Skip to main content

online event

Export opportunities for women-led SMEs

Warning This event has ended.
View more events

Exclusive event for women-led SMEs to explore growing opportunities across the globe in a partnership with the UK Chapter of the Organisation of Women in International Trade.

What you’ll learn

  • Market opportunities and trade arrangements for women-led exporting SMEs
  • Funding, programmes and networks
  • DBT and Government support available


International Trade has become more inclusive over the past few decades with an increasing participation from women-led SMEs. Across the globe, landmark policies and trade arrangements have contributed to a more favourable environment for women to expand their businesses overseas. However, women-led SMEs are still substantially less likely to sell their products and services internationally than those led by men, including in the UK. It is time to turn the dial, and the UK Export Academy is here to help!

This webinar is brought to you in a partnership with Barclays and the UK Chapter of the Organisation of Women in International Trade to let you know of the many tools and programmes women-led SMEs can benefit from, including access to funding. You will also be hearing from two successful women-led exporting businesses about their journey and recommendations.


Noreen Burroughes Cesareo

International Trade, Strategic Marketing and Communications specialist, The Organisation of Women in International Trade in the UK

Noreen is an International Trade, Strategic Marketing and Communications specialist with an international private enterprise and entrepreneurial background.

She is also the principal consultant of a UK-based international advisory firm she set up in 2007, called Market Accents. This WEConnect-certified consultancy has served as a platform for her to engage with clients on projects of varying sizes, at times working in collaborative partnerships with other SMEs and larger organisations to tender for projects within supply chains or to seek to open market opportunities.

Divya Rajan

Director, Treeco Commodities

Divya has a degree in BSc and MBA specialising in Finance & International Trade. She has also achieved AAT.

Treeco Commodities is an agri-business firm mainly focusing on trading and processing of Cashew Nuts and Spices. The promoters have more than 30 years of experience in Cashew Industry. Treeco is one of the leading players in the UK for all kind of Cashew Kernels, exporting to Spain, Norway, Germany, France, Turkey, Israel, Algeria, Morocco, Chile etc.

Holly Piggott

Director, Alinea Customs

Holly Piggott is director of Alinea Customs – a UK customs brokerage. Alinea Customs provide import and export clearance at ports across the UK, and have in-house legal expertise, providing consultancy support across all areas of customs and border related activities.

Holly Piggott is currently studying an LLM in International Corporate and Commercial Law at King’s College. She has a distinction grade diploma in Advanced Customs Compliance, and assists clients on a day-to-day basis in understanding areas such as Incoterms, tariff classification, and rules of origin.

Paul Bowman

Vertical Head of International, Barclays Business

Paul’s role is to support colleagues and SMEs to explore international trade, by providing insight and education and to confirm that whilst international trade may be complex, it need not be difficult.

He has held roles as diverse as relationship director, national performance manager and CEO support, and has hosted events and webinars focused upon growing through trade. With over 30 years’ experience within the banking industry, he is a keen ally of those looking to broaden access to the opportunities available through overseas trade and activity.

Keirra Smith

Deputy Director, Department for Business and Trade

Keirra is a Deputy Director in English Regions managing Programmes (The UK Export Academy and the Export Champions) and Insight & Operations Teams. While Keirra is a long-term civil servant, this is her first gig working for the UK Civil Service. She is even having a go at being British these days, having officially immigrated in 2022.

Having worked for the Victorian, New South Wales and Australian governments, Keirra moved to the UK eights years ago as the New South Wales (NSW) Trade and Investment Commissioner to the UK and Europe, however, she gave this up when the Australians told her it was time to come home. Keirra’s focus now is to helping to build export capability across all parts of the UK.

Irina Shmakova

UK Export Academy Adviser, Department for Business and Trade

Irina has worked in the private and public sectors, both in the UK and overseas. She has helped businesses of all sizes to develop their sales overseas, working across multiple sectors and markets. 

With a particular interest in international market research, international communications and cultural awareness, Irina has led delegations of UK businesses on market visits and trade missions organised by Chambers of Commerce and DBT.

Something went wrong. Please try again.

Was this page useful?

Thanks for letting us know

Can you tell us why this page was useful?

Do not share any personal or commercially sensitive information.


Thanks for letting us know

Can you tell us more about your feedback?

Do not share any personal or commercially sensitive information.


Thanks for your feedback