19 Dec 2013

Leading Entrepreneurs to Set up Shop in UK

Talented entrepreneurs from around the world are to set up shop in the UK as part of a new scheme to bring top start-ups to the country.

Innovative ideas, including a way to convert ground waste coffee into biofuel, running shoes that do not need socks and a service allowing women to rent clothes from each other, will benefit from a 12-month support package.

The Sirius Programme will see seven start-ups from 13 countries, including India, China, Italy, Germany, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand and Nigeria, receive financial support of up to £48,000, as well as business mentoring and help gaining new clients as they establish their promising businesses.

The Sirius initiative aims to bring hundreds of entrepreneurs to the UK in its first two years. This will see businesses creating more jobs, exporting, bringing in foreign investment and ultimately boosting the UK economy.

Business ideas include:


Led by Benjamin Harriman and Arthur Kay, UK start-up Bio-Bean creates green energy by converting waste coffee grounds into biofuel – an idea not in use by any other company. Arthur was struck by the idea while designing a coffee roasting plant and coffee shop.


New Zealand former professional footballer Tim Brown has invented Fitwool, a wool material that will form part of the world’s first ever sock-free running shoe.


Rentez-vous, headed up by Fiona Disegni from France, Myrsini Glinos from Greece, Aniss Bouraba from Algeria and China’s Lesley Zhang is billed as fashion’s first rental marketplace, allowing women to rent clothes from one another, as well as directly from designers.

Where translation comes into play

Setting up in the UK is a particularly good base from which to launch a European export platform: today’s UK start-ups enjoy access to 500 million customers in Europe and 62 million domestically.

As more companies look to expand internationally, translation will play an important role in their marketing, communication and growth strategies.

Bio-Bean, ToBe and Rentez-vous are concentrating on setting up in the UK, generating interest and their first customers. But in time, they’ll want to start looking further afield, using the UK as a base from where international activity will grow.

Translation is emerging as a vital tool in ensuring that ecommerce sites, social media activity and customer service are all as successful as possible when it comes to expansion strategies.

As we outlined in a piece earlier this year about expanding into Germany, offering website content that is accurately translated into your target market’s language is key. Take a look at the feature to read how UK online florist Arena Flowers broke into key European markets thanks to country-specific content.

Top tips for expansion

  • Develop a comprehensive multilingual content strategy
  • Research your target market(s) thoroughly
  • Offer fully translated website content, specific to your markets. Remember that 82% of consumers are less likely to buy goods online if the site does not offer content in their native language (source: European Commission)
  • Physical retailers should consider recruiting staff with language skills, especially during popular trading periods like Christmas
  • As you develop, consider translating media for other areas of your operations, such as social media and the corporate blog.



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