Although Coronavirus has obviously dominated business discussions during the past few months, the deadline for the UK leaving the EU is getting ever closer and the key question for SMEs in the South West now must be: are you ready?

To help look at this issue and explore what you still might need to do to ensure your business is ready for the end of the EU transition from 1 January, we are hosting a special virtual seminar for South West FSB members and our non-member guests.

Our main speaker will be Andrea Collins from The Export Department, a South West based business offering advice and support for SMEs and micros on international trade and Brexit (see full biog below). We will also be joined by the FSB’s Head of International Affairs James Sibley who will be on hand give us an up-to-date picture of how the Brexit landscape looks and explain how the FSB is involved in promoting our members’ interests on the subject.

About the speakers

Andrea Collins is an international trade specialist with nearly 25  years’ experience in the industry. A linguist fluent in French and Spanish, Andrea specializes in Importing, exporting, Brexit preparedness, business resilience, and business growth. She is a business development specialist having worked in the chemicals, IT, and professional services sectors, holding senior roles within FTSE, NASDAQ and Euronext companies including ICI and RightNow. A passionate ambassador of UK micro businesses and SMEs, she launched The Export Department to assist these companies expand their horizons internationally and raise the profile of UK goods and services abroad.  As well as supporting private clients with their international trade endeavours, Andrea delivers 1:1 support and 1:Many support for a number of Growth Hubs nationwide and is responsible for the design and delivery of a range of EU Exit, international expansion, and business resilience support programmes operational across Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Oxfordshire.

James Sibley is Head of International Affairs at FSB, where he is responsible for FSB’s engagement on international trade, Brexit, the EU, and multilateral bodies including the WTO.

James has been with FSB for three years, starting as an EU Policy & Public Affairs Advisor in 2017. Previously, James worked with technology entrepreneurs at Tech Nation, a public-private partnership focused on the UK start-up sector. James started his career in Brussels, where he worked at the European Parliament and the public affairs agency Europe Analytica. He holds a BA in History and an MA in European Politics, both from the University of Exeter.

Don’t forget the FSB has a EU Transition Hub which can be found here 

Event contact

For general enquiries regarding the event, please email Lesley Burgess or telephone 07816453559.


Further information

New to virtual networking? Find out more about FSB virtual events and a quick guide to getting started here.