Business West Chambers of Commerce was one of five chambers that walked away as World Chambers Competition champions, winning the Best Job Creation and Business Development project, which aims to maximise international trade as a means of benefitting business in South West England.
They beat stiff competition in their category from Colombia, Turkey, Philippines and Iran.
Organised by the ICC World Chambers Federation, this year’s World Chambers Competition was held in Sydney. The only awards programme of its kind, the biennial Competition originally received 53 applications from chambers representing 27 countries.
Recognising chambers for their forward-looking approaches to solve some of today’s global challenges, 18 finalists competed across four diverse categories, each presenting their ground-breaking initiatives to an international judging panel, and many of the 1,000 delegates attending the biennial Congress.
James Monk, Commercial Director - Business West said:
“We are delighted to win this award as recognition of achieving almost £0.5bn worth of additional export sales and creating nearly 4000 new jobs. The launch of our International Trade Centre was instrumental in helping Business West to achieve a 40% increase in our website traffic, 250% more potential first time exporters using our services, and our social media channels saw more engagement than ever before.
“All of this has been against a challenging national and global backdrop where instability currently tops the media and business agenda in the UK. Yet we have seen that businesses still want to do business with each other.
“By changing the way we talked about export to smaller companies, bringing all elements of business support under one-roof, using our global network of Chambers and private sector partners, and removing the friction between buyers and sellers, we can ensure that, despite what the politicians are doing, we can still drive business growth and success for our members.
“Never has our chamber and the global network been so relevant in driving jobs and growth.”
David Riches, Executive Director – Commercial, Trade and Marketing, British Chambers of Commerce:
“Our warmest congratulations to all at Business West for a tremendous achievement. Through their work, Business West has helped create thousands of jobs, and generated millions of pounds of new export business. They are a shining example for Chambers both in the UK and around the world, for how to boost trade in local business communities.”
World Chamber Federation Honorary Chair and head of the competition jury, Rona Yircali said:
“The need to ideate is now more vital than ever before. Through this international concourse, WCF aims to boost chamber creativity and innovation, as well as contribute to the exchange of best practices to help chambers flourish in the face of such adverse and uncertain business and economic conditions.”
Other 2017 winners are:
The Brazilian Confederation of Trade and Business Associations for the Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project that empowers women in business; The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce for the Best Education and Training project and their work with refugee integration into the labour market; and The Dubai Chamber of Commerce for boosting the innovation ecosystem throughout Dubai, and the Pereira Chamber of Commerce for stimulating economic development in their city and region through a targeted marketing campaign for the Best Unconventional projects.