Recognition as a female exporter in engineering: Success begins with just one step – Anne Wilson MBE, Managing Director of Numill

Source: Womanthology

Anne-Wilson MBE of Numill
Anne Wilson MBE is Managing Director of Numill, a Sheffield-based engineering company engaged in the repair and manufacturing of cutting tools, serving industries including high precision automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, rail and general engineering. The company is an experienced exporter, with half of the company’s repairs service made up of export sales. Anne bought Numill in a management buyout following a career change from banking to engineering after she pursued a degree in Management and a postgraduate qualification in Strategic Management.

Business is GREAT: Anne Wilson, Numill

Anne Wilson

“…I am not unique and I’m one of many female entrepreneurs already travelling the world for work and business. I would encourage anyone to get out there and take that first step. My first venture out of Europe on my own was to fly to Bangkok and Singapore. It was an exhilarating experience…”

Shocked, surprised and humbled to have been awarded an MBE

Anne-Wilson of Numill MBE at her Investiture

Anne at her investiture

I was recently shocked, surprised and very humbled to find out I had been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list. The citation read – “Services to Engineering in Yorkshire”.Numill is a Yorkshire based company located in Sheffield – a manufacturing heartland of which I am extremely proud. Being ‘born and bred’ in the region is, as they say, something to be proud of.

My career to date

My background is banking and finance, starting out as a junior cashier in the chief cashier’s office before joining Midland Bank (HSBC) in 1976 as part of the team employed to bring some of the bank’s international services to the city. Following a period of maternity leave and the quite sudden death of my mum in 1988, I left the bank. At that time it was ‘full time or no time’ and there were no women managers in the bank and little sign of aspiring to be one any time soon.

A period of part time posts – still in financial institutions – followed before taking up a position with a local company specialising in welding equipment to look after their accounting function and payroll etc.

Losing my father: A catalytic effect

Losing my father to become a 40 year old orphan had a catalytic effect. I needed to do more and put the time I had been spending with Dad to good use so it wasn’t wasted. I went back to college to do an accounting qualification to ratify my knowledge for future employers. I also decided on a career move to help me achieve more of my potential. There were a scary few months in there as I didn’t settle in a big organisation fraught with bureaucracy over sense. I answered a newspaper advert – “Book keeper required – Apply box…”

This turned out to be Numill – a precision engineering company. I got the job, worked alongside the person who was due to retire in a few weeks and then made the job my own. I gradually expanded the role to take on the day-to-day management of a small business encompassing everything from petty cash to balance sheet and everything in between such as H.R., health and safety, along with other statutory requirements.

From hypothetical to real life management buyout

Education was still a big motivator for me. Following success of becoming an ACCA ccounting Technician, I embarked on a Management degree supported by my boss and subsequently a post graduate qualification in Strategic Management. My dissertation at strategic level was: “Passing the Baton – Management Buyout of Numill Ltd”. Hypothetical at the time (2004), but then I bought it to become sole director and shareholder in 2006. It’s my 10th year this year which is amazing!

A niche, value adding service for a client base that includes some of the world’s most prestigious companies


Anne with her Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs Award

Numill has a niche, value adding, service to offer clients involved in manufacturing things from metal and other materials. We work with our customers across all sectors but mainly described as the “Big Four” – automotive, energy, rail and aerospace. Our client base includes some of the world’s most prestigious companies – Ford, Renault, Mercedes, Jaguar Land Rover, Cummins, JCB, Progress Rail and David Brown amongst many more both in the UK and through our export distribution networks.

Our export network is predominantly European at present but with a footprint in South East Asia and a new venture in progress in Turkey.

Repairing and manufacturing cutting tools for industry

Numill’s service includes both the repair and manufacture of cutting tools for industry. Our manufacturing service concentrates on bespoke tooling and small batch work. However, our capability covers much more than this with the expertise to produce components, machine parts and offer sub-contract machining and turning services.

