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Speaker Boutique: International expansion to scale

Sales and Marketing

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A range of commercial and economic factors are driving entrepreneurs to explore opportunities to expand overseas. While the UK is the seventh easiest country to do business in, there are 183 harder places; so which do you choose and why?

The first Speaker Boutique of 2018 will explore the risks and rewards of expanding internationally, looking at why, when, and how to launch into a new overseas market. Whatever and wherever you decide, members and partners agree that you should plan as if you were starting your business from scratch and resource properly to prepare for success. 

There are a range of questions you should ask as you research your key market. For example, which structure is best - local office, agent, franchise – and who should run it – someone local, send someone over, or both? A local presence can improve your chances of making preferred supplier lists for major clients, or help you tap into local talent that may not be in the UK post-Brexit. Some countries have more favourable tax regimes and incentives than others, which could help to determine the structure for your venture and how you resource it.

Open to business owners and senior leaders, you will:

  • Gain insight into how to define an expansion strategy
  • Understand how to manage leadership, staffing, culture, and risk management
  • Learn about potential structures and business models
  • Benefit from guidance on funding, regulatory and tax challenges

Join us to hear three entrepreneurs share their own experiences, with additional insight from partner experts in our panel Q&A.

Please arrive at 2:30pm for a 3pm start. Networking drinks will follow when the talk concludes at 4:30pm.


Non-members: £66 +VAT

Supper Club Members only: Free 

Our speakers include..

Cecile Reinaud, CEO and Founder, Seraphine 

Cecile will talk about building a brand overseas, how she chose her markets, and managing export challenges​
Business woman, designer and mother Cécile Reinaud is the founder and CEO of internationally celebrated fashion label Séraphine, best known for dressing celebrities & royals through pregnancy. The label received worldwide attention after Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was pictured wearing the designer maternity clothes. Since founding Séraphine in 2002, Cecile has led an impressive track record for dynamic business growth, hitting £15.5m in sales in 2017. Seraphine has a turnover in excess of £16 million and is targeting to pass the £20 million mark this year. The company was sold to the private equity fund Bridgepoint in June 2017 for a valuation of £22 million. It has also won a raft of awards for growth including: The Sunday Times Fast Track 100, Best Multichannel Retailer at the PayPal Awards 2014 and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade 2015. Based in London, Séraphine has stores in Dubai, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the United States. It is also distributed through boutiques and other maternity stores including A Pea in the Pod, John Lewis and Galeries Lafayette. 

David Emerson, Co-Founder, SEKO Logistics

Dave will share insights on setting up and running sales teams in multiple offices in the US

Olly Swanton, Founder, Way To Blue

Olly will talk about expanding overseas through acquisition and managing international offices​
Olly Swanton founded Way To Blue in 1996, a global communications agency that works across Film, Home Entertainment, Television and Consumer brands for clients including Warner Bros, Universal, and The Walt Disney Company. It develops award-winning solutions for clients by starting with audience insight and using this to inspire better ideas across communications strategy, creative content, publicity and social media campaigns. Olly has scaled through acquisition and international expansion, with offices in London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Sydney, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles from which he sells into Asia, Europe, South America, and The United States.

£66 Non-members
£0 Members (included in membership)
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Wednesday 28 February, 2018 2:30pm

Bulgari Hotel, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW