Author: Rudi Page - Export Champion Making Connections Work Ltd. | Date: 12 September 2018
Being an Export Champion provides an excellent opportunity to expand and update my original objectives that have guided my business model over the past 20 years.
As Project Manager for the regeneration inspired North London TEC/Business Link "Synergy Project" that developed the theme "International Trade as a Tool for Local Economic Development".
I facilitated business support services including; workshops, seminars, roundtables, and conferences. Additionally, I assisted UKTI-supported overseas trade missions, designed as outreach for small local enterprises, particularly those with family ties and business connections to their countries of origin.
A key issue that inhibited "International Trade" development was local business communities and Diaspora support groups were not aware of the available business support services that could help navigate UK trade policies, rules and regulations.
Making Connections Work, facilitates International Trade for local economic growth between the United Kingdom (UK) and the Caribbean region by providing multi-sector supply chain collaboration opportunities for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
I have adapted the Enhanced Leadership Insights (ELi) management model that has been a success within complex NHS local systems. This lead to institutional partnerships that build on UK Global Health objectives. We have developed an online knowledge transfer platform providing mentoring and coaching for leadership development, system management skills and programme implementation.
Close links have been established with Department of International Trade (DIT) personnel both in London and the Caribbean region. This has increased my profile and portfolio of expertise at their UK Global Business forums, networking events and introductions to local contacts. My local chamber, West London Business (West London Export Club) is enthusiastically supportive.
New partnerships have been developed with Caribbean-based governments, through their UK High Commissions, commercial organisations, and individuals. I have delivered successful programmes in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat and St Lucia.
There remains significant scope for capitalising on the competitive use of communication technology and social media to develop closer partnerships with formerly isolated Islands, cities, towns, and neighbourhoods. Planned market visits on a regular basis are essential in order to make the right connections and understand local customs and practices. The signing of NDAs is advisable (non-disclosure agreements) with ongoing verification for compliance.
My medium and long-term objectives are to scale up information, advice and guidance sessions for SME’s to collaborate as clusters and take advantage of business support services through a series of “International Trade & UK Creative Industries” seminars, conferences, roundtables, and overseas missions. Additionally, work to transform existing UK/US joint initiatives (technology, education, health, trade) into a strategic alliance aligned with government regional policies.
The change in trade relations between the UK and the rest of the world gives a new impetus and opportunities for widening support for Diaspora engagement with Commonwealth countries, along with greater knowledge and skills integration within a successful Diaspora Delivery System (DDS) across the Caribbean region.
My role is to help Make Connections Work.