Angela Maxwell

Angela Maxwell of Acuwomen

Acuwomen chief urges businesses to start exporting

A leading businesswoman who has helped transform the fortunes of companies across the Midlands and beyond is urging the region’s SMEs to start thinking globally.

Angela Maxwell, CEO of Acuwomen, is leading a Department for International Trade (DIT) West Midlands workshop to encourage small businesses from the region to start exporting their goods and services.

Kick Start is a free event at the Custard Factory, Digbeth on 4 May, where she will work with businesses to inspire them to think seriously about new markets.

Speaking about the programme, she said: “We all operate in a global marketplace – there’s no getting away from that – and there are myriad opportunities for every type of business that has the ambition and the desire to invest in exporting.

“DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign demonstrates just how much a business can benefit from expanding their horizons and I’m pleased to come on board and be part of a campaign to help West Midlands companies.

“Exporting doesn’t happen overnight but the number of success stories from this region, especially among businesses that didn’t think there was any demand for their offer, is inspirational.”

Maxwell believes that joining forces with DIT for Kick Start is the perfect opportunity for businesses that are focused solely on the domestic market to future-proof their success.

According to DIT research, 85% of companies said that expanding their global reach led to a level of growth that they said would not have been achievable otherwise.

UK exports on the whole have also been on the rise over recent months following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

The latest research by the greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce shows the region’s businesses have recorded increased sales over the past quarter. 

This is in part due to significantly increased export market demand, stimulated no doubt by the boost to competitiveness from the depreciation of sterling. 

Maxwell added: “These statistics speak for themselves: there is a distinct difference between companies working only in the home markets and those who export. Of course, there are issues such as capacity and finance that have to be dealt with but there is a lot of support on offer.

“It’s also important to be positive; some businesses are put off exporting because they think it is daunting or complex, but it really isn’t. It’s a really interesting way to grow a business and expands your outlook.”

In addition to Angela’s Kick Start programme in Birmingham, international strategy and marketing expert John Harrison from JH Market Strategy will be holding two sessions at the NMC Centre in West Bromwich.

For more details about the DIT Kick Start workshops, or to secure a place, visit http://kickstartevents.eventbrite.com or telephone 0345 222 0159.