Living Pure Natural: Finalists in 10th Open to Export Competition
We are incredibly proud to announce that on 6th March, we travelled to Grant Thornton’s London Offices to take part in the 10th Open to Export Action Plan final. We had made a shortlist of just 10 finalists from over 12,000 entries!
Along with nine other SME exporters, we were invited to pitch our business plans to a panel of expert judges for the chance to win a £3000 cash prize, sponsored by Bibby Financial Services.
Prior to attending the final, we had completed an ‘Export Action Plan’ using an online planning tool.
We were competing against a variety of other exporters ranging from a hemp-based paper producer, several tech companies, a luggage manufacturer, a vodka producer and a manufacturer of environmentally friendly fertilisers.
Lesley Batchelor, the Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade, opened the proceedings by welcoming us all and then introducing each competitor to the stage. Each of us presented to the judging panel for 10 minutes before answering 5 minutes of questions from the panel.
Alongside Lesley Batchelor, the judges included Jim Davis from Bibby Financial Services, Sarah Abrahams from Grant Thornton, Rosa Wilkinson from High Value Manufacturing Catapult and Rachael Attwood from Britannical – a previous Open to Export competition winner.
The judges were wowed by the innovation and variety of our 100% natural skincare products and very much enjoyed sampling them. They tried out Nea Intense Hydration Face Cream, Diamond Elite Hand Cream and Oleum face Serum during the breaks and commented positively on all aspects of them.
Whilst we didn’t win the overall prize, we are incredibly proud that we made it to what the judges described as “one of the most competitive competition finals” in which they were “hard-pressed to name the winner”. Congratulations to winners Age Check Certification Services Ltd and to our other fellow finalists.