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.
The intensive programme commences with a first stop in Kuala Lumpur where the Export Champions will receive 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 will then meeting Mr Zaky Moh, Senior Director at the SME Development Corporation before meeting with Hon Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry.
The delegation will then fly to Singapore to receive a market opportunities briefing at the British High Commission Singapore and be hosted at an evening reception by the British Singapore Chamber of Commerce. They will then meet Daniel Kok, General Manager, International Chamber of Commerce Academy before meeting Hon Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry. The visit will be concluded with networking opportunities with Singapore entrepreneurs, hosted by Raymond Huang, Kairo Asia and a meeting with CEO, Singapore Business Federation, Mr Ho Meng Kit.
Time has been set aside for the Export Champions to engage in private meetings with regional importers.
Mr. Richard Burge, who took up his post at the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council in March said “CommonwealthFirst provides an excellent opportunity for innovative small and medium sized enterprises to better understand new markets and give them an early taste of the practical aspects around international trade. It is through access initiatives such as this, combined with expert support and mentorship, which helps them reach their potential in achieving sustainable growth and in creating new jobs. Our aim is to expand the programme to support SMEs throughout the Commonwealth.”
UK SMEs can apply to become part of the next cohort of CommonwealthFirst Export Champions via: www.commonwealthfirst.org. Applications close on 5th June.
CommonwealthFirst is organising a briefing on Tuesday 25th April at Birmingham Airport to raise awareness of its SME export champions programme and invite further applicants from small firms which have high growth and trading. The Birmingham briefing is being hosted by Birmingham Airport and sponsored by Turkish Airlines.
The regional event will highlight recruitment for the third cohort of Commonwealth Export Champions, which opened at the Trade Ministers Meeting last month. The previous intake of SME cohorts participated in a trade mission during the India-UK Tech Summit, Delhi last November which coincided with Theresa May’s first overseas visit as prime minister. The second trade mission is scheduled for Malaysia and Singapore in May 2017.
CommonwealthFirst is the brainchild of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) with Royal Mail as lead sponsor. Its mission is to encourage small and medium enterprises to trade and invest across the Commonwealth.
Lord Marland, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council (CWEIC), said, “At a time when trade is under the spotlight, it is encouraging to see such high-quality export-ready small businesses coming forward to take part in this ambitious programme.”
Places are limited for the Birmingham Briefing. See agenda below. To register your interest, email Barry Crisp: email@example.com
11:00 Registration and coffee
11:15 Welcome remarks
David Winstanley, Chief Operating Officer, Birmingham Airport
Richard Burge, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council
Martin Levermore, Chair, Business and Trade Committee, Birmingham Commonwealth Association
11:30 Address by HE Kena Mphonda, Malawi High Commissioner to the UK
11:45 Address by Selim Ozturk, General Manager, Turkish Airlines
12:00 Presentation on CommonwealthFirst Export Champion Programme
John Pemberton-Pigott, Director of Programmes, CWEIC
Helen Bellamy-Booth, Channel Manager, Royal Mail
Tommy Hutchinson, Founder & CEO, i-genius
12:10 Questions and roundtable discussion
12:55 Concluding remarks
Uday Dholakia, Brand Ambassador, Birmingham Airport
13:00 Buffet lunch and networking
The Flight Deck
5th Floor Diamond House
Birmingham Airport, B26 3QJ
Map, Directions & Parking: View and Download
SMEs can apply to become a CommonwealthFirst Export Champion via: www.commonwealthfirst.org – Applications close on 5th June and the third cohort will be announced in July 2017.
CWF EC*: CommonwealthFirst Export Champion
Recruitment for the third cohort of Commonwealth Export Champions opened today as Trade Ministers from the 52 member countries meet at Lancaster House, London. The latest intake of 26 SME cohorts have been selected according to their export growth potential and will participate in a series of trade missions with the next one scheduled for Malaysia and Singapore in May 2017.
