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It's take off for Britain's SMEs

For the third year running, Heathrow has awarded £40,000 in funding to SMEs from across the UK in a bid to unlock their exporting potential.

By Heathrow
  • Heathrow launches third annual campaign to help Britain’s small businesses achieve their exporting ambitions
  • Under the banner of the Department for International Trade’s ‘Exporting is GREAT’ campaign, Heathrow will award £40,000 in vital seed money to 20 firms to fund international trade missions and foreign market research
  • This year’s winners include a Scottish firm aiming to reduce the cost of space travel, a Yorkshire-based premium chocolate company and a pet food manufacturer from the South West

For the third year running, Heathrow has awarded £40,000 in funding to SMEs from across the UK in a bid to unlock their exporting potential. Working in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT) ‘Exporting is GREAT’ campaign, 20 small British firms will receive £2,000 each to fund trade missions or to research new global markets of their choice. Winners will then kick off their journeys at Heathrow.

With new routes to places like Zhengzhou in China, Tel Aviv in the Middle East and Pittsburgh in the US, this year’s winners will have more opportunity than ever to achieve their exporting ambitions and grow their businesses.

In the first half of 2019, monthly exports through Heathrow surpassed £5 billion in value, demonstrating the potential these businesses can tap into by connecting to the world through Heathrow. This year alone, 41% of all UK exports outside of the EU travelled through the airport.

Heathrow’s Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker said:

“Britain’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and Heathrow is proud to stand behind them. With £40,000 of funding, 20 of the best of Britain’s SMEs will have the opportunity to see their exporting ambitions take-off from Heathrow. 

Whether it’s a premium chocolate company from Yorkshire or Scottish company looking to cut the cost of space travel, this year’s winners set a new mark and we’re proud to be helping take their products to markets around the world."

Ross Baker , Chief Commercial Officer , Heathrow


Some of this year’s winners include:

Yummycomb A new Yorkshire-based family business that produces a range of premium honeycomb chocolate. With honeycomb marked as a staple of traditional British confectionery across the world, Yummycomb is looking to attend the Summer Fancy Food show in New York, to increase their North American trade.

Responsive Access A Scottish business aiming to simplify access to space by creating a simple online platform, giving satellite operators everything, they need in one place. Given the global nature of space travel, Responsive Access are planning to attend the SmallSat Symposium, in California to meet new customers and expand their market. 

Pet Kitchen A South West-based pet food business and veterinarian clinic who use natural ingredients and science to provide health benefits to dogs and cats. Pet Kitchen are working on a rebrand to grow their brand in the Middle East and Asia – including using 100% recyclable packaging.

Tarsier Spirit – A North West-based gin manufacturer, who use exotic South East Asian ingredients to create gins with unique flavour. The brand hope to tap into the growth of the Asia craft market and develop their business connections with market research trips to the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Glow and See CIC A London based social enterprise creating a range of ethically designed, light-reflective adaptable accessories, for fashion-conscious cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. Glow promotes road safety at night whilst working with individuals with extenuating socio-economic difficulties, providing a source of income and useful real-world skills. Glow hope to export to the EU, focusing on Scandinavia due to the active and sustainable culture.

Radnor Preserves – A Welsh-based business specialising in artisan preserves using locally sourced ingredients. Radnor are looking to continue to grow their business opportunities in the Far East and other parts of Asia, through trade missions to meet buyers.

The ‘World of Opportunity Programme’ ran from 2 September – 18 October of this year. Over 130 applications were received, and the winning entries were chosen by a panel of judges from Heathrow and the Department of International Trade.

Parveen Thornhill, Head of London & Devolved Administrations, Department for International Trade said:

“It was great to judge this competition again and see the impact on last year’s winners. There are some fantastic entries that made the shortlist, reflecting the diversity of export growth potential across the UK. 

"The funding will enable the winning companies to place bigger orders, visit new markets and implement some exciting new proposals. I’m looking forward to seeing their progress.”

Parveen Thornhill , Head of London & Devolved Administrations , Dept for International Trade