A GWENT managing director has become one of just ten UK business people to win a scholarship to an American business school.

Peter Friswell, managing director of Cwmbran-based Benchmark Technologies, has won a scholarship to the JL Kellogg graduate school of management.

He attributes his success in this to the quality of his firm's skin protector Derma Shield, and its worldwide potential.

He said: "If we are to expand the company we need to be able to sell more effectively to a mass market. This course will provide practical information on selling to the American consumer."

Mr Friswell will be attending the course alongside representatives of a number of high profile companies, including Interbrew, Nissan, Pepsico, Pfizer and Shell. He has been working with the WalesTrade programme ExportAssist.

Derma Shield is now available in 50% of drug stores in New South Wales and has a presence in European markets including Germany and Ireland. The overseas trade opportunities have increased the company's business by 25% within the last year.

ExportAssist's Christ Sweet said: "Since starting work with us a year ago Peter has become very proactive in getting his product into new markets. "This scholarship will give him an invaluable insight into tackling the American market."

More information on 2005 US scholarships is available form Chris Sweet on 07813 024 863.