CommonwealthFirst is the brainchild of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC). Its mission is to encourage small and medium enterprises to trade and invest across the Commonwealth. The inaugural round of Export Champions attended the high profile India-UK Tech Summit, Delhi in November which coincided with Theresa May’s first overseas visit as prime minister.
Lord Marland, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council (CWEIC), and the driving body behind CommonwealthFirst said, “The Indian trade mission was a major success. It provided some of the UKs finest small firms with fantastic exposure in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. We are keen to build on this and today’s event provides the ideal setting to further showcase the importance of SMEs as stimulators of sustainable economic growth. At a time when trade is under the spotlight, it is encouraging to see such high-quality export-ready small businesses coming forward to take part in this ambitious programme.”
The Trade Ministers Meeting plans to discuss areas where the Commonwealth can strengthen trade and investment links between member countries and develop a coherent policy agenda ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The Meeting has a particular focus on exploiting the ‘Commonwealth Factor’ whereby average trading costs are estimated to be 19% lower between Commonwealth countries as a result of commonalities around language, cultural ties, shared values and similar legal, institutional and regulatory systems.
SMEs can apply to become a CommonwealthFirst Export Champion via: www.commonwealthfirst.org
Applications close on 5th June and the third cohort will be announced in July 2017.
CommonwealthFirst is delighted to announce that the second cohort of Commonwealth Export Champions has now been selected. Representing various regions of the UK and business sectors our new Export Champions underline the depth of innovation and quality that the UK SME sector has to offer the world. Cohort products and services include; aircraft protection covers, turbines that capture air movement into automotive energy, online services for mental health, automated drone servicing platforms, as well as hydroponics and three dimensional crop production.
Along with our first cohort new Export Champions will benefit from access to high-level networking and introductions, training, mentoring and tailored trade missions – with Malaysia and Nigeria in the pipeline to be confirmed later this year.
Lord Marland, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, said ‘This programme is a wonderful way of demonstrating both the ingenuity of British businesses and the huge opportunities in Commonwealth markets. We hope these companies will serve as ambassadors for other UK businesses looking to trade internationally.”
The second cohort selected is:
Air Covers Ltd
Brandon Medical Co Ltd
Breaking Free Online Limited
Crop Intellect Ltd
Gaist Solutions Limited
Hopkins Catering Equipment Ltd
James White Drinks Ltd
Phoenix Dynamics Ltd
Playdale Playgrounds Ltd
The businesses are selected based on their ambition, their innovation and the impact that they will have across Commonwealth markets.
Applications for the third cohort of UK SMEs will open in spring, however, we are accepting on-going applications: www.commonwealthfirst.org
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.
After significant success with its inaugural group of UK SMEs, the CommonwealthFirst initiative has opened applications for a second round of companies to join its ranks. CommonwealthFirst is the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council’s flagship programme to support outstanding UK SMEs with serious ambitions and strong potential to trade and invest in Commonwealth markets, to realise such plans.
Building on the success of the first round, twenty-five additional SMEs will be selected to become Commonwealth Export Champions according to their innovative and flexible approach, potential for overseas growth and export-readiness.
The first cohort will be embarking on a trade mission to India to coincide with the UK India Technology summit 7th-9th November, which will be attended by UK Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Theresa May. Those additional UK companies chosen to comprise the second cohort will have the opportunity to participate in a second trade mission destined for Malaysia and Singapore in spring 2017.
Lord Marland, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council (CWEIC), the driving body behind CommonwealthFirst, said “At a time when UK trade is under the spotlight, it is very encouraging to see such high-quality export-ready small businesses coming forward to take part in this ambitious programme”.
Lord Marland further commented that “As well as organised trade missions, networking events, mentoring and advisory expertise, CommonwealthFirst brings together a wealth of organisations keen to make the programme a success”
SMEs can apply to become a CommonwealthFirst Export Champion via: www.commonwealthfirst.org. Applications close on 4th December and the second cohort will be announced in January 2017.
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.