The repairs service – or to use the terminology for the Government’s new initiative – “remanufacturing of cutting tools” – enables customers to have damaged and worn tooling repaired, giving 100% of the capability of a new tool, often at a fraction of the cost. Customers can benefit from significant savings but in the knowledge that they are getting a quality service from Numill. The environmental benefits are also significant as there is less waste created whilst protecting finite metal resources.

Our export profile


Numill’s apprentice, Abi, learning on the job

Numill has been exporting for many years with 18% of turnover going overseas prior to me joining. When I bought the company it rose to 24% following initiatives I had put in place. Prior to the recession in Europe our export had risen to 40%. After the severe European slump the average is now increasing once more to around 30%. Numill has a strong brand in Europe and is known for service and quality. These are the messages we intend to take in to new markets.

Support from UKTI

I have worked with UKTI [UK Trade & Investment] since 2010 on programmes involving dedicated visits to countries in South East Asia including Thailand for an exhibition, Singapore and Malaysia. Although UKTI has suffered budget contractions there has been support available with signposting, knowledge and subvention to assist with travel to new markets. Last year I joined a Trade Mission to Turkey organised by International Trade Forum, a peer to peer export networking group based in Sheffield.

This trip was supported by UKTI enabling me to visit a new country of interest to us. The strong automotive industry makes Turkey an ideal target for market entry. We now have contact with an agent who is promoting Numill’s services.

Tool trials have been completed with further marketing and research being conducted with the help of Sheffield Hallam University and its Venture Matrix programme, where students work on real life projects using their skills. I am currently working with a Ph.D. student who is taking the research into greater depth for us with market surveys and mapping of potential targets.

Entry into new markets – a slow burn built on relationships

Entry into new markets can be a very slow burn as it is important to make contact, build relationships and embed your services with integrity. If you ask any exporter what the key is, the majority will say ‘relationships’ every time.

I am not unique and I’m one of many female entrepreneurs already travelling the world for work and business. I would encourage anyone to get out there and take that first step. My first venture out of Europe on my own was to fly to Bangkok and Singapore. It was an exhilarating experience to be sat in the boardroom of a Singaporean company with the M.D. and seven of his best engineers, and being told to ‘begin’ my presentation. I knew my subject and walked from there with my head held high.

Success begins with just one step

Anne Wilson of Numill with the Duke of Cambridge at her investiture

Anne with the Duke of Cambridge at her investiture

Do your research on the market and culture. Always be aware of your own safety but do not let it stop you. Success begins with just one step!

Numill has been through a significant restructure recently to ensure we are stronger for the future. My ‘goals board’ now has a strategy through to 2020 with target markets, clients and industries.

When I bought Numill I said I’d give it 15 years. Now in my 10th anniversary year, I am so excited by what the future holds I still want to give it 15 years.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

International Trade Forum: Focus on the US

The US is the UK’s top export destination and is ranked the fourth easiest country to do business with and offers opportunities for UK companies.

Why the US – Market Entry Routes –  Understanding Americans – The US Media Landscape: PR –  Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) – Support Available – Local Connections


Paul Snape, Great British Marketing –  Specialist US marketing and business development expertise – Marketing in the US

Dorrien Peters, Partner, Irwin Mitchell – Commercial litigation and dispute resolution – Risks when trading in the US

Gordon Macrae, Special Projects Manager, Gripple, Queen’s Award Winner 2016: International Trade – Market Research – Market Entry – Market Success

ITF members will share their experiences in market entry, successes and challenges

For further information please contact the International Trade Forum

Posted in News | Leave a comment

TTIP: Separating myth from fact

Source: BIS

This weekend (23 and 24 April 2016) US President Barack Obama has been speaking about progress on concluding negotiations on the EU-US free trade agreement, otherwise known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Here are some key facts about the trade deal.

TTIP – what is it?

TTIP is a major EUUS free trade agreement that aims to boost trade and investment between the 2 economies, and could inject up to £10 billion into the UK economy. The EUUS free trade deal will reduce the cost to business of different regulations and standards by promoting greater compatibility, whilst maintaining our high levels of health, safety, labour and environmental standards.

What are the benefits for individuals?

Shoppers can expect to see a wider choice of products available both online and on the high street, and individuals will likely see an increase in their wages. It has been predicted that the average household will benefit by up to £400 per year.

Surely this is just for big business?

That’s not true, in fact small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) stand to gain the most from the TTIP. More than 99% of all businesses in the US andEU are SMEs. Currently, they are hit the hardest by barriers to trade between the EU and US and will often not have the time or money to navigate the different rules and regulations required to operate in the US.

Removing unnecessary barriers to trade and improving regulatory co-operation will save SMEs both time and money as there will be less red tape for them to contend with.

TTIP will lower standards?

This agreement is not about deregulation or lowering standards. The EUUSfree trade agreement will not remove or lower health, safety, environmental or labour standards. This deal will not give the EU or US the power to change each other’s regulations, including EU restrictions on genetically modified foods. Nor will the deal prevent either the EU or the US from introducing new environmental and low carbon legislation.

What this deal will do is dramatically decrease the costs for British businesses exporting to the US, whilst ensuring our standards and the benefits of regulation are in no way compromised.

This deal is a threat to the UK’s public services?

It’s a common misconception that TTIP will threaten some of our public services. The government has always been clear that protecting our public services is of the utmost importance for the UK and this will not be compromised for gains in any other part of the TTIP deal.

There are safeguards in place – in both this and previous trade deals – that achieve this protection.

TTIP is a threat to democracy – big businesses will be able to sue the government and overturn UK laws?

There is a misunderstanding that the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) is a threat to our democracy. The purpose of investment provisions is to protect small and big businesses, individuals and pension funds from discriminatory or unfair treatment by a state. They are not about allowing foreign businesses to sue governments that pass laws which affect profits. The UK has over 90 bilateral investment treaties with other countries and, to date, there has not been a single successful ISDS case brought against the UK, nor has the threat of potential claims affected the government’s legislative programme.

For more information and to keep up to date on the progress of negotiations, please visit:

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Overseas Businesses Sign Up To IFB2016

Overseas businesses sign up to IFB2016







The International Festival of Business 2016 (IFB2016), which aims to attract thousands of delegates from around the world to Liverpool, has confirmed the attendance of more than 300 overseas companies.

The event, which will bring together approximately 30,000 international visitors, will be held at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool from 13 June to 1 July.

It is estimated that 60 per cent of the attendees will be from the US, Europe and China, which are key regions for export and investment and are believed to present a wealth of opportunities to British companies.

Chris Heyes (pictured), head of international at IFB2016, said: “The number of delegations that are coming to IFB2016 with a keen interest in forging links with British SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs is a true testament to the significance of this festival.

“There will be deals struck, relationships formed and business plans put in place that could mean every UK business who is getting involved with IFB2016 will trade with every continent in the world.”

Source: Karishma Patel, Insider, 18th April 2016

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free trade zones in Turkey: what are the advantages?

What is a Free Trade Zone?

Free trade zones are special sites that, although located within the political borders of a country, are legally considered to be outside of its customs area. Goods that enter the borders of a free trade zone in a given country are outside of this country’s customs borders and are not subject to its financial and economic regulations.

Briefly put, free trade zones are designed to offer a business climate that makes commercial and industrial activities easier to conduct than in other parts of the country.

FTZs in Turkey

There currently are 20 FTZs in Turkey (19 of which are operational). These are situated close to the EU and Middle Eastern markets, major Turkish ports on along the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas and the offer easy access to major international trade routes.

Please click here for an interactive map with links to each Turkish FTZ’s website (you will need to select “FZs” on the “Key Locations/Sites & Facilities” menu on the right hand side of the map).


