Meet the African Buyer: Register now

Finding the right markets for your product or service can be difficult – that’s why we run our regular Meet the Market events. They’re all about meeting buyers from different countries who are looking for UK suppliers for the products they need. We regularly invite buyers from around the world to the West Midlands so businesses just like yours can talk and network with them.

Our Meet the Market events are a great way to build your own international trade network. Now is a perfect time to find new customers, start exporting to new countries and bring in even more profit for your business.

In partnership with Midlands Engine, on Wednesday 3rd October, we’re inviting buyers from Africa to the West Midlands for 1-1 meetings with local businesses. This exciting new opportunity is all about bringing you face to face with representatives from one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It’s just what your business needs if you’re looking for new markets to tap into.

The buyers are looking for UK suppliers for products and services in a variety of sectors including:

Food and Drink
Health, Medical and Life Sciences
Consumer Goods
Business and Professional Services
Bio Energy

Africa has been proven to provide excellent export opportunities for British businesses and now your company can benefit too. UK companies are in a great position to tap into this market due to British brands being held in high regard because of our reputation for quality, craftsmanship and style.

Six African countries made it into the top 10 fastest growing economies list this year. It’s estimated that by 2020, consumer-facing industries in Africa will grow by over £260 billion. In addition, Africa has the fastest growing middle-class social group in the world and over the next 40 years it’s estimated that half of the world’s population increase will come from there. This provides lots of scope for UK exporters to provide products and services for a rapidly expanding population.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now for the industry you specialise in to have a meeting that can kickstart your global expansion.

Don’t forget to take a look at our other upcoming events to see if they’d be a good fit for your business.

Achieving further recognition for continuing international success on Thursday the 6th September, Managing Director Steve Lloyd joined a select number of innovative UK companies at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry to receive their latest business award. Presented by the Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox MP after having been awarded the highly respected Department for International Trade, ‘Board of Trade’ award. A highly prestigious accolade, which is a genuine honour to receive.

These awards are issued to businesses as a result of delivering outstanding activities on the global marketplace. Following a tremendous year of UK and International orders received. Addfield were nominated independently by the Department of International Trade and have won the award after suitably impressing the judging panel through their ongoing and significant contribution to security and stability in the UK and / or abroad, through trade and investments across their range of medical incinerators.

Recognising the continued growth and innovation in the field of medical incineration of which Addfield are continuing to lead through increasing orders supplying many of the worlds leading aid agencies and government bodies internationally.

“It is a real honour to have been issued this award. The past few years have seen us undergo dramatic growth based upon our expanding international reputation. Alongside the tireless hard work of the entire team at Addfield, we are proud to have seen the environmental impact that the installation of our machines has had on the communities in which they have been installed. The fact that we are continuing to receive growing numbers of repeat orders is a testament to the quality of the machines which reinforces the Addfield adage ‘Simply Built Better’” – Steve Lloyd Managing Director.

“My international economic department is delighted to have awarded Addfield Environmental a Board of Trade Award, recognising its exporting success. Its exceptional home-grown innovation is helping solve the problem of medical waste in markets as diverse as Mexico and Togo. The Board of Trade Awards highlight businesses that deserve special recognition for their role within their communities, showcasing successes in trade and investment across the whole of the UK, from all sectors and businesses of all shapes and sizes.” – Dr Liam Fox MP International Trade Secretary.

Addfield Environmental Systems manufacture incineration and cremation solutions that are distributed worldwide. In recent years the growing global population has resulted in an increase in demand in medical incinerators to protect communities against the risks of cross contamination and viral outbreaks such as Ebola and Zika in developing countries. Providing increased biosecurity and a safe solution compared to methods previously engaged in the disposal of infectious biological, clinical and hospital waste throughout many developing countries. Supporting customers beyond the initial purchase of machines through delivering training to local engineers ensuring that not matter where in the world Addfield machines are installed there will always be an qualified engineer available.
The level of sales is a corresponding result to the years of continuous improvement and development across the range of machines available which have been proven to deliver results regularly exceeding customers initial expectations. Forging strong relationships with international distributors, organisations and consulting experts.

The Board of Trade awards were reconvened by current Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox championing the work of business in delivering economic growth across the UK. Nominated as a result of the work that Addfield have carried out in partnership with the Department of International Trade and following their recent exemplary success during the past years in international expansion and their role in the community.

