Ah, the UK: home to the monarchy, Big Ben and Blackberry-fueled riots. It's also a rite of passage for many a young Kiwi and Kiwi companies alike. Now businesses looking to get a foothold into the UK and Europe have a new avenue of support in the form of Go UK, a business plan competition open to New Zealand businesses.
Launched by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), it gives New Zealand businesses the chance to win support packages including British Airways return business airfares to London, meetings with potential business partners, client contacts, business networks, a free limited company, business services, and on-going UKTI support to expand to the UK and the world.
All you have to do enter a business plan online before February 9.
Around 80 New Zealand and Australian businesses expand into the UK each year, most of those with the help of UK Trade & Investment.
British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell says it's an opportune time for New Zealand businesses to take the leap.
“The UK is the easiest place in Europe to do business and has the least barriers to entrepreneurship in the world.
"We all know examples of great Kiwi success stories in the UK. Everyone has heard about Jade Software, Pingar, Rakon, A2, Simpl and others. There are many more SMEs that crack the UK market every year."
According to UK Trade & Investment spokesperson Paul Wilkinson, the UK is much more than a financial services centre as the world’s sixth largest economy.
"The UK provides a unique gateway of international connections as one of the world’s top 10 manufacturing nations; and has the world’s second largest aerospace industry; the world’s second largest – and Europe’s largest – life sciences industry; Europe’s second largest ICT sector; and its largest creative industry sector. All of that is very hard to beat as a one-stop shop and UK Trade & Investment is happy to provide support to New Zealand companies wishing to use the UK as their springboard for global growth."
A similar initiative, the UK Market Entry competition, was run last year, attracting 60 New Zealand entrants. Winners included Christchurch-based wind turbine manufacturer Windflow Technology and Palmerston North’s Verusco Technologies, a software developer for world-class sports analysis programmes.