Glasgow-based Klik2Learn Ltd – a digital design company specialising in education – has further boosted its export ambitions after clinching a high-profile competition funded by UK Trade & Investment.
The business – which has developed a new digital approach to improving spoken English along with blended learning content for the digital native generation – was among ten finalists vying for the top prize in Open to Export’s Action Plan Competition.
The five-strong company, which presented its Export Action Plan along with fellow finalists to a panel of judges at the International Festival for Business 2016, has been awarded £3k funding and additional benefits.
Ann Attridge, director of Klik2Learn Ltd, said: “I’m bowled over – especially as it was a last minute decision to enter the competition. This accolade will undoubtedly enhance our reputation and the funding will be instrumental in furthering our international trade goals in countries including India, France and the Balkans. The Export Action Plan has been invaluable for challenging us and keeping us focused as we map out the next stage of our journey.”
Open to Export has been set up by the government as a digital solution to boost the UK’s SME exports. As a founding partner of Open to Export, the IOE has played an instrumental role in supporting Open to Export’s digital Export Action Plan – the latest addition to its online offering – which is dedicated to helping businesses prepare to sell overseas by giving them free access to online information, support and advice.
Using the tool allows businesses to take ownership of their export strategies, making decisions along each step of their international trade journey – from selecting a market to delivering products or services to new customers.
Shoreditch-based Ops&Ops, which designs and produces 60s inspired footwear was awarded a special commendation, and fellow finalists were:
A & R House Ltd, Somerset – produces raw materials for plant extractions
Business Development Midlands Ltd, Birmingham – provides specialist training for professionals and businesses
Cherith Harrison Ltd, Edinburgh – produces British animal-inspired gifts
Pop-ettes Ltd, Sussex – produces fun and original origami animal characters for greeting cards and gifts
PREA Ltd ®, Manchester – leading global consultancy specialising in the polymer chemicals and manufacturing industry
Prickly Thistle Scotland Ltd, Culbokie – designs and produces bespoke tartans inspired by individuals’ heritage
The Medical Stock Image Company, Surrey- aims to enhance the quality and availability of medical imagery through only using certified medical artists
West Berkshire Brewery, Berkshire – renowned for its award-winning range of traditional cask ales
Said Institute of Export director general, Lesley Batchelor OBE, who was on the judging panel: “Feedback from all the finalists demonstrated that the Export Action Plan is an excellent and easy to use resource which helps businesses to maximise the vibrant opportunities in international trade.
“Well done to all the worthy companies who were shortlisted – their commitment, passion and entrepreneurial spirit made it challenging for the judges to select an overall winner and we wish them all continued success in their international trade ambitions.”
Fellow judges were James Cliffe, head of business banking at HSBC, Ian Ballentine, director of procurement at Heathrow, Mark Lesniak at Great British Store and Mark Pountain, MD of previous Export Action Plan competition winner Charles Farris Candles.
The competition was sponsored by the International Festival for Business 2016 and Bibby Financial Services – both dedicated to helping more new and inexperienced exporters to thrive internationally.
Each of the 10 shortlisted companies has won a year’s free small business membership with the Institute of Export and a year’s free membership with the Great British Store.
Companies interested in trying out the Export Action plan can do so at www.opentoexport.com.