Ten new Export Champions have been appointed for Scotland after a positive start to the scheme that was launched just under a year ago.
In October last year the first ever Export Champions for Scotland were selected and tasked with promoting the benefits of exporting.
Since then they have taken part in over 78 engagements where they have spoken at events, shared advice with others in their sector and encouraged other companies across Scotland to consider selling to overseas markets.
The new appointees, selected in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI), cover a broad range of sectors from life sciences, to hydrogen energy and legal services.
UK Government Minister for Scotland and Exports Lord Malcolm Offord said:
With our current Export Champions having made such an excellent start, we were keen to grow our team here in Scotland to ensure that we were doing all we can to help companies start their export journey.
Our new, larger team now cover an even broader range of sectors, and I look forward to them sharing their success stories of selling abroad and encouraging other Scottish businesses to start doing the same.
Reuben Aitken, Scottish Enterprise Managing Director of International Operations, said:
Exports drive productivity and our Scottish economic performance.
Scottish Enterprise and our global Scottish Development International colleagues are committed to working with partners to support Scottish companies’ growth by selling their innovative products and services to overseas markets.
We have been pleased to help identify these latest Export Champions who we know will help encourage and inspire future Scottish businesses to trade internationally.
Each of the new Export Champions were selected by the Department for Business and Trade in partnership with SDI, with each having a successful track record of trading internationally and a desire to share their expertise with others.
One of the new Export Champions is Natalya Ratner, from educational technology company Robotical Ltd based in Leith. They developed a programmable robot called Marty, an educational tool that has now been sold to over 1,000 schools across 65 countries worldwide.
New Export Champion for Scotland, Natalya Ratner of Robotical Ltd said:
Exporting has made a huge difference to our company. Although we are very much a Scottish company, we were international from the start as it was the best area for growth.
We want more Scottish companies to become successful exporters, so I’m delighted to become an Export Champion. I’ll be really pushing the message on the importance of selling abroad and the growth it can bring to the other companies that I meet with.
Naysun Alae-Carew is another new appointee and is Managing Director of Glasgow-based Blazing Griffin, who specialise in video game development, film and TV and production and high-end post-production services.
With a growing team of 72 creative, digital and technology professionals, Blazing Griffin’s growth trajectory has been fuelled not only by a growing domestic market but also by their thriving exports business.
Managing Director of Blazing Griffin, Naysun Alae-Carew, said:
I’m honoured and excited to be appointed as an Export Champion. We look forward to sharing the insights and strategies that have driven our success with other Scottish companies and help them reach into new territories around the world.
We are staunch believers that Scotland has the potential to excel on the world stage without sacrificing its focus on domestic capabilities. It’s a great time to be part of a nation that is outward-facing, yet deeply committed to local development.
Dr Sharon Fitzgerald, a partner at law firm DLA Piper, has also been named as one of Scotland’s new Export Champions.
For years, DLA Piper has been exporting international best practice in legal services and project procurement, gained through working on major Scottish infrastructure projects such as the Queensferry Crossing.
Dr Sharon Fitzgerald, Partner at DLA Piper said:
I’m delighted to have been selected as an Export Champion for Scotland. At DLA Piper we have exported international best practice in legal services and project procurement to a range of different countries across the world. We’ve also supported our clients in a variety of sectors to do business internationally.
I want to share this experience with others. There are so many opportunities out there and I’m eager to see Scottish businesses make the most of these.
Each Export Champion will now work closely with both DBT and SDI, attending events and providing peer-to-peer exporting support to other businesses in their sector.
So far Export Champions in Scotland have appeared as panel members at the US Trade Dialogue held in Edinburgh in November last year, given presentations about the opportunities available to Scottish FinTech companies in North American markets, and provided feedback to DBT officials on the potential benefits of Free Trade Agreements.