Business Thinking, the successful initiative designed by HSBC to support the development of promising businesses, is open for entries.
By entering, thinking businesses could be awarded a share in £108 million worth of funding, a financial reward of up to £120,000 each and be invited to take part in an overseas Thought Exchange Trip for networking and business development, all courtesy of HSBC Commercial Banking.
Urging other companies to take part in the project, Ged Holmes, managing director of Elstat Electronics (a manufacturer of intelligent programmable thermostats and last year’s winner for the North West), commented: “Despite China playing a key role in our business strategy before we entered Business Thinking, accounting for around 60 per cent of sales, the Thought Exchange to Shanghai made us realise that we still had a lot to learn about China. Since becoming regional winners, we have taken steps to ensure we make a thorough success of our activities in China.
“In addition, we also made some great relationships with other UK businesses – in particular mobile phone and laptop refurbishment and recycling company, SHP Ltd. We realised we could help each other to thrive in China and we are sub letting SHP Ltd some space and supporting with some resources.”
This year, the Business Thinking programme will offer companies the opportunity to take part in Thought Exchange trips to one of the world’s most dynamic areas of economic growth – Hong Kong, Brazil, New York, United Arab Emirates or Continental Europe.
Mark Tilleray, HSBC’s regional commercial director for the North West, said: “The real value of the initiative, beyond the winning entrants being awarded funding to achieve their business plans, is the insight and knowledge they will gain from business leaders, and from peers both in the UK and beyond.”
Business Thinking has three phases of reward for successful entrants: in phase one, up to 54 companies across the UK will be shortlisted as Regional Finalists; during phase two, Regional Finalists will be invited to refine their business case to secure funding and a financial reward including the insights gained on the Thought Exchange to be judged by HSBC’s panel of experts. Two Winners per region will then receive up to £6 million in lending plus a financial reward of up to £120,000 each (2% of their borrowing paid back); in phase three, one of the 18 Regional Winners will be crowned overall Business Thinking winner at an International Insights gala event in London and will see their financial reward doubled.
Closing date for entries is 10 June 2011.