Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP)

Welcome to the UK: an entrepreneurial powerhouse

About GEP

What is the GEP

Entrepreneurship is global as ambitious entrepreneurs look beyond their own national borders for the most attractive sources of capital, talent, market potential and start-up guidance. There are countless reasons why global entrepreneurs choose the UK time after time and it’s not just the ease of starting and running a business here, accessing finance, our world-class financial services, nor our highly skilled workforce.

The UK’s world class ecosystem provides the ideal environment for entrepreneurs to set up and scale their businesses – so discover how you can unlock your potential here with tailored support from the Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP).

If you are an entrepreneur or founder of an innovative technology business based overseas with plans to scale, you may be eligible for expert UK government support to help you establish your business in the UK to access its phenomenal entrepreneurial ecosystem.

How does GEP work?

GEP has enjoyed considerable success helping nearly 1000 founders and their IP-rich businesses establish global HQs here since 2004.This success has been mainly due to our unique and innovative model which deploys a team of experienced entrepreneurs (the dealmakers) based in the UK and overseas to support ambitious, highly skilled entrepreneurial talent.

The dealmakers’ experience and expertise, which is unique in Government, enables us to provide hands-on mentoring to support entrepreneurs to set up and scale their businesses in the UK. Our focus is on founders who want to establish a global or strategic HQ here which gives them access to the UK’s world class entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as GEP’s expert support.

Our aim is to support the ambitions of global entrepreneurs where a UK HQ will help them scale and facilitate international growth and while some companies may choose to bring the whole operation to the UK, others will also choose to retain a presence in their home market.

"As an experienced international entrepreneur, I understand the challenges that founders face scaling businesses. The GEP is the perfect partner to support ambitious entrepreneurs on their journey to success. I only wish I had a GEP dealmaker to help me when I was starting out! "

Stephen Mooney, serial entrepreneur, investor and GEP dealmaker
Successes

GEP alumni successes

GEP has enjoyed considerable success helping nearly 1000 founders and their IP-rich businesses establish global HQs here since its inception in 2004. These companies have raised over £1 billion in VC funding, achieve international success and create more than 8000 high value jobs.

GEP’s support to help our global entrepreneurs scale their innovative businesses from a UK HQ is facilitated by our Alumni Academy Programme which provides crucial aftercare including hands on mentoring and capability building, introductions to key networks and other alumni, monthly webinars, and flagship events.

Technovator

Ruslana Dovzhyk is COO and co-founder of Technovator, an energy transfer company that has developed a unique distance wireless technology based on quantum mechanical principles that charges multiple devices simultaneously remotely. Given the strength of the North East’s micro energy storage community, GEP advised the company on investment pathways, grant finance and university engagement. This led to Technovator setting up at Sedgefield’s NetPark Science Park in September 2020 where it has its entire R&D team as well as strategy, sales and IP functions. It will employ up to 50 people and the first product is wireless charging ports for drones

"The UK is a powerhouse for exceptional fast growth technology businesses. The impressive support available from the GEP made it easy for us to decide to locate our entire R&D team to Sedgefield’s NetPark Science Park. This will provide us with significant competitive advantage and enable us to scale and enhance our technology to ensure international success."

Ruslana Dovzhyk, co-founder of Technovator.

Countries from where GEP’s companies originated 2010-2021

Eligibility

What does GEP look for?

Our goal is to support companies and founders who want to leverage the UK’s world class ecosystem to scale here and to expand into international markets. GEP does not take companies or technologies out of other markets.

However, a client must fit GEP’s criteria in order to qualify for GEP support.

To qualify for support, GEP looks for innovative technology Start-ups and Scale ups who must:

  • Have an innovative product or technology solution
  • Beyond the proof-of-concept stage and has a strong willingness to relocate global headquarters to the UK
  • Have at least one of the founders/entrepreneurs based in the UK fulltime to drive/grow the business here
  • Look to undertake R&D locally
  • Have a strategic plan for building the company from the UK
  • Have aspirations for high growth and creating highly skilled jobs in the UK
  • Generate or be on the cusp of generating revenues
  • Have ideally raised some finance
  • Has plans to internationalise

We are unable to support:

  • A Start-up that just has an idea
  • Product/technology solution that is still under development
  • Companies that only want to set up a subsidiary or sales office in the UK
  • Founder has no plans to relocate with the business
  • Companies that are only looking for investment funding in the UK
GEP's offer

GEP’s offer for start-ups & entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship is a vital component in stimulating economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and even alleviating poverty.

So entrepreneurs look beyond national borders for the most attractive sources of capital, talent, market potential and start-up guidance. This is especially true where ecosystems are not developed enough to provide local founders with the right tools to help them grow.

GEP is able to leverage the ambition of these internationally mobile entrepreneurs to help them scale and internationalise their innovative businesses.

GEP provides:

  • Support/advice on relevant strategic ambitions and objectives, sales and funding strategies, partnerships and
  • Access/introductions to networks (where relevant)
  • focused support and mentorship from the dealmakers
  • visa support (GEP endorses the Innovator Visa)
  • support setting up bank accounts in the UK
  • up to date information on tax system
Get involved

How to get involved?

GEP offer a wide range of events and workshops to engage with dealmakers.

These include:

  • Great Entrepreneur Games – a dynamic and interactive pitching competition
  • GEP Masterclasses – events that focus on providing best practice sessions on key business issues such as fund raising, sales strategies, HR
  • GEP Competitions
  • Thought Leadership Webinars
  • Virtual and physical Inward Missions  to the UK
  • Soft Landing workshops in advance of companies and founders landing here.

For further information on the Global Entrepreneur Programme and upcoming events, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the GEP team and email us on Global.entrepreneurs@trade.gov.uk

Tech Nation
UK Research and Innovation