When we first launched World First back in 2004, the aim of building a truly global business was naturally not an immediate priority. As a small business starting out, our imperative was to first establish a strong base of clients within our home market of the UK before venturing further afield.

However, as we began to steadily grow, helping our SME clients grow in the process, we made the decision to expand our offering and we opened our second office in Sydney in 2008. It wasn’t without its challenges but looking back, and having significantly expanded our international footprint since then, the rewards by far outweighed the risks.

Aside from the benefits that trading internationally can bring to businesses in terms of increased revenue and diversification of risk by not being solely reliant on one market, trade also benefits the economy as a whole, acting as a key driver of growth.

However, at present the UK’s export performance acts as a drag on growth and our trade deficit is the highest across the G7. Moreover, with added uncertainty brought about the UK’s decision to leave the EU, there has never been a more critical time to encourage export led growth across the economy.

It is within this important context that World First has launched its inaugural event, THINK GLOBAL 2016, taking place on Tuesday 11th October 2016 at One Marylebone in Central London. We will bring together leading experts and entrepreneurs to explore the opportunities of trading globally with businesses in attendance receiving guidance on how to maximise their potential for international growth and overcome barriers.

It is shaping up to be quite the event, with speakers already confirmed from the Department for International Trade, Google Digital Garage, Federation of Small Businesses and Seraphine – the maternity fashion boutique. We are also delighted that UK Trade & Investment has chosen to support the event.

Our objective at THINK GLOBAL 2016 is to provide SMEs with the confidence and practical advice to enable them to seize the opportunity of international trade. I have learned first-hand what the benefits are and if businesses leave feeling inspired about what they can achieve, then the day will have been a huge success.