The Second Cohort of CommonwealthFirst Export Champions has been officially launched at a Roundtable and Reception hosted by the Indian High Commission on February 8th. The Roundtable was addressed by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, H.E. Mr. Dinesh K. Patnaik and Manoj Ladwa – a member of CWEICs Advisory Board who led the first CommonwealthFirst trade mission to India in November last year. CWEIC Chairman Lord Marland later addressed the Reception, highlighting the importance of SMEs being willing to trade overseas.
Export Champions from Cohort One related their experience of the programme’s first trade mission to India, describing the challenges and huge opportunities they had found doing business there. Representatives Thompson from education consultancy Hi-impact and operational performance consultancy KM&T described how the mission had opened up an array of new contacts and they were hoping to see new business wins soon.
Following an online application process, the Second Cohort of 26 companies have been selected based on their level of impact, innovation, ambition and ability to succeed across Commonwealth markets. 100 Export Champions will be selected in total over the next two and a half years.
This cohort’s companies range from designers of aircraft covers and manufacturers of innovative roadside wind turbines to companies able to treble crop yields and convert sports stadiums in to multi-purpose arenas. They are a true testament to the diversity and strength of British business.
CommonwealthFirst is delighted to be working with Second Cohort with preparations under way for the programme’s second trade mission to Malaysia and Singapore.
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
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.