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UCLan to host international entrepreneurship competition

29 May 2015

Press Office

Financial and commercial support available for UK SMEs

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will play host to a national competition aimed at encouraging innovation and new business ventures between China and the UK.

The National China Innovation and Entrepreneurship competition, now in its seventh year, offers UK SMEs and teams the chance to win financial and commercial support to establish their business idea in China.

China’s economy is predicted to grow at around 7 per cent this year, vastly outstripping many of its international competitors. With this growth comes demand for products and services like healthcare, education, the creative industries and luxury goods - all areas where Britain has a great international reputation.

UCLan is aiming to connect the best British ideas to some of these new opportunities in China and will organise, host and judge the UK stages of the competition.

Winners of this round will win travel to Shenzhen in China to compete in the national final stages and pitch their business idea in front of private investors and the Chinese Government.

Competition is likely to be tough with business from around the world competing to win the £300,000 prize on offer from the Shenzhen Municipal Government, and the chance to pitch their winning idea to some of China’s biggest venture capital investors.

“It’s a ground-breaking initiative which supports UCLan’s commitment to innovation both in the UK and abroad, and will encourage inbound entrepreneurship by enabling businesses to acquire new markets in China.”

John Lonsdale, head of innovation and enterprise at UCLan, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a UK company with plans to extend its operations to China to see first-hand what it’s like to do business over there. It’s a ground-breaking initiative which supports UCLan’s commitment to innovation both in the UK and abroad, and will encourage inbound entrepreneurship by enabling businesses to acquire new markets in China.

“We want to use the event to highlight the important opportunities of working with China, which is critical for the development of Lancashire and the rest of the UK. We also hope it will provide opportunities for organisations to build networks, share practice and gain funding.

“By nature, entrepreneurs are competitive people and an international competition like this one brings out some excellent ideas, plans and entrepreneurial spirit. We believe the competition will grow year on year as more UK businesses look for new ways to connect with their Chinese counterparts with a view to establishing a business in China.”

The UK competition is open to teams of three or more and to UK small to medium sized companies. Teams wishing to enter should submit their business idea by Thursday June 25, 2015. Download an application form.

The competition is led in China by Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China, Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China, and the All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce. The UK stage is organised by the UCLan and its Shenzhen based subsidiary, UCLan Technology Shenzhen Limited.

Information events are being held at The Lowry, Salford, Manchester, on June 2 and at China Britain Business Council (CBBC) Offices in London on June 4.