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This government programme could help your business scale up in the UK

Do you have ambitions to scale up your startup in the UK? To set up a base there, to be able to conquer international markets? If the answers are yes then you’ve come to the right place! What’s the big rider you must be wondering at the onset? Well, to put you at ease it’s a UK government initiative and the support is free. Yes, you read that right!

So, if you are an entrepreneur or founder of an innovative technology businesses based in India, you may be eligible for support to help you scale your business from the UK through the UK government’s Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP). GEP is the Department for Business and Trade’s (DBT) flagship programme that enables ambitious, internationally mobile entrepreneurs and their innovation-rich companies to scale and grow from a UK global headquarter.

GEP is also a visa endorsement body for the innovator visa and is therefore able to facilitate entry into the UK. The visa is for three years and if a company meets the criteria after three years of spending 180 days per year in the UK, they will have the opportunity to apply for an indefinite leave to remain. 

The UK provides the ideal environment for entrepreneurs to set up and scale their businesses. Access to growth capital and tax incentives, along with great talent, global connectivity, and top-class financial services are some of the reasons that the UK has emerged as a preferred destination for startups to scale up. For high-growth companies looking to expand overseas once they have outgrown the Indian market, the UK is a natural option.

In fact, since its inception in 2005, GEP has helped over 1100 founders and their Intellectual Property (IP)-rich businesses relocate their global headquarters to the UK. In the last four years itself more than 300 businesses have shifted base to the UK through the programme. These companies have raised over £2.5 billion in VC funding, creating over 10,000 high-value jobs.

GEP provides tailored support and introductions to key networks in the ecosystem including investors and potential partners. It offers mentoring and support on strategic ambitions, developing funding strategies, guidance on how to grow internationally and continued help from DBT once located in the UK, especially around exporting and scaling.

The Dealmakers

GEP offers bespoke mentoring from a team of expert Dealmakers who are experienced entrepreneurs and business people in their own right. It is a unique role in the UK Government which requires in-depth and hands on knowledge and experience in scaling fast growth tech companies. It includes mentoring founders by acting as counsel, adviser, and strategist. This can involve all aspects of running a business as well as advising on areas including funding, sales strategies, and investor readiness. The Dealmaker role is a part-time one, so they remain first and foremost entrepreneurs with relevant and real-time experience. They act as advisers and mentors and have abundant networks both in the UK and overseas, providing GEP’s alumni with introductions to key connections including potential investors and partners.

Supporting your business

GEP’s team of Dealmakers work directly with their pipeline companies as well as providing important aftercare support as part of the GEP Alumni programme. The programme provides focussed guidance on relocating to the UK, including innovator visa endorsement, and scaling internationally once the company landed here

If you are wondering about the application, learn more by going to the GEP website where you can see eligibility criteria and process. And when you’re ready, simply write to and send them your pitch deck.

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