By Daniel Hunter

More than 3,500 members have signed up to the British Business Club — the online business networking resource for UK and overseas firms during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Club has grown from strength to strength since it was established earlier this year by UK Trade & Investment, in collaboration with London Business Network, London & Partners and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Club provides up-to-date details of networking events, business activity, news and potential business partners all centred around the London 2012 Games, in order to boost opportunities for British and International companies.

It allows members to promote their business capability, knowledge and skills using an online profile, connecting to business partners worldwide.

President of the British Business Club, Sir John Armitt, said:

“This is a fantastic response to what is a great networking tool for businesses around the world. I encourage all businesses, large and small, to take advantage of this completely free service at such a wonderfully opportune time for businesses to strike deals at home and abroad.”

Sir John joins Sports Minister Hugh Robertson and Lord Sebastian Coe this week at global sports convention, Sport Accord, in Quebec.

Here he will be encouraging businesses to sign up and be a part of the unique opportunity that the British Business Club presents.

He will also be launching UK Trade & Investment’s Supplier’s Directory version 2 ‘Springboard to Success’ — an exclusive resource to promote the UK’s world-class expertise in delivering infrastructure, specialist technology, services and skills needed to make major international sporting and cultural events a success.

Specifically, it aims to help future host nations such as Brazil or Russia identify opportunities to work with British firms in staging world class events.

The UK is already a world leader in this sector — one that PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated is currently worth £74 billion a year, globally. It is also a market that is growing faster than the world economy - with forecasts that it will top £90 billion by 2015.

The Suppliers Directory follows UK Trade & Investment’s flagship programme Host to Host, a business initiative, designed to create a valuable business legacy between the UK and future host nations.

The Host to Host platform promotes the UK’s expertise in delivering major sporting events — not just for 2012 Games suppliers. It also connects previous and future hosts to begin developing best practice and generates valuable trade and investment opportunities.

Agreements so far include: Russia for Sochi 2014, Brazil for FIFA World Cup 2014, Rio 2016 and South Korea for the 2018 Winter Games.

Sir John Armitt and representatives from UK Trade & Investment are accompanied by 16 British based companies to Sport Accord this year, to promote UK skills and expertise.

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