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
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.
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 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
CBF 2018 will address the key themes of:
To register your interest in attending please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the programme please contact John Pemberton-Pigott. Email: email@example.com
For more information on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Summit please visit www.chogm2018.org.uk
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Trade Initiative (CTI) online platform links buyers and sellers from across diverse Commonwealth markets. It is free to join and members can take advantage of a sophisticated business matching function which will automatically provide them with targeted business leads from across the Commonwealth based on their user profile information.
The matching algorithm is constantly at work behind the scenes to gather information to produce daily business matches. It combines big data and machine learning to automate the procurement, lead generation and networking process.
By becoming a part of the Commonwealth Business Platform users can take advantage of an intuitive and enjoyable user experience that gamifies the process of working with new businesses.
Sign up is FREE and takes less than 2 minutes: http://tradecommonwealth.com/#/register