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Polkadoodles shortlisted for prestigious national export prize

Pictured is Nikky Hall



York-based Polkadoodles – which creates and sells fun craft products, kits and digital art to crafters worldwide – is one of nine SMEs who have been shortlisted from over 40 companies for the Open to Export’s Action Plan Showcase Competition Final.  

Each company will present their plans for international business growth to a panel of expert judges at London Olympia on Thursday 17 November for a chance to win 3k cash as well as a further £4k website redesign courtesy of Yell.  

They will showcase the Export Action Plans they created through Open to Export’s innovative digital business planning tool. The competition is part of Going Global – Europe’s biggest exhibition for businesses seeking international expansion which runs across November 17 and 18. 

Launched in 2009 by husband and wife team Nikky and Kris Hall, Polkadoodles and fellow finalists will be pitching from 12.30pm until 4pm in Open to Export’s area at the show. Runner-up prizes include translation services from SDL Managed Translation, and one year’s free membership of both the Institute of Export and Enterprise Europe 

Open to Export is the government funded digital route to boost the UK’s SME exports. The Export Action Plan tool is part of a website dedicated to helping new and inexperienced businesses prepare to sell internationally by giving them unlimited free access to information, support and advice. 

Using the Export Action Plan tool allows businesses to take ownership of their international trade strategy and make decisions along each step of their exporting journey – from selecting a market to delivering products or services to new customers.

The Export Action Plan provides support in the form of prompts, useful resources and video and once complete, produces a report summarising answers and actions in an easy to read and shareable format which is perfect for sharing with international trade advisers or banks to better inform export planning conversations. 

Nikky Hall said: “We already sell our products online to end consumers across the world but our goal in 2017 is to develop an exciting relationship with a major global distributor in our sector and to nurture new partnership opportunities to further build our brand in the USA and Europe.  

“Using the Export Action Plan tool enabled us to get some real clarity on our aims and objectives and highlighted key focus areas.  As a small business it’s easy to get lost in legislation and technical information but the Export Action Plan tool really helped cut through to the most important areas we need to consider to make our Exports grow successfully and it’s a very useful resource for any business. 

“Trading globally presents a wealth of opportunities, and the Export Action Plan has been an excellent and easy resource to get us started. It’s tremendous to be shortlisted and we’re looking forward to presenting our vision and plan at Going Global.”  

The competition is sponsored by Bibby Financial Services and Heathrow Airport with high worth prizes from Yell and SDL Managed Translation. The judging panel comprises Ann Attridge – Director of Klik2Learn and previous competition winner, Lesley Batchelor OBE – CEO of Open to Export and Director General of the Institute of Export, Peter Hughes – Head of Procurement Support Services, Heathrow, Julian Hucker – Entrepreneur and Chairman of Open to Export and Phil Tobin – Managing Director of Bibby Financial Services 

Lesley Batchelor said:  “We are committed to helping inexperienced exporters to broaden their horizons, and this includes regular Export Action Plan competitions to encourage as many small businesses as possible to get the benefits of this terrific tool as well as the chance to win prizes up to £7000. This will ultimately help them achieve their international trade goals.”


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