News article

First “Entrepreneurship is GREAT” Forum brings together business

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

On 20 January, entrepreneurs from UK and China came together in Shenzhen to share the secrets of their success with an invited audience.

Hosted by the British Consulate-General Guangzhou, the ‘Entrepreneurship is GREAT’ UK-China Forum provided a platform for 5 entrepreneurs from both the UK and China to talk about their entrepreneurial journeys.

The forum set out to:

  • encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences
  • promote partnerships between British and Chinese business leaders

More than 100 guests attended the event, including:

  • entrepreneurs
  • investors
  • business professionals
  • media

The event created a great platform for guests from both countries to engage with ideas, and to share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities they had faced setting up and running businesses in a foreign country.

Sharing ideas and experiences

Panel discussion with entrepreneurial speakers from UK and China: Dominic Johnson-Hill(right 1), Keith Regan(right 2) and Chen Qingzhou(right 3) (Photo credit: SLA Studios)
Panel discussion with entrepreneurial speakers from UK and China: Dominic Johnson-Hill(right 1), Keith Regan(right 2) and Chen Qingzhou(right 3) (Photo credit: SLA Studios)
All British and Chinese entrepreneur speakers on stage, with Consul General Matthew Rous and Comms Guangzhou (Photo credit: SLA Studios)
All British and Chinese entrepreneur speakers on stage, with Consul General Matthew Rous and Comms Guangzhou (Photo credit: SLA Studios)
An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flew into the venue to deliver a package, demonstrating one Chinese entrepreneur’s innovation。 (Photo credit: SLA Studios)
An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flew into the venue to deliver a package, demonstrating one Chinese entrepreneur’s innovation. (Photo credit: SLA Studios)

Chen Qingzhou, president of Hytera Communications Corporation (China’s No.1 maker of hand-held radios) spoke very positively about his experience of setting up in the UK.

Already a supplier to the 2012 London Games and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Mr Chen said:

The UK has no market entry barriers to foreign investors. This has made the process of setting up simple and transparent. And my key piece of advice for success in the UK is to hire local people who know the local market the best.

Chinese businessmen at the event, who were looking at potential investments in the UK and other overseas markets were particularly interested in what he had to say.

Dominic Johnson-Hill, winner of the 2008 British Business Awards “Entrepreneur of the Year” prize, shared his unusual entrepreneurial journey. He had set up “Plastered 8” T-shirts in Beijing and his creative clothing range features iconic images of China.

Keith Regan from the leading low carbon firm “Verco Global” compared different business environments, and talked through the processes for setting up businesses in both the UK and mainland China.

Justin Gong, co-founder of XAIRCRAFT, the youngest entrepreneur on stage, wowed the audience – and had them reaching for their camera phones – when one of his company’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) delivered a package to the stage during his presentation. Justin said his Guangzhou-based company’s ambition was to create a new logistics business at 300 metres above ground.

David Chu, founder of FooxTek questioned Justin about “Which should take priority: the market or the technology?” A lively debate followed, demonstrating the vibrancy and vision of the younger generation of entrepreneurs in China.

Looking forward to the “GREAT Festival of Creativity”

Shenzhen was the ideal place to hold this event, with a quarter of the city’s GDP reportedly going into Research & Development.

Speaking at the start of proceedings, Matthew Rous, British Consul General Guangzhou, said:

This event is bringing together people from different backgrounds to share their experiences. They come from a range of fields: technology, fashion, engineering and consultancy. But the key to success is not just having a good idea, you also need to meet people.

This “Entrepreneurship is GREAT” Forum whetted the appetite of all those present, and many of the participants are now looking forward to participating in the “GREAT Festival of Creativity” in Shanghai at the beginning of March.

For more information and advice on opportunities for doing business in China, contact the UKTI team in China

Notes to editors

Find more information on The GREAT Festival of Creativity

For more information on the GREAT Britain Campaign visit: www.greatbritaincampaign.com