Advantages & incentives offerd by FTZs in Turkey
Monetary advantages
  • Exemption from corporate income tax: Manufacturing companies are 100% exempt from corporate tax over their profits (the regular corporate tax rate in Turkey is 20%),
  • Free transfer of profits: profits generated at free zone can be transferred to Turkey or to other countries without the need for any permission,
  • Income tax exemption over salaries: Manufacturing companies are 100% exempt from income tax over the salaries of their employees if they sell minimum 85% of their production abroad (the regular income tax rate over salaries in Turkey is between 15% to 35%).
Customs-related exemptions & benefits
  • Since free zones are legally outside the customs borders of Turkey, custom related taxes and regulations are not applicable to goods entering the zones (Value-Added Tax (VAT), customs duties, Resource Utilization Support Fund tax (RUSF, normally 6%),
  • Companies can decrease their costs by keeping their stocks in a tax-free environment and/or basing their re-exports, transit trade, packaging, labeling and other similar operations within free trade zones.
One Stop Service
  • 2nd hand machinery can be imported freely in to FTZs with no age limitation,
  • Free circulation of goods within the EU Market,
  • Lower construction and infrastructure service costs (exempt from VAT),
  • 100% foreign investment is allowed, without any requirement for minimum capital,
  • Bookkeeping and accounting can be done in foreign currency,
  • Sales to domestic market is allowed,
  • Easy to get work permits for expatriate employees,
  • Stocks can be kept in FTZsduty-free for an unlimited period of time.
An example: The European Free Zone

BCCT member European Free Zone Founder and Operator Co. (EFZ) / Avrupa Serbest Bölgesi (ASB) is a Free Trade Zone that includes a multi-sectoral industrial site and finds appropriate solutions for the requirements of all its investors. Established in 1999, it is located in the Çorlu district of Tekirdağ on an area covering 2 million m2 of land (click here for map).

More than 150 companies from all over the world – such as 3M, Foxconn, Polyplex Resisns, Indorama, Bekaert Textile, Flamaerotec and MTU Motor have invested into the European Free Zone, where 4,000 people are currently employed.

In 2015 the trade volume generated in EFZ was 2.5 billion USD, making it 4th among the existing 19 free zones in Turkey.

Lands with ready infrastructure, warehouses, production units, offices and open stock areas are ready for the companies who want to start their activities for benefiting the advantages and incentives at below.

For further information and examples please visit the BCCT website here


Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Connecting the Dots in Foreign Markets: Turkey

Turkey is a country that offers opportunities in a wide variety of industries, capabilities and regional business knowledge and experience; this level of diversity has stimulated considerable interest for UK businesses in one of the fastest growing emerging market economies. The headroom for growth supported by strong fundamentals; dynamic demographics, growing middle class, high net wealth, strong and well established private sector, well-regulated and highly developed Banking sector, is considerable and offers major opportunities for British exporters and investors.

Sectors such as Construction, Healthcare, ICT, Energy, Automotive, Finance and Consumer Goods are only a few of the many sectors which offer especially high levels of potential for UK companies. UK companies within these sectors are actively seeking opportunities and cooperation to invest, establish distribution networks and find strategic partners which cover not only Turkey but the region.

The British Chamber of Commerce Turkey is an organization established over a century ago with the aim of supporting British business in Turkey and has been strategic partners with UK Trade & Investment since 2013. For the past 3 years, BCCT has been an active player for making it easier for UK companies to do business in Turkey by welcoming trade delegations and individual companies from UK’s various regions to Turkey and organising major events and activities to support this aim.

BCCT provides British companies with the tools to turn potential into business transactions during their visits to Turkey by preparing tailored market reports, carrying out business partner research projects and setting up meetings and networking events for visiting business people to interact with Turkish counterparts in industries of interest.

One of BCCT’s most successful activities is the organisation of 1−2−1 meetings where UK representatives and trade mission delegates can talk to potential Turkish business partners of interest. This is the one activity that generates the highest number of concrete business deals. Once these parties engage, BCCT stays in touch with both to ensure follow up and ongoing support for companies to successfully complete their market entry.

Welcoming delegations, helping company representatives in a market that is new for them, and making sure their market visit runs smoothly stand out as the core capabilities within BCCT’s service provision.

In 2015, BCCT has welcomed 7 UK trade missions in cooperation with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Morning briefings, B2B speed meetings, networking receptions, and further customised services were all designed to deliver the best possible potential to lead UK companies and their newly found local partners to successful outcomes.

