Three local businesses win Gatwick’s international trade fair competition

29 August 2019

Small businesses from Crawley, Horley and Croydon have won the opportunity to attend international trade shows – in Las Vegas, Shanghai and Amsterdam – after winning a competition held by Gatwick Airport, in partnership with the Department for International Trade.


The three winners are;


• Kikka Digga - a Sussex-based firm that manufactures an innovative labour-saving attachment that takes the hard work out of digging by attaching a clever foot plate lever system to the shaft of existing spades or forks – removing the need for bending or lifting.  Attending the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.


• United Minibuses and Coaches Limited - an award-winning Horley-based business that is revolutionising the UK coach and minibus industry by being the first to offer ‘Uber-style’ instant pricing and booking technology which – among other services – has been used by airlines to bus passengers following flight delays and cancellations. Attending the Technology Entrepreneurship trade fair in Shanghai


• Shaking Hands – is a Croydon born business partnership shaking up the business to business networking scene. Through a comprehensive online platform showcasing local events, businesses, categorised news and more; off-the wall in person networking events and ongoing digital support - Businesses based both in and out of Croydon become better connected to relevant contacts, share expertise, minimise overheads &/or optimise the smooth-running of their business.  Attending the GreenTech trade fair in Amsterdam.


The competition is designed to help local SMEs grow internationally and was launched in recognition of the role the airport plays generating international trade - with £7.5 billion of international goods passing through in trade shown to support 113,800 UK jobs – many of them based locally.


Businesses in the Gatwick Diamond area are 50% more likely to export than those in other parts of the UK, and the competition winners will be helped to take advantage of a range of international trade opportunities after receiving £2,000 from Gatwick toward flights, hotels and trade show entry costs for their chosen international trade exhibition. 


The partnership with Department for International Trade means that the winners will also receive a range of support including information on international business opportunities and one-on-one meetings with experienced International Trade Advisers (ITAs).  


Tim Norwood, Corporate Affairs, Planning and Sustainability Director, Gatwick Airport said; “Gatwick helps to drive the region’s economy through its supply chains and by enabling trade and business investment through the global connections it offers. We recognise however that small businesses are also vital for our local economy and face a range of challenges. By helping the winning firms attend international trade fairs, we hope they will discover new opportunities that can help them develop and grow.  We are grateful for the Department of International Trade for the support and expertise that they will provide each business before they depart."


Ben Raby, Head of Region – South East at the department of International Trade, said:


“We are proud to be partnering with Gatwick on such a great initiative, allowing us to help these innovative businesses to explore new international markets and inspire other companies in the Gatwick Diamond area to consider exporting.


“It is the ideal time for businesses in the region to start thinking globally as recent HMRC statistics show that goods exports from the South East totalled £47.6 billion for the year ending March 2019 – a 4.8% increase on the previous year.  Our International Trade Advisers will be on hand to help navigate the whole exporting process and provide the businesses with support and tailored advice.


“Congratulations to the winners, and I look forward to seeing how this initiative translates into real export opportunities and future global success for these companies.”
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