had nothing to lose and very much to gain by becoming involved with Commonwealth First.
How did the idea for your business come about?
During teacher training we were required to submit an ePortfolio of evidence so that our School Mentor could assess our teaching performance and our University Tutor could judge whether to grant a teaching qualification. This was such a laborious process for all concerned that I decided to develop the online ePortfolio based on my own experience.
What difficulties have you encountered setting up your business?
Converting the ePortfolio idea into a working solution was the greatest challenge. Having achieved this, the next challenging task was finding, connecting with and convincing key decision makers in universities and government to adopt the solution.
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.
In this monthly round up of Export Champion interviews we learn about the value of drones and better learning experiences.
The inaugural CommonwealthFirst trade mission will see a delegation of twelve outstanding UK SMEs travel to Delhi for the India-UK Tech Summit on 7-9 November.
The India-UK Tech Summit will be attended by UK Prime Minister Theresa May on her first bilateral visit since her appointment in July 2016.
The delegation will be led by Manoj Ladwa, Member of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council Advisory Board, who said “the India-UK Tech Summit will be a fantastic opportunity for these fast growing UK SMEs – many of whom are exploring the Indian market for the first time.”
The first cohort of Commonwealth Export Champions was selected in July 2016 and represent the best of what British business has to sell to the world. Companies are drawn from the manufacturing, healthcare, education, technology, food & beverage and fashion industries.
The Export Champions will be accompanied by CommonwealthFirst mentors including representatives of the Confederation of Indian Industry, De La Rue, JCB, Taylor Rubber and Clarks Legal to provide guidance for entering the enormous Indian market.
During the mission, interactions are being hosted by the British High Commission, British Council, Confederation of Indian Industry, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the India Observer Research Foundation.
UK SMEs can apply to become part of the second cohort of CommonwealthFirst Export Champions via: www.commonwealthfirst.org. Applications close on 4th December and the second cohort will be announced in January 2017.