To find out more, visit:

For more media information please contact Ian Gilbert at Addfield Environmental Systems Ltd +44(0) 1543 571280

As an existing exporter, there are lots of ways you can expand your current exports. From e-markets to new foreign markets, we’re looking at ways you can grow your business globally and bring in more profit.

International e-markets
If you haven’t considered going digital before, now’s the time. As lots of businesses are using online platforms to market their products, they’re able to access new markets which they might not be able to find elsewhere.

A huge 40% of shoppers worldwide buy products from UK brands for their quality and reputation and it’s estimated that in just two years’ time, online international sales will bring in over £28 billion profit.

Let’s start off with e-commerce sites. They’re the perfect way to list your products online and sell overseas easily. You can choose the countries you ship to and customise other things such as your domain name and the layout of your online store.

Another way to access e-markets is through your company’s own website. Your website would need optimisation so it appeals to consumers in foreign markets and uses their currency.

By selling online, you’ll be able to view real-time data and analytics that can help you make informed decisions for your business. For increased visitors to your website, you might want to consider looking at SEO and improving your organic search rankings in search engines abroad.

Our Digital Series workshops will help with exporting via online platforms and give you tips on how to increase your online presence and develop a digital strategy.

Business culture
Our Business Culture workshops give you the opportunity to learn about different markets before you visit them.

Learning about the economic environments in other countries will provide you with a better understanding of how you can overcome any barriers, such as language and differing negotiation styles, before you do business with them.

Head over to one of our upcoming workshops to learn about the business culture of foreign countries you want to tap into and grow your exports.

Building a team abroad
Previously, we explored how different people can play a crucial role in expanding your exports. With this in mind, why not think about hiring agents and distributors to help manage your overseas operations so you can focus on reaching new markets?

If you’re ready to explore new markets, head over to one of our events to get started.

When running a business, it can be difficult to get time away to attend training events and workshops that will help expand your sales. That’s why we’ve launched a series of new, free, online exporting masterclasses.

The series of free masterclasses will give you the knowledge you need to become an experienced exporter and, more importantly, grow your business. Take a look at our training videos to increase your knowledge on a range of fundamental export topics.

We currently offer six online training sessions lasting about 30 minutes each, covering:

Export documentation and administration
Export pricing
Intellectual property
International sales and marketing
Market research and selection
Routes to market

Gain valuable insights from each of the masterclasses to expand your export knowledge from the comfort of your own desk. Once you’ve registered, the training is available to access at a time that’s suitable for you, so you can receive advice and tips when you need them.

The journey to exporting successfully can be a tricky one, which is why we’ve put the masterclasses in place to equip you with the information you need while you’re getting started. This online resource is a perfect way to fit learning into a busy schedule and use the information to grow your business internationally.

The masterclasses are for both new and inexperienced exporters looking to become established in international trade and are funded by the ERDF SME International Growth Project. The six workshops give a variety of information on the different aspects of exporting and how to tackle any bumps in the road.

Sign up today and go global with your business.

A Birmingham-based bullion dealer is exporting for the first time to Europe and the US with the launch of new international websites, thanks to support from the Department for International Trade.

BullionByPost is an online dealer of gold and silver bars and coins. The business trades with private investors solely using ecommerce platforms.

Gold and silver items are valued commodities all over the world, but the business has decided to focus on Europe, specifically the Republic of Ireland, France, Italy, and the US where it has noted particular demand.

The firm turned to the Department for International Trade (DIT) to support the launch of its new websites, by providing information about trademarks and online tax considerations. The new sites are optimised to tap in to the growing appetite from investors and collectors in bullion in Europe and the US, target potential investors more effectively, and provide a user-friendly experience.

Since launching at the beginning of June, the new websites are on course to boost annual turnover by 10% or £12.5 million and the company expects to grow to £100 million within three years.

Rob Halliday-Stein, founder of BullionByPost, said: “Since launching the business in 2009, we have devised a successful business model in the UK based on online commerce, product expertise and a high level of customer service. BullionByPost has already seen success domestically, and our ambition is to continue replicating these achievements across the globe in the months and years to come.

“The Department for International Trade has supported and encouraged us as we developed the new websites and understood our decision to focus on these priority markets. For any businesses looking to either start or grow their exporting journey, I would advise speaking to DIT to form a comprehensive overseas ecommerce strategy – there is a world of opportunity out there and DIT is helping British businesses tap into it. If we can do it, so can you.”

Ian Harrison, Head of Exports in the Midlands for the Department for International Trade, said: “Rob and the team at BullionByPost have demonstrated great ambition and an entrepreneurial mindset in their approach to exporting.

