Global Entrepreneurs Programme lands international talent in the South West
The UK’s tech and business economy is known for its diversity and ability to attract talent from around the globe. Tapping into this resource, the Global Entrepreneurs Programme (GEP) is a government scheme from UK Trade & Investment that supports overseas entrepreneurs and tech startups to set up their global or European HQs in the UK.
“The GEP programme was the perfect answer where people who built companies helped me with mentorship, connection and validation of assumptions”
Since its inception it has helped to relocate 340 businesses to the UK, created over 1000 jobs in the UK economy and raised over £1 billion of private investment.
You can hear more about the GEP in the video below:
Although businesses that take part in the GEP can land across the UK, many have unsurprisingly chosen Bristol, Bath and the South West region – the fastest growing digital tech network in the UK – as their base.
This includes businesses such as Dialect, an award-winning digital media company with offices in Bristol, London and San Fransisco, and Modus Nova a software company based in Bath that’s also part of global no.1 University startup incubation programme SETsquared.
Keen to find out about some of the key benefits of taking part in the GEP, we spoke to Moe Ghasim (pictured left), Founder of Bristol-based startup KeyCash – one of the GEP’s newest recruits. KeyCash provides a solution for cash on delivery (CoD) orders in emerging markets by offering 2 products: a messaging system that verifies CoD buyers and a credit score for CoD buyers by analysing the behaviour of those buyers using machine learning. Since becoming a part of the South West digital tech network, the startup has already delved into the community and recently made it to the finals of Venturefest’s Silicon Gorge Pitching Competition.
Moe tells us: “Growing my business into the UK has been always in my mind. However, I had no idea how to do that. The GEP programme was the perfect answer where people who built companies helped me with mentorship, connection and validation of assumptions.”
One of the key benefits of being part of the GEP is its amazing network of UK entrepreneurs and mentors that support businesses to make the most of their move.
Moe agrees: “The fact that GEP has a large network of previous entrepreneurs helped tremendously in many ways. Whatever I think of or any question I have, there is someone in the network who has done it and has the right answer based on an experience. Which is what everyone needs when starting in a new country – advice from someone who has done it before.”
“The thing I love about the programme is that I get to spend quality time with brilliant entrepreneurs from all over the world”
But startups taking part in the GEP also receive help to develop business plans, introductions to investors, guidance on how to grow internationally and continued support once located in the UK.
So it’s no surprise that advice and support received by those offering entrepreneurial support to startups taking part in the GEP is of the highest value.
David Maher Roberts (pictured right) – TechSPARK’s very own Founder and a Dealmaker at the GEP – said in a recent blog post: “I joined the GEP back in October 2014 as the Dealmaker representing the South West. So far, I have been working with companies from Jordan, India, Vietnam, and the US and I should be adding another six to my portfolio later this year from places like Denmark, Hong Kong, Canada and Turkey.
“The thing I love about the programme is that I get to spend quality time with brilliant entrepreneurs from all over the world. It’s a great way to keep on learning and to grow my network across the globe. The way I see my role is to help them focus on and solve their biggest obstacles to growth and when we get it right, it is really satisfying.”
If you’re a startup or entrepreneur who’s interested in finding out more or applying to the programme, check out the Global Entrepreneurs Programme website or follow them on Twitter here: @tradegovuk_GEP.