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Mayor’s International Business Programme to support London SMEs
Posted by Billy Wood on 02 Feb 2016
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today announced the launch of a new fund which will help support London’s high growth SMEs expand into international markets.
The Mayor’s International Business Programme which has been launched today, will support 800 London-based companies over the next three years to increase their international expansion potential.
It is the first programme of its kind and will see peer-to-peer mentoring and private sector backing to help London companies scale up and internationalise.
As part of the programme’s launch, London and Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional company who will be leading the initiative, have also announced the first cohort of 50 companies who will benefit from mentoring and support.
Drawn from the technology, life sciences and urban sectors, these include, amongst others, transport app Gett, the urban cycling company Blaze, DIY technology manufacturer Technology Will Save Us, online flower delivery service Bloom & Wild and Kano, manufacturer of education computer kits for children.
Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Mayor’s International Business Programme has also enlisted the support of industry partners including BDO, KPMG, PA Consulting Group, Benoy and London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Successful firms will receive mentoring and advice from some of the world’s most recognised and celebrated businesses leaders including Sarah Wood, Co-Founder of Unruly and Kathryn Parsons, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Decoded and Nilesh Gopali, Country Head, India, cloudBuy.
Entrepreneur and mentor for the programme, Sherry Coutu CBE said: “As London’s technology and creative sectors continue to grow, we are starting to see a new wave of high growth companies.
"International expansion is a key enabler in helping us to produce more UK businesses of genuine scale. It is important that we draw upon our existing strengths from the large number of UK companies who are already international success stories while removing the barriers for the next generation of rising stars.”
With exports from the capital’s businesses worth an estimated £139.9 billion a year to the city, and research from KPMG showing that 40% of SMEs intend to trade internationally within the next five years, the programme is a timely intervention for smaller businesses who are casting their eyes abroad.
At the launch of the programme the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, commented: “London has a strong heritage as an international trading city and our position at the centre of the business world means the city offers the perfect springboard for companies looking to expand internationally.
"London’s businesses and entrepreneurs continue to be at the forefront of innovation and creativity and I have seen first-hand the demand for their goods and services across the world. By helping the capital’s businesses become the next global leaders we will see the creation of more jobs for Londoners.”