“We know that exploring the world of ecommerce isn’t without its complexities, particularly when it comes to language barriers, translations and protecting trademarks. That’s why we have a team of Midlands-based International Trade Advisers on hand to help businesses overcome these hurdles and trade with overseas buyers effectively.

“I would encourage any business considering exporting to contact us today to find out how we can help.”

Companies can find information and a current list of opportunities through visiting or by contacting:

DIT West Midlands
T: 0345 222 0159

West Midlands Chamber of Commerce has published its autumn/winter schedule of free masterclasses, which aim to help businesses to trade effectively and more strategically overseas.

Funded by the ERDF SME International Growth Project in partnership with the Department for International Trade, the workshops focus on four main areas of export: growing export sales; digital and e-marketing; business culture; and export essentials.

Six growth masterclasses are being held between October and December in Wolverhampton and Coventry. Designed for established exporters, this exclusive series of three sessions focuses on: how to increase export sales; international negotiation skills; and pitching a business to a global audience.

The half-day workshops will be hosted by trainer Richard Jeffery, of Business Navigators, which has delivered international training for the last 16 years.

Two digital and e-marketing masterclasses are being held at Warndon Business Park, Worcester, next month (October). Part one will examine how to reach a global audience through SEO and international e-market places, while the second session will look at international online advertising. These sessions will also be held at the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce building in Telford in January.transformation

Learning how to get your business relationship off to the right start is the focus of the business culture masterclasses. Three different masterclasses have been organised over the next few months. Later this month there will be a half-day workshop on doing business in USA and Canada and in November the China British Business Council (CBBC) in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT) will hold a workshop on how to develop business relationships in China. In December, there will be a workshop about business culture in the Middle East.

The Export Essentials workshops are tailored to new exporters to enable them to get an overview of the exporting process. The sessions will be led by an experienced international trade adviser (ITA) and will: explore the international potential of your business; examine the important next steps to start selling products or services internationally; and start a plan on how to increase export sales with confidence.

Patrick McCarron, business development manager of West Midlands Chambers of Commerce, said: “A business – regardless of its size and sector – can benefit hugely by selling their products or services overseas and our expert masterclasses are tailor made to provide companies with the information they need to help them export for the first time or grow their overseas markets.

“Exporting is proven to help businesses grow and become more resilient because it enables them to spread their risk. It also opens companies up to innovation and to being more competitive.

“Last year, we helped more than 300 businesses in the West Midlands region to start exporting for the first time, which is great news for them and for the local economy.”

Businesses that want to learn about a range of basic export topics can now watch a series of video training masterclasses without leaving their desk.

Launched by West Midlands Chambers of Commerce and funded by the ERDF SME International Growth Project, the online resource offers six masterclasses covering: export documentation and administration; export pricing; intellectual property; international sales and marketing; market research and selection; and routes to market.

Each of the videos lasts for about 30 minutes and will take SMEs (small-to-medium-sized enterprises) step by step through the processes of selling overseas. Each session is designed to offer valuable advice and tips to new and/or inexperienced exporters, by providing a structure for how to trade globally.

Patrick McCarron, Business Development Manager of West Midlands Chambers of Commerce, said: “Last year, we helped more than 300 businesses in the West Midlands region to start exporting for the first time.

“Selling products or services internationally is a potentially profitable part of any business plan, but there are many factors to consider when planning to trade overseas. We know that companies are keen to expand their export markets but it can sometimes be difficult to spare someone for a half day to attend a workshop or seminar.

“These online tools will allow businesses to access the relevant masterclasses at a time that is suitable for them and help them tackle the key stages in the export process.

“Of course, these can be followed up with meetings with our experienced international trade advisers, who can provide specialist help, guide companies through the exporting process, set up meetings and liaise with embassies and advisers in the target markets.”

It is free to register for the online tool. For more information, visit


Business across the West Midlands are being urged to apply for a specialist funding stream that aims to help them export for the first time or expand their overseas markets.

The West Midlands SME International Growth Project (SME IGP), funded via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has approved 220 grants since January 2017, providing match-funded grants worth more than £500,000.

SMEs (small-medium sized enterprises) have just eight months left to apply for a grant, with the deadline set for applications on 31 March 2019.

Walsall-based Earthbound, a manufacturer and distributor of high-quality pet bedding, blankets, dog coats, toys and accessories, received £3,000 in match-funding to enable it to attend the major Zoomark trade fair in Bologna, Italy.

