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UK small businesses get chance to go global

Entrepreneurial Brits still want to start their own businesses, despite this toughest of world recessions, says a new study. 

UK-based entrepreneurs and smart small businesses can discover more profitable new opportunities with online global trading, according to Alibaba, the world's largest online B2B marketplace. National research with 3,600 UK entrepreneurs and small business owners reveals the centuries-old British trading spirit is alive and kicking:

    * More than a third (39%) want to set up during the recession

    * More than half (54%) believe the next great British company will be born now

    * While 76% of entrepreneurs agree importing lower-cost goods from overseas partners is a great opportunity, many fear perceived barriers to international trade.

Research commissioned by Alibaba said while the British small business sector is feeling upbeat about its prospects in the face of the toughest trading conditions since the 1990s, 93% mistakenly think it would be difficult to find overseas suppliers. A further 40% believe that forging profitable relationships with foreign partners will take years of hard work.

Nifty new entrepreneurs quickly carve niche 

Alibaba says UK small businesses are defying the global slump trends because its entrepreneurs are renowned for being highly creative and adaptable, quick to seize new market opportunities, and adept at problem solving. 

The study said: "450,000 UK businesses have already established a successful trading partnership on the Alibaba platform - that connects buyers and suppliers from more than 42 million companies across 240 countries and regions worldwide - with a further 2,300 new users joining each week.”

UK entrepreneurs in £10,000 cash challenge

Alibaba is also backing eight UK entrepreneurs with £1,000 each to build start up businesses on the platform. 

Contestants will run real businesses and can spend the cash to buy any goods they like with the aim to sell on those goods at a profit.

The contestants will keep any profit they make. Other site users are invited to offer advice and support, then they will vote to decide which start up business will collect a £10,000 prize.


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