Location: Wednesbury, Black Country
International Trade Adviser: Liz Blackford
DIT services used: Passport to Export programme, Gateway to Global Growth programme and Export, Marketing Research Scheme
Snapshot – impact of DIT support
Health Smart Midlands delivers health-based services and products on the behalf of Clinical Commissioning Groups and their partners. Started in 2012 by entrepreneur Emaan Syed, the company strives to effectively engage with groups in local communities which can be hard to reach. Emaan offers cost-effective solutions to organisations like the NHS or local authorities to tackle health inequality.
The business challenge
The company decided to target Dubai, to address growing obesity concerns there. Emaan hoped that Health Smart Midlands would be able to find a partner and a manufacturer to create a prototype but “you don’t know what’s happening or what’s available overseas.” Emaan is also passionate about helping Asian Muslim women to export, saying she “knows of women who would love the opportunity but lack the confidence to do so. I want to really encourage that audience and there are a lot of perceptions to change.”
How DIT has helped
Emaan has found that working with DIT has “thrown everything into place - learning about the loopholes, how you need to plan things and also the strength of going through someone as credible as DIT, because it has an impact, rather than me doing it independently.” She praises the support of her international trade adviser, finding that “she’ll immediately action things so there is no time wasted.”
Since working with DIT Emaan has visited Prague and networked at the Ambassador’s residence and hopes to show that more Asian women can succeed in international business, emphasising that “I want to change that mind-set, because I’ve done it.” There are now plans to attend the Arab Health Conference, where the company aims to secure at least £15000 in orders and Emaan will return to Dubai in coming months, receiving support from DIT to set up business meetings.
Emaan describes any business not exporting as “missing an opportunity for growth. There’s only so much you can do in the UK and unless you explore it and take that risk, you will never know.” She hopes to prove that “it can be done, the support is there and the more of us that do it, the easier we are making it. Get up and take that opportunity that is there for you.”