Mayor of London launches international growth scheme for SMBs

2 Feb, 2016

Boris Johnson has announced the International Business Programme, designed to help SMBs expand globally

Fifty London SMBs will join the International Business Programme, a new scheme launched by the Mayor of London to help the city's fastest growing companies enter international markets. 

The scheme is designed to help companies based in London scale up and reach new overseas markets, using peer-to-peer mentoring from business leaders from North America, Europe and Asia. Mentors include Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly, Kathryn Parsons, co-founder and co-CEO of Decoded, and Nilesh Gopali, country head of India for cloudBuy.  

The programme will be led by London & Partners with support from industry partners including BDO, Benoy, KPMG, PA Consulting Group and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It is hoped that the programme can work with around 800 companies over the next three years. 

Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: "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.  

"But helping the capital's businesses become the next global leaders we will see the creation of more jobs for Londoners." 

In February 2015, it was revealed that US investors were contributing more money than ever to the London tech scene, and Chinese VCs announced in January they would be working with University College London to open a 70,000 sq/ft incubator in Shoreditch. 

"London's innovations in technology and life sciences are gaining worldwide recognition and the city has already produced global pioneers in areas such as fintech and digital health," said Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners. "Drawing on the expertise of our business partners and entrepreneur networks, we have designed a bespoke programme to help London's growth heroes meet their global ambitions." 

Last month, Tech City UK launched its Upscale programme, giving 30 digital start-ups access to specialised 'scale coaches' and expert legal advice for those companies wishing to scale internationally.  

Kim Hayward, international liaison partner at BDO, added: "London is one of the command centres for the international economy but we cannot take its pre-eminence as a truly global city for granted. One of the crucial areas for development is around helping London's businesses expand abroad – especially its highly ambitious and entrepreneurial mid-market businesses. 

"That's why schemes like the Mayor's International Business Programme are so important and will help businesses on the journey from strong domestic scale-ups to successful exporters to international businesses." 

Read more about