WINning in the UK

  “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
~Valerie Beck, with help from Gayle Newcomb

Friday’s Women’s Innovation Circle was about doing business in the UK. The British Consulate-General Chicago’s Head of Trade and Investment Colette Buscemi and Vice Consul of Innovation and Economics Chipo Nyambuya spoke about how to best prepare for setting up a venture in the United Kingdom.

The British Consulate-General Chicago represents the United Kingdom’s interests throughout 14 states in the Midwestern United States. Carol Buscemi’s focus is on working on making connections with 5 sectors: Life Sciences, Engineering, Information Technology, Financial Services, and Energy and Environment. They work closely with the U.S. Department of Commerce to facilitate the establishment of business branches by U.S. Companies in the UK.

After the Department of Commerce has helped an entrepreneur or business entity identify their market and potential distributors, The Consulate can help with information brokering on what type of business to set up (UK establishment vs. private limited company or joint venture), help determine the method of trading (distributor vs. buy/sell agreements) and considerations regarding the real estate process.

Doing business in the UK

Ms. Buscemi strongly recommends researching the market with ‘trial’ customers and having a differentiator, or Unique Selling Proposition, prior to entering the UK.

The UK has a strong financial center with access to the Middle East and Asia. Its population is 65 million people, with access to 500 million people in the EU.

The top six reasons to establish a business in the UK (per Ms. Buscemi) include:

  1. Political stability: a coalition government that seeks to reduce the deficit provides risk mitigation
  2. 1 in, 1 out regulatory policy: for each new regulatory enactment another regulation has to be eliminated to enhance business growth
  3. Strong intellectual property protection, along with access to top research collaboratives with universities such as Cambridge and Oxford
  4. A flexible labor market: even though there is no at-will employment, Ms. Buscemi stated that labor regulations are easier relative to other EU countries
  5. Low barrier to entry due to language and cultural familiarity
  6. A firm legal framework: once all the preliminary work is completed, it only takes 13 days to set up a business

Ms. Buscemi mentioned that Tech City is on the rise, which is attracting more information technology firms such as Google and Cisco to the country.

WIN President Valerie Beck shared her Bulls-eye Goal Setting Tips.

(Speaking of goals, I finished the swallowtails last week as well.)

Swift Swallowtails encaustic collage by Maike's Marvels

Swift Tiger Swallowtails by Maike’s Marvels

  1. Think life: what do you want your life to look like in 1 year? Life goals drive business goals.
  2. Think business: where do you want your business to be in 1 year?
  3. Write it: write a positive goal statement. If you think it, ink it!
  4. Break it down: what needs to happen every month, week, and day to make those goals come true?
  5. Affirm it: create affirmations to support your belief in your goals.
  6. Start it: get into action! 2011 is over, 2012 is here.
    • #1 get started
    • #2 don’t quit
    • #3 eat chocolate
    • #4 buy L.K. Bennett shoes

“A positive affirmation guides your thinking”
~Valerie Beck

After some schmoozing and networking (pictures can be viewed here) we wandered over to Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter for a committee meeting (did I mention I became a WIN member?) where we planned out events for the coming year.

Sampling the fabulous Almond Truffle Cake made the process delicious.

Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter

I’m very excited about those plans, and eager to see how 2012 unfolds both for WIN and for Maike’s Marvels.

“Think big and then double it”
~Valerie Beck

ADDENDUM: As of March 10, 2013, I no longer support the WIN Board and its actions. However, I do support small business, women-owned businesses, and the gracious hosts of past WIN events.

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