New York, New York… oh the glamour!


eteaket was lucky enough to be chosen to be part of Santander’s Breakthrough International programme to go on a trade mission to New York with nine other female business owners in November. We started exporting our tea products earlier this year to Japan and Europe and while the US is often an obvious choice for exporters I must admit I was rather perturbed by the numerous scare stories I’d heard (especially how litigious it can be). This was a great opportunity to gain a first-hand insight into the potential export opportunities and challenges.

The US is definitely a very attractive market, not just because of its size – it’s more accessible than some other economies because the language and culture is more closely aligned to the UK. However, due to its size, it’s really more like four very different markets.

I was able to meet with local finance, marketing and legal experts and, rather fundamentally, meet with potential buyers. I was very encouraged by the feedback on our products so watch this space.

We had fruitful talks from the UK trade body UKTI and a fantastic reception at the British Consul (where lots of very valuable contacts were made). I’m grateful to Santander for the opportunity to make these kinds of introductions.

Overall, the programme gave me a much clearer path about exporting to the US and I’m making the most of the connections I made. It was also very insightful to be with such an inspiring and dedicated team of business owners and we’ve formed a close group. We’re already planning a reunion in February.

I would encourage any relevant business owner to take a look at the Breakthrough International Programmes – it was an invaluable opportunity that I’m glad I took full advantage of. It sure made a difference from my normal eteaket trips hiking up tea hills with a backpack (and to top it off I bumped into Mr Mickey Mouse himself randomly walking down a street and he very kindly sang me happy birthday)!


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