Oldham tech entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds invited to join trade mission to Chicago

Date published: 05 July 2022

Local Black, Asian and mixed background tech entrepreneurs are being invited to register their interest for a four-day transatlantic trade mission to Chicago.

The Race Ethnicity And Cultural Heritage (REACH) Mission will visit North America in September (26 to 29).

Aimed at B2B tech sector founders in Greater Manchester and London businesses, the trip will help them to forge new connections, and explore expansion and investment opportunities in the U.S.

Up to 15 places are available on the mission, which has been organised by The Growth Company’s Global Scale-Up programme together with the London & Partners Mayor’s International Business programme.

Chicago’s central location provides multiple opportunities for global trade. 

According to a global report by policy organisation Startup Genome, Chicago is the world’s 19th best start-up region and around a third of their start-ups have either a woman or a person of colour as a founder.

The trip is part funded and participants will have the cost of lodgings, meals and attendance at all events covered. 

Businesses need to register their interest online by Friday, July 15.

Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet corporations, establish new trade opportunities, join investor roundtables and networking events.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for underrepresented tech entrepreneurs from Greater Manchester to make new connections and explore new openings in the US.

“Our city-region is the fastest-growing digital and tech hub in Europe, but for that growth to benefit everyone we need to be tackling digital inequalities and ensuring that everyone can develop the skills and forge the connections they need to succeed.

"Last year’s virtual REACH trade mission opened so many doors for those who took part, and this visit will offer an unparalleled insight into trade and investment opportunities in the US, giving a real boost to businesses at the cutting edge of our economy.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham

Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, added: “London’s ability to foster entrepreneurship is known the world over, as is the strength of our diversity and commitment to pushing representation in business.

“I am delighted that London has once again joined forces with Manchester to support entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds on our Race, Ethnicity And Cultural Heritage (REACH) trade mission for UK scaleups.

"Following a successful first year, this mission once again highlights the great work between business ecosystems in London and Manchester and demonstrates how UK cities can collaborate to accelerate the growth of UK companies globally.”

Last year’s delegates included Gori Yahaya, CEO and Founder of training provider UpSkill Digital.

Gori said: "The REACH mission helped us open doors that we never would have thought possible in such a short space of time.

“Albeit we already had a handful of US clients, this mission enabled us to begin conversations with major players such as Wells Fargo and Comcast, and secure major contracts delivering Inclusion and Leadership programmes with US giants, Walmart."

May Al-Karooni, CEO and Founder of Globechain, an online marketplace that connects enterprises to charities and people to redistribute unneeded items, also joined the virtual mission.

May added: “Following the initial introduction facilitated by the trade mission, we are now in discussions with a major retail brand. 

"We have had other great successes off the back of REACH, including building relationships with the DIT and becoming members of GBx.

“The mission exceeded expectations, and broadened our horizons and access to a REACH community that really wants to make a difference around diversity and inclusion."

For more information about the 2022 mission, contact: Kirsty.Smith@growthco.uk or akang@londonandpartners.com

The Growth Company’s Global Scale-up programme gives the city region’s SMEs access to a global market entry network alongside a combination of tailored coaching, international growth sprints and regular bootcamps. 

For more information about the Global Scale-up Programme, click here

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