Thatchers Cider, the independent cider producer and one of HSBC’s 2010 Business Thinking South West winners, is urging companies across the region to enter Business Thinking – an initiative from the bank, which provides funding and rewards top business thinkers.
By entering, businesses across the south west could be awarded a share in £108m worth of funding, a financial reward of up to £120,000 each and be invited to take part in overseas Thought Exchange Trips for networking and business development; provided by HSBC Commercial Banking.
Martin Thatcher, managing director of Thatchers Cider, said: “Thanks to Business Thinking, we’ve had our eyes opened to bigger opportunities and we have been inspired to look into trading internationally for the first time.
“Since becoming a South West winner of Business Thinking 2010 we’ve moved quickly to improve efficiencies to ensure we are able to meet new and growing demands for our products. We used the funding provided by HSBC to upgrade our bottling facility, which has increased capacity by 50%. Following our Thought Exchange trip to Turkey, we’re really serious about starting overseas trade, but we know that we need to get the right expertise to help us make a success of it. That’s why we are currently recruiting for an individual to lead our export strategy.”
Recognising the value of the Thought Exchange trips to 2010 entrants, the 2011 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.
Michael Papadatos, HSBC’s regional commercial director in the south west, said: “We were blown away by the calibre of entrants of Business Thinking 2010 and we hope that Thatchers Cider’s success will inspire other companies in the South West to consider entering the latest initiative.
“The real value of the initiative, beyond the winning entrants being awarding 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:
- Phase one: Up to 54 companies across the UK shortlisted as Regional Finalists. Each company selected from the South West will have the opportunity to participate in an international Thought Exchange, as a guest of HSBC, to one of the world’s most dynamic areas of economic growth to meet like minded business thinkers and enjoy networking and business development opportunities
- 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 £6m in lending plus a financial reward of up to £120,000 each (2% of their borrowing paid back)
- Phase three: One of the 18 Regional Winners will be crowned overall Business Thinking 2010 winner at an International Insights gala event in London in front of an international audience, and will see their financial reward doubled
Businesses with turnovers in excess of £2m can log onto www.hsbc.co.uk/businessthinking to find out more and put forward their vision and ambitions for the company, how its management team intends to achieve them and how the prize would help them succeed.
Thatcher said: “I urge all South West businesses to consider taking advantage of the opportunities Business Thinking can offer. Make that step, fill in the forms, challenge yourself this year a little more than last. The process has given us increased confidence in our business and as a result we are gearing up for international growth, and are better positioned for success in the future.”
Closing date for entries is 10 June 2011. Full terms and conditions are available on the web site.