Kelly Hoppen to help fast-growing firms export

Kelly Hoppen will join the UK Trade & Investment’s Catalyst UK network, the Financial Mail has revealed.

South African-born Kelly Hoppen is best known for her namesake interior design firm, but she has also been involved in designing for aircraft interiors and holiday resorts.

She is joining the UKTI’s Catalyst UK network, which already includes other top entrepreneurs such as ex-Lovefilm CEO Simon Calver and Bill Muirhead, founding director of M&C Saatchi, the advertising giant.

Catalyst was launched just a year ago as a global network of business leaders responsible for championing the UK as the world’s best international business partner. It comprises influential business figures established in international markets, who are supporters of the UK as a place to do business.

Members, expected to total 500 by the end of next year, promote the UK internationally by speaking at UKTI events and discussing their insights and views with business. They also provide practical support, mentoring UK SMEs and entrepreneurs that are taking their first steps into international markets.

Current members are drawn from all business sectors, including life sciences, ICT, advanced engineering, creative industries, energy and finance.

Announcing her new role as an advisor, Kelly Hoppen says: “The value of exports and their importance in rebalancing our economy cannot be overestimated. The spotlight is firmly fixed on Britain, giving us a unique opportunity to showcase our businesses.”

The deputy chief executive of UKTI, Susan Haird, adds: “British firms will benefit greatly from having access to an individual who can bring such a wealth of experience and international business nous to the table.”

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