Heathrow kickstarts exporting ambitions of 20 SMEs with ‘World of Opportunity Program’

Heathrow has revealed the 20 winners of this year’s World of Opportunity Program. This years’ winners include outstanding companies that support refugee learning programs, gourmet crisp producers and a family run cycling business.

The program, now in its second year, sees Heathrow working in partnership with the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) ‘Exporting is GREAT Campaign’, to award each SME £2,000 to fund their trade missions as they look to expand their businesses abroad.

In addition to receiving the grant, the winners will be offered guidance from DIT International Trade Advisers and may even be put in contact with other international networks that will be able to assist them as they look to establish themselves in markets further afield. When departing from Heathrow, these businesses will also be given a Plaza Premium lounge pass for their travels.

Some of this year’s winners include:

• NEMI Tea – A London-based tea company that makes biodegradable tea pyramids and employs refugees to sell these products enabling them to learn English and gain experience before entering the job market. The company plans to use the grant to attend trade shows in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

• MamaBabyBliss – A Hertfordshire-based business that offers parent and baby classes, workshops, yoga inspired workouts, pregnancy massage treatments and produces multi-award-winning vegan baby products. MamaBabyBliss is looking to showcase their services and products at the ‘Best of British’ Trade Show in Shanghai this year.

• Pearson Cycles – A Richmond-based family business established in 1860. The business sells bikes, clothing and accessories and plans to move into markets which are receptive to genuine British heritage companies, such as Taiwan, by attending the Taipei Cycle Show.

• Premier Packaging Solutions – A Northern Ireland-based business that manufactures luxury packaging which is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging. Premier Packaging Solutions currently exports to Malta, Slovenia, Hungary, Ireland and the States and is looking to break into the Canadian market.

• Reza Wood Designs – A Scottish business that recycles whisky barrels from local distilleries and transforms them into one of a kind handcrafted gifts for Scotch whisky lovers around the world. Reza Wood Designs is planning to use their grant to enter the Japanese market.

• Savoursmiths – A Duxford-based business that produces gourmet crisps, cut from home-grown local potatoes grown on a family farm, before being batch cooked by hand. This brand is working to become a global business and begin trading in the Middle East and Asia.

The ‘World of Opportunity Programme’ ran from 8 June – 14 July of this year. Nearly 150 applications were received, and the winning entries were chosen by a panel of experts including Heathrow Chairman Lord Deighton and Parveen Thornhill, London and Devolved Administration Director for the Department of International Trade.

Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s Executive Expansion Director said:

“We’re thrilled to be working with the DIT for the second year to support these entrepreneurs as they look to expand their businesses abroad. Our airport plays a crucial role connecting British people, goods and services to the world, and now with the World of Opportunity programme we’re able to help these businesses as they begin their exporting journeys.”

Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said:

“We’re delighted to have partnered with Heathrow once again on the World of Opportunity Program. With last year’s winning SMEs going on to secure major export wins in markets across the globe, we look forward to supporting the success of this year’s cohort.

“Businesses that export are more productive and resilient, creating more jobs and paying higher wages. Every day, the UK’s world-class, innovative businesses are seizing opportunities in new overseas markets – but there is a vast potential for growth, and our new export strategy sets out just how we will further boost the delivery of quality British goods and services.”