and The Herald - Jan 5th 2010 - Card game wins new deals

A PLYMOUTH businesswoman is selling the card game she invented internationally.

Stonehouse-based Joanna Jeffery came up with an idea for a fun card game to teach children to read.

She is now selling it worldwide thanks to help from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Ms Jeffery invented 'trugs' - "teach reading using games" as a system for teaching children to read, and to help her work as a specialist dyslexia teacher.

She structured the English language phonetically and designed four card games which proved such a success with teachers and schools that she established a full-time business, Read Successfully Ltd, to sell her products across the UK.

Overseas trade took off after she met UKTI's international trade adviser Mike Puzey, and joined UKTI's Passport to Export programme, aimed at fledgling exporters.

Ms Jeffery has now sold her products in Dubai, Singapore and Thailand and is developing leads in Spain and Portugal.

"I cannot believe I am an international business woman," she said. "Mike Puzey and UKTI opened my eyes to the potential of the games, not just for the UK but for any country where English is taught.

"This gave me the opportunity to expand my business and reach new markets. They are still helping me to grow."

Ms Jeffery was given match funding through Passport to attend a trade show in Dubai and visit schools. Further UKTI support allowed a second trip to Dubai, and visits to Thailand and Singapore.

She also undertook a two-day training course that kicked off her Passport programme. "The confidence I had by the end of the course was unbelievable," she said.

Mr Puzey said: "Joanna has identified her market well and, most importantly, the route to market that works for her."

Contact UKTI on 0845 6060969.