Last week we congratulated the latest recipients from our region of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
Yet again we saw a healthy number of local businesses winning in the International Trade category demonstrating how much the goods and services, and innovation and ideas from businesses across our region are sought after the world over.
Our full list of winners are:
- Cambridge Education Group, Cambridge
- Ekioh Ltd, Cambridge
- EV Offshore Limited, Norwich
- JDR Cable Systems Ltd, Littleport, Cambs
- Linguamatics Ltd, Cambridge
- PCL Ceramics Limited, Kings Lynn
- Pico Technology Limited, St Neots, Cambs
- Research division of Vernalis (R&D) Limited, Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridge
- SEACON (europe) Ltd, Great Yarmouth
- STG Aerospace Ltd, Swaffham, Norfolk
Queen’s Award winners lead the way in showcasing the significance of international trade, and are a good barometer of a region’s business performance. The winners have demonstrated that their business has achieved substantial growth in overseas earnings and in commercial success (relative to their business size and sector) through either outstanding achievement over three years or continuous achievement over six years, so this is no mean achievement.
UKTI East has worked with many of the Award winners, including Norfolk-based PCL Ceramics. Our involvement with PCL dates back to 2009 when one of our International Trade Advisors first met with the company.
Since then we have been providing advice and financial support to help them exhibit at international trade fairs, as well as helping them with marketing research and providing business intelligence and trade contacts for specific overseas markets through our Overseas Market Introduction Service.
Export Week, which took place at the beginning of the month, was a great success with over 150 businesses attending events to get advice on a range of exporting issues - from simply getting started in exporting, through to specialist sessions on high growth markets, language and cultural issues and intellectual property.
I attended events throughout the week and it’s clear to me that those aimed at businesses just starting on their exporting journey are just as important as the specialist events. To the uninitiated, exporting may seem like a process bedevilled by bureaucracy and arcane practices. In reality it’s one of the best possible investments of time and resource for companies wanting to develop their business and increase market size quickly.
However, companies do need to plan their export approach properly as they would with any strategic business decision - and this is where UKTI comes in. My team provides free advice and access to dedicated international trade advisors and representatives in over 100 markets all over the world. We help businesses think through how and where to start and support them to develop an appropriate plan of action.
The first step could be relatively straightforward; the internet has made selling overseas easier and quicker than ever before and by making a few changes to their online presence, businesses could be open for export within a matter of hours!
Once started there will be more to learn - particular markets and sectors need bespoke approaches – but UKTI will be there every step of the way. Our team is here to help businesses grow through exports, and, who knows, in years to come we may be celebrating your business as a Queen’s Award winner of the future!