By Daniel Hunter
Heathrow is urging small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to sign up to a series of events which could boost their trade opportunities locally, nationally and globally.
Registration for the 17th annual Heathrow Business Summit, designed to connect SMEs to growth opportunities, opens today with events taking place in October and November.
Local SMEs are being encouraged to register now for the first part of the summit - a series of free networking and advice workshops in October held in each of the five boroughs surrounding the airport.
At the events SMEs will hear from the local Chambers of Commerce about how to connect with other local businesses, Heathrow’s procurement team about business opportunities at Heathrow and how to access them, and UKTI about opportunities in emerging markets across the world. Attendees will also hear tips and advice about how to put together a successful tender and how to ‘sell’ their own offering to new business prospects.
Tickets are now also available for the second part of the Heathrow Business Summit, which will take place on 13th November. This one day event will offer SMEs the chance to ‘speed date’ with up to six Heathrow-based national and international businesses that have live business opportunities, as well as networking with up to 60 more businesses that will be showcasing their opportunities on the day. SMEs are advised to book early in order to secure the limited number of fifteen minute long ‘speed meetings’.
The not-for-profit Summit was conceived 17 years ago in recognition of the central role that Heathrow plays in connecting SMEs with new business opportunities through its own supply chain, around the airport and across the world. The aim is to help SMEs better understand where these opportunities lie and how to access them. Since the Heathrow Business Summit began, an estimated £90million in new business has been won by local businesses, as a result of new partnerships forged at the Summit.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s Development Director, says: ‘Heathrow is the UK’s gateway to the world and plays a pivotal role in connecting SMEs with local, national and international markets. Over 320 businesses operate on the airport and many more, including two thirds of the UK’s top 300 companies, have set up close by to benefit from the airport’s operations. We urge small and medium sized businesses to seize the opportunity to attend the Summit and take advantage of the connections that Heathrow can help them forge.’
Parveen Thornhill, UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) Regional Director for London, says: ‘High growth markets are changing the face of international business and the opportunities for firms to grow faster and create further jobs are immense. This event gives small and medium sized businesses the opportunity to meet buyers and win business. The advice workshops are about doing the preparation. We want companies to access the range of services and support offered by UKTI to help them win business and succeed internationally.’
Heathrow plays a critical role in linking the UK to new, emerging markets with as much as £600bn of trade taking place through Heathrow’s airline networks each year. Earlier this year Heathrow and Asia House produced a series of guides1 for SMEs who want to trade with the emerging economies to the East. The guides have been written in collaboration with trade bodies, associations and British Embassies to offer expert tips on business culture, language and market opportunities in eight Asian economies: China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
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