Press release

UK exporters get off to a flying start with easyJet

Open to Export has launched a nationwide competition to help the next wave of UK businesses to spread their wings and expand overseas.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Online exporter community Open to Export has launched a nationwide competition to help the next wave of UK businesses to spread their wings and expand overseas.

High-flying UK entrepreneurs with an export start-up or a successful UK-based business ready for international expansion can apply for free to the ‘Global Jump-Start’ competition. They will have the chance to win a package of prizes worth £4,000 designed to accelerate and develop their growth plans, including an easyJet flight to the market of their choice.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch in person to an expert judging panel and demonstrate their business vision and commercial knowledge. The companies will receive feedback and advice from the panel, including senior executives from easyJet, and the Institute of Export, all of whom have experience of running and working with successful international businesses.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said:

This is a great opportunity to discover and support innovative SMEs and start-ups that have an established business or an export concept which is ready to be converted into a successful international opportunity. I’d encourage any business with global ambitions to apply for this valuable package of support which has been specifically tailored to jump-start business expansion overseas.

The 5 winners will each receive:

  • a return flight to the easyJet destination of their choice
  • £2,000 worth of business planning support from an expert accountant from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • an Institute of Export training course of their choice and 1 year’s membership
  • a 1 year subscription to Croner-i International Trade export legislation guide
  • an Export Communications Review by a UK Trade & Investment expert

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said:

We’re delighted to be offering easyJet flights which will enable the 5 recipients to aim high, take advantage of overseas business opportunities and develop their ventures outside of the UK. easyJet flies over 10 million business passengers each year between more than 30 countries and over 80% of Europe’s 50 largest airports. We are making it even easier and more affordable to do business abroad and are fully committed to supporting the Open to Export scheme.

Would-be participants can visit ‘Global Jump-Start’ for more information on how to apply. Candidates must submit the application form by midnight on 24 November 2013. A shortlist of ten will then be invited to pitch to judges on 10 December 2013, with the final 5 winners announced on the same day.

To enter, applicants must be:

  • registered on Open to Export
  • a UK based start-up or SME by the European Union definition
  • new to export or exporting for under 12 months
  • not a current or past participant in the UKTI Passport to Export or Gateway to Global Growth programmes
  • able to attend / send a representative to the pitch

Follow @opentoexport / #globaljumpstart for up-to-date information.

Notes to editors:

1.The government wants to make the UK the best place to start and grow a business. In the autumn it will launch a public campaign to celebrate GREAT British business success stories. The government wants to inspire other small businesses and point them towards the support that can help them grow. It will also launch a new strategy for how the whole of government will back them. This will set out a range of measures to continue helping budding entrepreneurs and existing businesses succeed.

2.In the 2012 Autumn Statement, UKTI was awarded an additional £70 million for each of 2013/14 and 2014/15, enabling the recruitment of more international trade advisers around the country, expansion of existing services including the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), and support to expand the range of assistance available to UK companies through overseas British chambers of commerce.

3.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel

4.UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or visit the online newsroom at is a free online community created by UKTI in partnership with the private sector. It provides information and advice from business experts and government agencies to help SMEs successfully enter international markets.

6.easyJet operates Europe’s No. 1 air transport network with a leading presence on Europe’s top 100 routes and at Europe’s 50 largest airports. easyJet flies over 200 aircraft on more than 600 routes between over 130 airports in 30 countries. More than 300 million Europeans live within 1 hour’s drive of an easyJet airport, more than any other airline. The airline takes sustainability seriously. easyJet invests in the latest technology, operates efficiently and fills most of its seats which means that an easyJet passenger’s carbon footprint is 22% less than a passenger on a traditional airline, flying the same aircraft on the same route.

Published 24 October 2013