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Going Global

Mon, 23 September 2013

Contributed by Jamie Dunn, Director of Spark Global Education
Over the past 3 years I have worked across 19 countries in a variety of different guises, speaking, consulting or Government advising. Whilst out in the country I have the opportunity to meet a lot of local entrepreneurs and get involved in many different programmes to support the set-up of businesses.
A lot of the entrepreneurs I meet have ideas and concepts but they solely focus upon making those businesses work in that specific country and I find this strange considering we live and trade in a global economy. Now, more than ever, with the introduction of online tools, social media and the Internet in general, we can all be global and your business can be global with it. Just because you are based in the UK, that doesn’t need to limit you or your aspirations but it seems to really hold back a number of people that I have met. 
I started my own business’ international development by simply booking a flight to Budapest and sending out hundreds of emails to entrepreneurs in the region, asking them if they would like to grab a coffee. For the cost of a £400 plane ticket I met contacts, partners and people that have been a huge help to me as the business moved forward. You can also take advantage of free tools such as Skype and LinkedIn to begin seeking international opportunities for your business. There really is nothing stopping you from exploring the potential for international growth…
Today, you and your business can be global and very quickly. I would recommend that you simply pick a country, buy a ticket and send emails to hundreds of interesting people in that region. In addition, there are a number of government-supported programmes that can help you see whether or not your business has the potential to trade in another country. One of the best programmes to support you and your business in making this step is the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Passport to Export Programme. This programme will help you workout whether or not your business is ready to trade internationally and will help you find the right networks around the world to help you get things moving. You can find out more about this specific programme here
The question you really need to ask yourself before you embark on an international mission is simple: “Does my product/service have the potential to sell in other countries?” If the answer is yes, then what’s stopping you? 


About Jamie Dunn (Director of ‘Spark Global Education')

Jamie is a 22 year-old Entrepreneur that has previously been short-listed as one of the Top 20 Young People in the World 2012, a title once held by former US President, John F Kennedy. 
Jamie started in enterprise aged 12 selling unwanted items at school. By the time he was 15 he was making around £500 per week from 5 market stalls across Birmingham. At the age of 16, Jamie left school with little qualifications but won a place on the Peter Jones Pathfinder course as one of 28 from nationwide applicants, with this he moved to Buckinghamshire for 6 months. 
Aged 18, Jamie Co-founded the printing organization, Made By Young People that eventually held clients such as, Aston Villa, Ikea and Asda. Jamie successfully exited this business aged 20. Since then, Jamie has gone on to work with Governments and Educational Organizations from around the World on developing Youth Entrepreneurship eco-systems. Most notably, Jamie was an adviser to the Malaysian Government office surrounding enterprise education. During this time, Jamie also co-founded a multi-million pound investment fund, which provides mentoring, office space, finance and support to young people in the West Midlands who are setting up in business. 
Jamie now spends most of his time as a Director, Shareholder in Spark Global Education, an educational consultancy with operations globally. As an investor, Jamie has equity interests in different sectors ranging from Recruitment to Technology.
Jamie also sits on, and advises many different boards and trusts including the BMET Enterprise Academy, Arrive Alive, TechMinsk and Arden Forest FC. Jamie also writes regular columns for, Shell LiveWire and various other publications and websites.


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