London Heathrow Airport has revealed the 20 winners of its World of Opportunity Programme, which awards SMEs £2,000 (US$2,580) to help expand their businesses abroad.
Carried out in partnership with the UK’s Department for International Trade’s (DIT) ‘Exporting is GREAT Campaign’, this year’s winners include gourmet crisp producers, a family-run cycling business, and a company that supports refugee learning programs.
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 its 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 that 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 that is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging. Premier Packaging Solutions currently exports to Malta, Slovenia, Hungary, Ireland and the USA 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 its 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.
Nearly 150 applications were received for the World of Opportunity Programme, which ran from June 8 to July 14 this year. 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 DIT.
Emma Gilthorpe, executive expansion director, London Heathrow, 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 program 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 Programme. 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.”