The University of East London (UEL) is leading a £1.5m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project that supports women-led businesses in London internationalise their businesses. Only 16 per cent of women-led businesses in the UK export in comparison to 30 per cent of SMEs as a whole. Make It Global was created to help plug that gap through a free programme of business support.
The Make it Global project, offers London’s women-led SMEs access to an enviable list of international business networks, entrepreneurship experts within the higher and further education sector, and most importantly, the chance to start trading in a diverse range of international markets.
250 women-led SMEs in London will be supported to explore new market opportunities and the benefits of taking their business global. The project offers SMEs access to inspirational workshops, country-specific events, peer learning groups, international business-to-business networking and specialist innovation support to help them to achieve their growth.
Make it Global is being led by the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CEWE) at UEL and delivered in partnership with the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN), Newham College of Further Education, Kingston University and a network of strategic partners.
A Make It Global Business Profile
Coral Turner attended a three-day Make It Global workshop series for female entrepreneurs looking to go global. She has also benefitted from sessions on e-Commerce and access to experts through the project. She tells us about her business and her international ambitions below.
Tell us about your business
I am a sole trader fashion entrepreneur. The business Coral Turner Couture can be summed up as follows: unique designs for unique individuals. The business has 3 aspects to it: an online boutique that sells ready-to-wear one-of-a-kind garments, a bespoke division in which individuals can have garments made for them personally, and fashion/business consultancy in which I write articles for online magazines in relation to fashion and also provide business advice to fellow entrepreneurs.
Why do you want to ‘Make It Global’?
Fashion has a universal appeal, and positioning my business globally helps the exposure of the brand and ultimately growth of the company enabling me to employ others.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt in business?
[quote]Patience, Persistence and Focus. Have a plan but also know that plans can and will change, so be flexible, aim high stretch yourself, don’t try to do everything yourself.[/quote]
Who inspires you in business?
There isn’t one person that I would say inspires me in business, I look at the attributes of those that have gone before me and see what lessons I can learn that are relevant to my way of life and business.
Where do you see your business internationally in five years?
In five years time the brand will be known internationally and stocked in boutiques in key locations such as London, America, Dubai, Paris, and Japan. I will also have expanded on the consultancy aspect of the business especially in the area of fashion, as well as continuing my writing.
To sign up your business to the Make It Global project email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 223 2348.
You can see our latest news and calendar of events on our website: http://makeitglobal.wordpress.com
By Liz Choonara, Make It Global Project Manager.