As part of this year’s VOOM competition, Virgin Media Business has teamed up with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to award the UK businesses who are showing excellence in exporting.
The GREAT Award is for businesses that fly the flag for Great Britain. The UKTI team are looking for real ambassadors making big waves abroad. Businesses should be growing overseas and have a loyal bank of foreign customers who love what they do – or an ingenious plan to make this happen.
One lucky business will be invited to receive an exclusive one-to-one mentoring session at 10 Downing Street with one of the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassadors, as well as a package of bespoke export services.
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is enter your business into either of the VOOM 2016 categories – Start-Up or Grow – and confirm that you want to enter the GREAT Award. You’ll then be emailed a series of questions to gather some more information about how long you’ve been trading overseas, why your foreign customers love your brand, and what your international plans are for the next three years.
The award is being judged by a team from UKTI, the experts in all things exporting. They’ll make a shortlist at the beginning of June of the 10 best exporting businesses from the top VOOM 2016 entries. These 10 will be invited to an interview with the GREAT judges and a panel of senior business people, with three then selected as GREAT Award finalists. The winner will be announced at the live VOOM 2016 finale on June 28th.
But why should businesses care about exporting?
According to research by UKTI, a business is 11 per cent more likely to survive if it does business overseas, and companies that export become 34 per cent more productive in the first year alone. Additionally, OMB Research from 2013 says that UKTI clients are 49 per cent more likely to say that exporting has enabled them to achieve higher growth.
One such business is Shaun Pulfrey’s Tangle Teezer. After meeting with buyers for Chinese shopping site Tmall at UKTI event in London, Pulfrey was able to start exporting to China. “Within four weeks, we had sold more Tangle Teezers than the previous 12 weeks,” he said in 2014. “Within 12 months, at current forecasts, we will triple our sales within the China market year on year.”