“You need to do a lot of business to cover the costs of any show so having the ERDF funding was a real help for a company of our size,” said David Higgins, UK sales manager.

“There are a lot of big players in this industry so we’re having to work hard to get our products and our name noticed. We wouldn’t have done Zoomark if it wasn’t for the ERDF funding.”

The fair was a huge success for the company, which picked up £47,000 worth of business from a customer in Ireland, as well as a further £30,000 orders from retailers in another Spain, France and Italy.

“Exporting is without doubt making us stronger as a business,” said David. “It would be more difficult for us to grow and thrive if we weren’t proactively looking to the export market. I’d urge any company thinking about exporting to contact its local DIT office and see what help it could get.”

The project is delivered by West Midlands Chambers of Commerce (WMCC) and funded as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 – 2020.

Allen Matty, managing director of WMCC, said success such as that experienced by Earthbound is being replicated across the region, thanks to their applications for match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £3,000.

Funding has also provided businesses with the chance to access sector expert events, such as Meet the Buyer, invitations to market visits to investigate potential business openings, and trade shows.

“We’ve seen some extremely positive results and business wins from local companies that have been able to take advantage of this grant scheme,” he said.

“With just eight months left of the ERDF funding scheme, we’d encourage any SME in the area that wants to export or grow overseas to consider applying for it. It’s not just a cash boost, it’s also about and accessing the specialist support they need and minimising the risks in overseas markets.”

SME IGP aims to support 550 businesses in the West Midlands with business advice, support, grants, and with job creation. Any business interested in applying for an ERDF SME IGP grant should complete an enrolment form at or get in touch with the team on or 0121 607 1770.


Business communication and negotiation styles will be among the topics being discussed at a specialist masterclass on exporting to the USA and Canada next month (September).

Allyson Stewart-Allen, who will lead the masterclass

Organised and delivered by the ERDF SME International Growth Project, the half-day workshop on Thursday, September 20, is open to small-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based across the West Midlands region, which also includes the counties of Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

Led by Allyson Stewart-Allen, founder of specialist marketing consultancy International Marketing Partners Ltd. and dual British and American citizen, the session will guide SMEs on the cultural Do’s and Don’ts of doing business for the first time in the US and Canada.

“It was George Bernard Shaw who is credited with the saying that the US and Great Britain are two countries divided by a common language, just as true today as it was in the early 1940s,” she said.

“SMEs can come across many communication and cultural challenges when trying to export to the USA and some have found to their cost that mistakes can sometimes be irrecoverable.  While Canada is geographically connected to the USA, there are distinct cultural, communication and language differences.

“This masterclass will help businesses understand not only the different business cultures of these two bordering markets, it will give valuable tools and advice on how to avoid expensive pitfalls.”

The USA is the UK’s biggest trading partner, exporting almost £100 billion worth of goods and services in 2016, while the UK exported £8.2 billion of goods and services to Canada in the same year, making it the UK’s eighth biggest export market outside the EU.

The half-day training will also cover: business and economic environments; ease of doing business; market entry; e-commerce in both markets; language differences.

The masterclass is free of charge. For more information and to secure a space, visit:




The owners of a beach-themed jewellery company are to be the only British business exhibiting at the International Jewellery Fair in Sydney. Julie Fountain and her business partner and sister Becky Bristow will travel more than 10,000 miles to connect with their “perfect customers”.

The show, running from 25th to 27th August 2018 at the ICC, Sydney will play host to 154 jewellery businesses, and British-based Beach Art Glass are keen to share their innovative glass bead jewellery with an international audience.

It’s unusual for people to travel so far for a jewellery fair, but Julie and Becky want to share their popular and unique sea-inspired jewellery with shop owners and buyers in the beach-loving nation of Australia.

As Julie puts it, “We always knew we wanted to expand our business into countries that embrace beach culture, and we were over the moon to be awarded a generous grant by the Department for International Trade which has part-funded our international trip.”

“We feel that Australia, with so many miles of coastline and a welcoming attitude to British brands, is the perfect place to showcase our Beach Art Glass jewellery.”

Julie is passionate about her craft and heads up a small team of British “lampworkers”, the name given to the craft of melting and shaping rods of Italian glass to create individual glass beads. All of the pieces are hand made, with earrings, bracelets and pendants all created using the robust, heirloom quality glass beads and fine sterling silver.

If you need any further information please get in touch with business owner Julie Fountain via or on +44 7906 651 846