The first phase of recruitment for CommonwealthFirst was formally launched at Marlborough House, the headquarters of the Commonwealth, and addressed by Moya Greene, CEO of Royal Mail plc.
Initially CommonwealthFirst will select 100 leading export-ready UK SMEs over three years to become Commonwealth Export Champions. By providing intensive training and mentoring support CommonwealthFirst will help kick-start their international trade and investment journey and leverage their Commonwealth network.
By showcasing the success of the Commonwealth Export Champions, the programme will highlight the trade and investment opportunities for UK businesses across the Commonwealth-; a free association of 53 countries, representing one third of the world’s population and fast growing markets including India, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Nigeria and South Africa.
Speaking at the breakfast Moya Greene said “This is a fantastic opportunity for growing SMEs to start their international journey. The Commonwealth with its shared use of the english language, similar structures and diverse range of developed and developing markets offers a fertile testing ground for those looking•
to make their first foray into international markets. With our global infrastructure and supply chain support Royal Mail will be with them every step of the way.”
The programme is led by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council with the support of Royal Mail and i-genius. It was officially announced at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in November 2015 by the then UK Trade Minister Lord Maude and Lord Marland, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.
It is expected that the CommonwealthFirst model will be replicated in countries across the Commonwealth, helping SMEs fulfil their full potential. The CommonwealthFirst programme will also be supported by a global e-commerce platform powered by Royal Mail.
Companies interested in applying to become “Commonwealth Export Champions” have until 20th June to complete the online application process via www.commonwealthfirst.org. The first Commonwealth Export Champions will be announced on 7th July.
For further information about CommonwealthFirst please contact:
Director of Programmes
Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council
+44 (0) 207 104 6336