Chief executives, managers and directors from a group of South East exporting businesses, or organisations that support exporting, have been recognised as Export Champions by the Department for International Trade (DIT) at an event held at Gatwick Airport.
The 21 Export Champions have been selected by DIT for their inspirational approach to growing their businesses through exporting or for championing exporting in the South East. Champions will encourage companies in their region to start exporting, offer practical advice on how to turn exporting ambitions into a reality and share their experiences of how DIT helped them break into new markets. The chosen South East based Export Champions include Laura Bounds from Canterbury-based Kent Crisps, Giedre Brandao from Sittingbourne-based AbBaltis Ltd and Kathy Slack from Enterprise M3 LEP, which covers West Surrey and North Hampshire.
The Export Champion community, launched in March as part of the Exporting is GREAT campaign, was introduced in response to a desire from businesses to receive peer-to-peer exporting support. There are now 250 Export Champions active across England, and the Department’s ambition is to expand the programme to at least 1,000 Champions by April 2020. Their appointments come at a time when worldwide demand for British goods continues to grow. Between 2017 and 2018 exports of goods from the South East increased by 3.2% to £46.8 billion.
Marian Sudbury, director of UK Regions at the Department for International Trade, opened the South East launch with a keynote speech.
Marian Sudbury said: “The Export Champions Community is a vital part of the government’s Export Strategy; its members will help create the culture of exporting among businesses across the country.
“Each of our Export Champions has been chosen because they’re great at exporting. Their experience of exporting gives them a unique insight and unique ability to provide the peer-to-peer support that businesses are seeking, to inform and encourage other businesses to follow their lead.
“We now have 250 Export Champions across all of the English regions, and we hope to continue expanding the programme to at least 1,000 Champions by April 2020.”
A total of 15 Export Champions from across the South East attended the event and shared inspiring stories of export successes. Tom Higgins from Gold-i, a software company, is one of the Export Champions who shared his experiences. His company is making great progress overseas after taking part in a Fintech Mexico inward mission arranged by DIT in October 2018
Ben Raby, DIT’s head of exports in the South East, said: “Our Export Champions embody global ambition and, having worked with each of them, we know they are the best candidates to encourage and guide other local businesses on their exporting journey.
“I’d urge any business seeking to expand its global footprint, to get in touch with the South East DIT team to find out more about this programme or any of the other of the services on offer.”
DIT also launched regional Export Champion networks last week across the South West and in London.
Alongside the launch, DIT is inviting businesses that have taken their first steps towards exporting to become Export Advocates. Export Advocates will form part of an online exporting community where they can ask questions about overseas trade, get advice on overcoming barriers, and find out about specific support available. Any company interested in joining the Export Advocate Community can sign up via great.gov.uk where they will also get access to an exporting toolkit.
Companies wanting to find out more about how DIT can support them to export can visit great.gov.uk or contact:
DIT South East | E: email@example.com | T: 0330 300 0012
The complete list of Export Champions for the South East is as follows:
- Giedre Brandao, AbBaltis Ltd
- Andrew Hodgson, Beck & Pollitzer
- Jeremy Corner, Blue Eyed Sun
- Ian McGregor, Emulate 3D
- Kathy Slack, Enterprise M3 LEP
- Pete Jenkins, Gamification
- Tom Higgins, Gold-i Ltd
- Paul Ferris, He-Man Dual Controls
- Laura Bounds, Kent Crisps
- Max Goulden, Macalister Elliott and Partners
- Chris Craggs, McFarlane Telfer Ltd
- David Taylor, MR Solutions
- Mike Lawton, Oxford Space Systems
- Fiona Racher, Risk Decisions
- Alison Lyons, Sesame Access Ltd
- Brian Watt, Sloane’s Hot Chocolate
- Roy Coffer, Stateside Skates
- Georgie Delaney, The Great Outdoor Gym Company
- Matt Smith and Barry Broughton, TPS Global Logistics Ltd
- Andrew Moore, UKSol