The department for UK Trade & Investment has announced free easyJet flights as a prize in a competition that aims to help entrepreneurs expand their businesses overseas.
The Global Jump-Start competition, launched by online exporter community Open to Export, is aimed at an export start-up or a successful UK-based business ready for international expansion. A return easyJet flight to the destination of their choice is part of a package of prizes worth £4,000 designed to accelerate and develop their growth plans.
A shortlist of 10 applicants will be invited to pitch in person to an expert judging panel to demonstrate their business vision and commercial knowledge.
They will also receive feedback and advice from the panel, which includes senior executives from business card printing company Moo.com, easyJet and the Institute of Export.
Trade and investment minister Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, said: “This is a great opportunity to discover and support innovative SMEs and start-ups that have an established business or an export concept which is ready to be converted into a successful international opportunity.
“I’d encourage any business with global ambitions to apply for this valuable package of support.”
As well as the flights, five winners will each receive £2,000 worth of business planning support from an expert accountant from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, an Institute of Export training course of their choice and one year’s membership, a one-year subscription to Croner-i International Trade export legislation guide and an Export Communications Review by a UK Trade & Investment expert.
To enter the competition, applicants need to be a UK-based start-up or SME, new to export or exporting for under 12 months, and registered on Open to Export. Those who are current or past participants in the UKTI Passport to Export or Gateway to Global Growth programmes are not eligible.
The deadline for applications is 24 November 2013. The 10 shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch on 10 December, with five winners announced on the day.