11th June 2019
UNW’s Corporate Finance team and Crafter’s Companion, a leading manufacturer and supplier of crafting products, hosted a business forum at Aycliffe Business Park. The event was held to bring together ambitious consumer retailers with the determination to expand overseas, allowing them to discuss the issues that accompany such growth.

Held at Crafter’s Companion’s flagship store in Aycliffe, attendees from a variety of businesses came together to discuss their challenges, share ideas, and collaborate for growth. Guests were welcomed into the forum with a networking session; this included those with an eCommerce focus and those specialising in the sale of their own branded and third-party goods. Following this, Crafter’s Companion’s CEO, Simon Davies, gave a tour of the premises.

After the tour came to an end, representatives from businesses that included Pink Boutique, Handbag Clinic, and Popaball, joined each other at a round-table lunch. This provided the opportunity to deliberate on wide-ranging topics, talk about common problems that businesses face, and contemplate future development. The discussion was chaired by Robert Cooper from UNW’s Corporate Finance team.

The main discussion focused on overseas expansion and the primary theme explored was exporting; a particular focus was placed on the US. Businesses in attendance that currently sell their products abroad were able to collaborate with those seeking to establish an overseas sales strategy in order to support their growth. Knowledge was shared on issues such as funding the growth, deciding on sales channels, staffing the development, and VAT. Further topics covered included televised home shopping and the role of social media.

Following the event, Robert Cooper said: “I am delighted to have been able to chair a discussion that brought together a number of ambitious firms that have the drive and motivation to expand on an international level. The level of knowledge shared amongst the companies proved invaluable, and highlights the success of the event. The forum reflects UNW’s continued commitment to assist North East businesses with growth. We aim to share our skills, expertise, and contacts with them.”

Simon Davies, CEO of Crafter’s Companion, also said: “Crafter’s Companion were very happy to host the event with UNW. These events are invaluable to share experiences, knowledge and learnings with like-minded people who are not in direct competition. I sincerely hope that everyone got as much out of the event as I did. I hope they also further understood what we are trying to achieve at Crafter’s Companion.”

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