Think Global from Startup and Onwards
22nd January 2016
Recently I had a two hour video Skype call with HR Director of one of Africa’s largest bottling plants to discuss their leadership development needs. He was located in a town on the edge of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania. Our partner in Tanzania is securing an order with this client right now. Ten years ago, the meeting would have had to be face-to-face and it would have taken the best part of a week in travel to accomplish that. The world has changed! The high-speed internet (although there still are black spots in Oxfordshire) enables us to think totally differently about our marketplace. Traditionally, the thinking was (nearly) always that you should establish a good business in your home market before embarking on exports. Today, you need to think globally from the start. You might well need a local market client base to test new products or services but in general you need to ask yourself where the best markets for your technology, your IP, you know-how. This is what SMEs in the Nordic countries and Benelux are doing, where up to 35% of businesses are involved in international trade (compared to 25% in the UK). A recent report Unlocking UK Productivity co-authored by Goldman Sachs, the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) and the British Business Bank (BBB) states Britain’s productivity is falling behind other economies because it is slower to turn ambitious smaller firms into exporters of innovative new products and services. This report calls for more appropriate support from the government but it also requires a change of mindset of the UK’s entrepreneurs. Contact OIBC if you are interested talking with someone about your international business ambitions

What does the OIBC do?

The OIBC is a forum and community that helps businesses in Oxfordshire to operate effectively in international markets - import, export and investment. The OIBC provides expertise and connections to help businesses play their part in redressing the international balance of trade and increasing prosperity throughout the county.

Who is it for?

Are you trying to export, possibly doing a bit already, but are finding it hard to wade through the legislative, financial and practical minefields? Are you already trading internationally and want to expand into more markets? Or you might represent an organisation that can help other businesses to trade internationally through links with private and public institutions and networks. If you answered yes to any of the questions above then you'll benefit from being involved with OIBC.

About the author

Susannah Penn advises clients on strategic and operational communications. Firebird PR offers the full range of PR services, ranging from media relations to training.

Latest news

Finalists announced for the Trusts’s 2019 Enterprise Awards

Finalists announced for the Trusts’s 2019 Enterprise Awards

The judges for the Trust’s 2019 Enterprise Awards gathered on a hot July day at the new Wood Centre for Innovation at Stansfeld Park to READ MORE

Using Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

Using Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

The hiring process is a critical gateway to economic opportunity, determining who can access meaningful employment and who can achieve ... READ MORE

The new Milk-Round: if students all want jobs in start-ups these days, how do you attract and retain them?

The new Milk-Round: if students all want jobs in start-ups these days, how do you attract and retain them?

Oxford University runs many careers fairs annually where established organisations present their graduate programmes, to attract the ... READ MORE



Book Now!

Now in its 21st year, Venturefest Oxford continues to bring together entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs with investors, support services and a host of like-minded people who want to be part of the county’s business success.

All tickets include: complimentary bus travel to and from the event, access to all Venturefest Oxford sessions, exhibition, showcase, complimentary tea & coffee, lunch and closing drinks reception. Early bird tickets on sale from 23rd April!

Student entry is free of charge – valid ID will be required.


Keep in touch

Sign up to the Venturefest Oxford newsletter to make sure you are the first to hear the latest news. The next newsletter will be coming out soon! Make sure you're on the list!





Email Preferences


Wednesday 11th September 2019
Oxford Brookes University,
Headington Campus