Ahead of the next Export Action Plan competition final, taking place at the Swiss Embassy on November 2nd, we’ve spoken to some the export experts who will be making up the judging panel.
In this third instalment, we talk to Marieke Hood from Swiss Business Hub United Kingdom and Ireland..
What are you most looking forward to about judging the Export Action Plan competition this November?
I am looking forward to hearing from fantastic companies with stimulating Export stories. What I love the most about this job is that we get to meet inspiring entrepreneurs from a very diverse range of industries and backgrounds. What all of them have in common is the passion for their products or services and the company itself and the resulting drive to go higher and further. The Export Action Plan competition is a wonderful experience where these entrepreneurs are at their best sharing their vision and new ideas. I am truly looking forward to hearing more about their stories and the passion their bring to their industry.
Why do you think competitions like this are so important for the UK’s exporters?
Such competitions are a fantastic way to create emulation between the best. They are also essential to spread best practices amongst exporters, stimulate new ideas, and show what works and what doesn’t work for modern exporters.
In times where digitisation is revolutionising business models, it is essential that all of us take the time to think prospectively and reflect on new ways to trade internationally. Big data gives us a wealth of information on potential new markets, social media enable us to get quasi-immediate contextualised feedback on product offering, the Blockchain will facilitate international payments… all of this has a huge impact on how we export and the Export Action Plan competition is a wonderful opportunity to see how exporters adapt to these challenges and opportunities.
In what ways does Swiss Business Hub help UK exporters to prepare for selling into Europe and beyond?
The Swiss Business Hub is the business section of the Embassy. It supports UK exporters looking at establishing operations in Switzerland. As you may know, Switzerland is a very efficient platform to export to continental Europe, with excellent logistics infrastructure, trilingual staff, longstanding trade agreements with the European Union covering all industries. It is truly an exceptional spot in continental Europe.. Our team will help UK exporters assess locations within Switzerland, recruit their team, set-up the administrative base, and will make relevant introduction to business networks to accelerate the integration of the UK company in Switzerland.
What 3 tips would you give to both the finalists and potential future entrants to the competition about what you look for in a winning export plan?
- Think long-term but create the conditions to be able to react promptly
- Make the most of the digitalization opportunities
- Don’t forget your heritage and stick to your vision
For more information about the upcoming Export Action Plan final, go to the competition page here.
We are extremely grateful to Swiss Business Hub for their support in this year’s competition, with the Swiss Embassy being our venue for the final!