On average, BCCT interacts with around 42 UK-based companies per month. Last year, it provided more than 500 tailored business services including market research, partner search, market visits, meeting arrangements, PR Support and event management.

The top ten sectors during the last year from which UK clients engaged with BCCT to benefit from its services were engineering, education and training, environmental , renewable and sustainability, chemicals, construction, healthcare and medical ‚legal and financial services, consumer goods, and infrastructure.

During the same period, around a third of BCCT’s UK clients were returning clients who have chosen to continue working with BCCT’s Business Services Team as a result of previous successful and productive interactions.

Are you interested in finding out whether Turkey is a market for you? Do you need answers to questions on how to best reap Turkey’s potential as a foreign market for your goods and services? Maybe you are planning a market visit? Then BCCT is among the first places you should get in touch with.

Source: BCCT  Newsletter, 4 April 2016

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Export control training bulletin

Courses, seminars and workshops to help exporters understand their obligations under export control legislation.

Export control training bulletin, May to December 2016

This bulletin contains details of courses, seminars and workshops from the Export Control Organisation to increase your understanding of the UK’s strategic export controls.

Events are aimed at exporting and trading individuals or companies of all sizes, as well as government organisations and cater for a wide range of knowledge levels.

Includes all details, charges and an application form.

This issue covers new courses from May to December 2016.


Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Launch of Eurostat survey on the admin burden of Intrastat

Eurostat (the EU Commission’s statistical directorate) is launching an EU-wide survey
aimed at businesses who submit Intrastat declarations.

If you submit Intrastat declarations, they want to hear how much of a burden, in terms
of your time and money this process is to you and your views of how the collection of
two new additional data elements would impact this:

  • VAT registration number of your EU Customer
  • Country of origin of the goods

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would like as many UK businesses
as possible to take part in the survey to ensure your views are heard, especially if
you are a Small or Medium Enterprise (SME). This is your chance to get your views
heard by EU decision-makers.

The Intrastat admin burden survey has been published today and will remain open
until 20th March 2016. Help for participants is available on the Eurostat website.

HMRC will also be contacting selected businesses to ask them to complete the
survey but you do not need to wait for that call in order to take part. If you receive
a call from us, please consider taking part.

The call is genuine; the caller will give you their name and you will not be asked
to provide any details about your business other than those required for the survey.

If you require any more information please contact Mark Ellis of HMRC Customs
Trade Statistics Policy Team.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Exports and the role of UKTI examined by Committee

Source: – 29 January 2016

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee holds the first evidence session of its inquiry into Exports and the role of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).


Tuesday 2 February 2016, Room 6, Palace of Westminster

At 9.30am

  • Professor Richard Kneller, Professor of Economics, Nottingham University
  • Professor Holger Breinlich, Professor of International Economics, Nottingham University
  • David Smith, Economics Editor, Sunday Times

At 10.30am

  • Tim Ambler, Senior Fellow, Adam Smith Institute
  • Jon Coleman, Chair, British Exporters Association
  • Graham Cole, Former Chairman of AgustaWestland and Chair of the Cole Commission on Exports

Purpose of session

In this session, the Committee hears from academics, commentators, and senior business figures, including the Adam Smith Institute and the British Exporters Association. The session is likely to look at whether the Government’s export targets are achievable, the Government’s planned reforms to UKTI, and the availability of export finance for SMEs.

The session is open to the public on a first come, first served basis. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats in Committee Rooms. It is advisable to allow about 20 minutes to pass through security checks. Committee Rooms and timings are subject to change.

Further information

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Export control training bulletin

Issued from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and Export Control organistaions: Courses, seminars and workshops to help exporters understand their obligations under export control legislation.

The bulletin contains details of courses, seminars and workshops from the Export Control Organisation to increase your understanding of the UK’s strategic export controls.

Events are aimed at exporting and trading individuals or companies of all sizes, as well as government organisations and cater for a wide range of knowledge levels.

Includes all details, charges and an application form.

This issue covers new courses from January to June 2016. Remaining unfilled events from November and December 2015 are also included.



Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment