Apr 30, 2019

Next level for South African exporters

Looking back on the NEXT19 Trade Exhibition

Late February, our largest trade exhibition to date took place. 40 South African designers and manufacturers presented their new product ranges in the fabulous Schering pavilion at the Cape Town Waterfront. We welcomed over 300 visitors, including over 40 international trade buyers.

Great number of visitors
The exhibitors made us proud by showcasing a stylish and compact selection of their new and bestselling ranges. They prepared a product range that is suitable for international markets, with a clear trade offer and price lists for trade buyers.

Good preparation paid off: international trade buyers from Denmark, France, Sweden, Italy, the UK and the US visited, many of whom traveled to Cape Town specifically for the trade exhibition. Some placed orders immediately, or arranged a meeting with the exhibitors in their factory or showroom.

Stunning export collections
Among the 40 designer manufacturers, there are suppliers with plenty of export experience, that have taken part in international trade fairs. Some suppliers are already quite successful in the local South African market, and want to explore the export market. The exhibitors all operate in the home and interior sector, and manufacture furniture, lighting, ceramics, home textiles, basketry or gift items.

The product ranges and contact details of the 40 exporters can be found in the 2019 Development by Design catalogue. View or download it here:


Export development programme
The NEXT19 Trade Exhibition was part of the ‘Development by Design’ programme, which enables small and medium businesses in South Africa to develop and grow. The project is an initiative of The Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), and their local partner, the Craft and Design Institute (CDI).

Craftscurator coordinated and curated the trade exhibition, and trained coached the exporters, in collaboration with her South African project partner Solly Levy. The team of consultants have been running the Export Development Programme in South Africa for over 4 years, on behalf of The Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).

The team of consultants initiated the ‘Development by Design’ programme. NEXT is an intensive short track programme of training and coaching, resulting in participation in a Trade Exhibition.

Key results
South African companies have been trained and coached by us
48 of them have participated in South African trade shows with us, among which SARCDA, 100% Design and NEXT18 and NEXT19
18 of them have exhibited in international trade shows with us, such as Ambiente Frankfurt and Maison & Objet Paris
50% increase of export sales on average for the participants (from 2016 – 2018 to EU/EFTA markets)
60% of the participants are women entrepreneurs, over half of their staff are female workers

Continued export development
After the NEXT19 Trade Exhibition, a new group of 19 aspiring exporters took part our kick-off workshop, and we hope to be able to provide them with training and coaching in the next months. We hope to have a NEXT20 Trade Exhibition in February 2020, taking place alongside Design Indaba.

Testimonials kick-off workshop
A short note to say a big thank you for two extraordinary days. It was an intensive crash course in all things business which I appreciate beyond words. Some of the content was incredibly informative, new and interesting and will go a long way to propel me forward. I am very grateful for the opportunity provided by CDI and CBI.” – Daniela Samakosky, Walk the Talk

Thank you very much for the incredible learning experience you provided us the last two days! We have learnt so much and it has forced us to look at our whole business in a new light.” – Philip Kruger, Dog and Cat Pad

For more information on this project in South Africa, or export development in general, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

40 exhibitors in the Scheryn Pavilion
Outdoor furniture from Feeling African and planters from Gold Bottom Pots
Natural textiles and natural wood looking good together
Wall panels by Aucamp Studio, furniture by Minima
Participants exchanging export tips and tricks
Ceramics by Chko Ceramique

"The 5-year CBI program that WREN participated in resulted in the company growing 1050% (One thousand and fifty percent). Irene played an important role in guiding the product development and company positioning within an international market. WREN continues to sell successfully into these markets"
Wendren Setzer, The Wren Design, South Africa

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