Missy Empire, Oh Polly, P2i and Missoma won special awards at our 5th annual Sunday Times WorldFirst SME Export Track 100 awards in London last night.
Brexit, China, and leveraging international relationships were on the agenda as the founders and senior directors of the UK’s 100 SMEs with the fastest-growing international sales networked at our Sunday Times WorldFirst SME Export Track 100 awards ceremony, co-hosted by our sponsors and Fast Track’s founder & CEO, Hamish Stevenson.
All 100 companies received an award certificate to recognise their success. The league table ranks companies by their overseas sales growth over two years, with total sales ranging between £5m and £25m. The 100 companies generated combined overseas sales of £833m, up by a record average of 89% a year in the past two years, on total sales of £1.4bn. They employ more than 8,900 staff, having added 3,000 jobs over the same period.
The 214 guests at the dinner included founders and senior directors from leading SME exporters across the UK, such as Croud, Dotmatics, Gozney Ovens, Net World Sports and Wilton Group.
Guests were welcomed by Jonathan Quin, co-founder and chief executive of title sponsor WorldFirst. He said: “A rare point of unity between the Brexiteers and Remainers is that both strongly agree that international trade is a good thing. So I’m really pleased that we are supporting this and celebrating all of you, for what you’re doing for the country. The country needs to export more, we need to import more, we need to do more international trade.”
Q&A with Adam Minto and Tom Allsworth, co-founders and CEOs, Revolution Beauty
Before dinner, guests heard from Adam Minto and Tom Allsworth, co-founders and CEOs of Revolution Beauty, the Kent-based cosmetics brand which featured on our International Track 200 this year. Set up in 2014, it sold 60m lipsticks and makeup products to 143 countries in 2018, generating international sales of £76.3m on total sales of £113m. They were interviewed by Peter Evans, enterprise editor of The Sunday Times.
Adam spoke about growing in new territories, categories and products – and keeping the focus on consumers: “If you’re in consumer products, obsess about your consumer, obsess about your product – marketing will then take care of itself.”
Speech by Al Barratt, co-founder and chief executive, Grenade
After dinner, guests heard from Al Barratt, co-founder and chief executive of Grenade, the sports nutrition company whose distinctive products, including drinks, bars and vitamins, are sold to athletes, fitness enthusiasts and military personnel in more than 80 countries. The company appeared twice on the SME Export Track 100 and this year featured on our International Track 200.
He described how Grenade has become a successful exporter since he set it up in 2009. He advised guests to examine which of their business partners in the UK has good connections in other territories and might be able to help support export growth, as it had done with the likes of Marks & Spencer in France and EG Group in the US. “Anyone who’s got strong UK partnerships, if you want to get into exports, think of who you know that you can talk to, that you can leverage overseas,” he said.
Recognising the achievements of all these companies is made possible by support from our title sponsor WorldFirst, and our main sponsor DHL Express.
More information on the league table
The 2020 Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 will be published next year in May with an awards dinner in September.
For company nominations please enter your details here
For opportunities to meet and build relationships with the founders and directors of these successful private companies, see sponsorship opportunities for SME Export Track 100