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CommonwealthFirst is CWEIC's flagship initiative to help SME’s trade and invest across the Commonwealth.

Over three years, 100 leading UK SMEs have been selected to become CommonwealthFirst Export Champions. Export Champions are 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.

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Merrythought is a fourth-generation family business that manufactures the finest traditional teddy bears, each of which is hand-made in their original Shropshire factory. Dating back to 1930, Merrythought is now the last remaining British teddy bear manufacturer – using traditional craftsmanship and high quality natural materials, most significantly mohair plush, to create its luxury bears.

The company supplies independent toy and teddy bear shops across the UK, as well as high end department stores including Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Fenwick and John Lewis. It also designs and produces bespoke bears for various luxury brands and specialist retailers, such as The Royal Collection, Burberry and Turnbull & Asser.

Merrythought dispatches across the world via its website, and holds a small number of direct stockist accounts in Australia and other export countries. They design and produce their own collections, which include limited editions aimed at collectors, and classical mohair teddy bears which appeal to the wider public.

CommonwealthFirst looks forward to supporting Merrythought with introductions to distributors, assistance with entering new markets and brand collaborations across the Commonwealth network.