Belfast Telegraph

HSBC initiative offers chance to exchange ideas

By Clare Weir

A share in £90m worth of funding, a financial reward of up to £100,000 each, and an overseas networking trip are being offered to ‘thinking businesses’ in Northern Ireland.

‘Business Thinking 2010’ is a new initiative from HSBC bank to help support and fund the UK’s most innovative and forward-thinking companies.

The competition will coincide with HSBC’s 100 Thoughts business ‘question time’ which takes place in the Culloden Hotel on June 29, and will bring together the top 100 business minds in Northern Ireland.

Panel experts will include local entrepreneur Gary McCausland, analyst and commentator John Simpson, economist at HSBC bank Mark Berrisford-Smith, and Phil Spencer, HSBC’s international trade director for UK Trade and Supply Chain solutions.

Up to 54 companies across the UK (six per region) shortlisted in the competition as regional finalists will have the opportunity to participate in international Thought Exchange, as a guest of HSBC, to one of the world’s most dynamic areas of economic growth — China, the Americas or Europe — for the opportunity to meet like-minded business thinkers and enjoy networking and business development opportunities. This will take place in September.

Cecil Russell, HSBC regional director for Northern Ireland, said: “We firmly believe that for many Northern Ireland businesses, trading internationally could help them drive their way towards success, which is why we are giving finalists the chance to meet like-minded companies in other countries."

Businesses which have been trading for more than two years and have a turnover above £2m can log on to 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. For questions regarding entries and the process, companies should ring 0800 328 3211. Closing date for entries is midnight on June 25.

Belfast Telegraph