MEDIA CENTRE

Blog
Apr 2021

How technology enables global expansion

Expanding into new and foreign markets is a complex enough undertaking without worrying about your technological systems. Since many nations in developing and emerging markets are still relatively immature technologically, companies need to know that their ICT can be relied upon to support their business, no matter what the industry Eighty-one percent of companies consider technological progress the main factor of change for the next 5 years, while 50 percent of the world’s leading manufacturing companies invest in IT applications and infrastructure to help them be more flexible and agile. Technological change reshaping business growth and expansion will only intensify as artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, and cyber-physical systems take the digital revolution to another level. So it is to technology that companies must turn to help them overcome the challenges of expanding in new markets.  Technology in its fullest understanding is the capability that leads to outcomes, whether tangible or intangible. For this to happen, typically, certain skills and procedures are required. Early advances in human history are closely associated with technological progress, specifically with the history of energy. Yet, it was the dawn of the printing press towards the end of the Middle Ages which spurred the Renaissance, and which eventually led to the first recognizable techno-economic revolution of the modern age. Better known as the Industrial Revolution, this era was characterized by the mechanization of the cotton industry and the construction of canals, waterways, waterwheels, and turnpike roads. Since then, certain key trends associated with technological progress became clear: The size and footprint of technologies continue to increase beyond imagination, proven by bigger container ships and airplanes, higher buildings and dam walls, and space-age scientific experiments like the International Space Station, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), and the Large Hadron Collider. Technology also becomes smaller and increasingly manifests at nanoscale. Think about gene sequencing and its applications in the medical and agricultural industries; Every technology epoch is characterized by a different principle of operation. A sequence of capabilities can be conceived of, starting with manual effort, followed in sequence by fire, speech and art, mechanics, steam, electricity, internal combustion, electronics, mechatronics, and lately characterized by the convergence of neurotech, biotech, infotech and nanotech; Technology becomes more accurate and efficient. From the crude capabilities of stone tools to the pinpoint accuracy of a laser, of GPS navigation and digital capabilities in general, there is steady progress in accuracy and efficiency; Technology becomes increasingly complex, and understanding thereof less accessible to the layperson; and Due to the conflation of these characteristics, technology also becomes more expensive, yet more omnipresent. HOW TECHNOLOGY ENABLES GLOBAL EXPANSION Future-focused leaders, in conclusion, strife to become technology-fluid. This means they attend to the following priorities: They realize that technology is all-pervasive and powerful and that the current transition to robotics, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing requires them to render technology a top priority on their governance and oversight agendas; They actively pursue strategies to ensure that their technology assets have been sourced responsibly, that the workings thereof respect the privacy and dignity of all living things inasmuch as environmental health, and that once retired these technologies are fed back into the recycling streams representative of their industries; They evaluate technology and technology innovation proposals for their relevance, appropriateness, and functionality, with relevance interrogating immediacy of need and of utility value, with appropriateness interrogating fitness for purpose, and with functionality interrogating outcomes with efficiency and sustainability gains; and They pursue Integrated Reporting in order to inform all stakeholders of their attention to detail, inclusive of technology impacts, and they remain conscious of immediate technology priorities, such as the need for digital governance, focusing on social media strategies, thorough data and privacy protection principles and practices, and exploration of data monetization strategies. The global solutions offered by technology can be exactly what your company needs to expand internationally and by choosing the right technology tools to power your global expansion, you’ll soon find the world is at your fingertips. Discover how our 20 years of experience in global markets can help your organization seamlessly integrate new locations into your infrastructure HERE  
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Apr 2021

“Powerful” Investment opportunities in Japan

The energy market in Japan has some of the biggest investment market potentials in the Asia Pacific region. Their robust grid infrastructure, renewable goals, and significant capacity demonstrate that additional value already exists. The ability to invest in renewable energy assets in Japan—and thus to contribute to the country’s energy transition—also presents a significant opportunity for long-term capital from around the globe. Notably, a recent study has shown that Japan can create 67,000 new jobs by investing in domestic renewable energy projects by 2030. This would be a positive step as countries seek to rebuild their economies in the wake of COVID-19—and potentially catalyze a movement toward investment-led growth. In the aftermath of the devastating March 2011 East Japan Earthquake and resulting nuclear crisis, the Japanese government was forced to radically overhaul its long-term energy strategy. Following the crisis, Japan made the unavoidable decision to shut down all of its 54 nuclear power plants (which prior to the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns accounted for more than 30% of its power supply) and drag dozens of thermal plants out of mothballs to compensate. This sudden jump back to a dependence on fossil fuels may have been a big boost for “Big Energy” companies, but it represented a pronounced about-face from where Japan aspired to be in terms of clean energy. Fortunately, it also triggered a grassroots movement strongly in favor of safer, renewable energy technologies and vehemently opposed to any return to a reliance on nuclear power. It has taken nearly a decade for the government to come around, however it looks like 2021 could very well be the year that Japan truly earns its spot at number 12 on the 2019 “Environmental Performance Index,” right behind The Netherlands. While considered to be “on the greener side of green” when it comes to environmental policies, Japan’s long-term relationship with nuclear power has come with a considerable amount of risk, both from accidents and also considering the environmental impact of storing high-level radioactive waste in a country with very little space for storing anything. Enter the power of wind, which in parts of Europe has become one of the largest sources of clean energy. Wind power features none of the dangerous by-products of nuclear power, no flooding of villages or damming of rivers like needed for hydro, and better overall efficiency than solar. With the passing of the Marine Renewable Energy Utilization Act two years ago, Japan now has 120 offshore wind farm sites that are under development, with four locations in Akita, Aomori, Chiba, and Nagasaki prefectures fast-tracked for local approval and implementation.WHY EXPAND INTO JAPAN? At the vanguard of the wind projects are two Danish multinationals: Vestas and Orsted, each at the top of the charts globally in the production of wind turbines and offshore development. Leading the charge in Japan is the nacelle innovator Vestas, whose joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) on the Akita-Noshiro project is currently powering the delivery of a total of 33 Vestas V117 turbines to the project site off of the Japan Sea coast. The expected combined output of 139 MW will be enough to power 130,000 homes, putting the project well ahead of any other offshore wind farm in Japan. Yokohama-machi in neighboring Aomori The prefecture will soon be the host of a similar project, with nine V117 turbines and three of the less powerful V105 units on the delivery slate. But it is the massive Yurihonjo project (located just south of the Akita-Noshiro site) that is expected to dwarf all of the competition, with the installation of up to 90 turbines generating an output of more than 700 MW. And in the not-so-distant future is the rollout of a powerful new “supersized” turbine by MHI-Vestas. The next-gen turbine is said to be even more powerful than the V164/174, currently, the highest-capacity wind turbine ever made, and its deployment in the field is expected by the middle of this decade. It will be an uphill battle to make renewable energy in Japan a larger piece of the country’s power puzzle. Under current initiatives, the government expects to be able to source just 1.7% of its electricity from wind farms by 2030, and so any real impact must be linked to an equal or larger investment in hydro and solar and a much deeper look into the potential for harnessing geothermal energy sources in one of the most seismically active regions in the world. But clean energy proponents are hoping that the momentum generated by offshore wind projects will be the wind in Japan’s sails as the country charts a course for a new, non-nuclear energy future. As the world’s third-largest economy, Japan’s energy needs remain substantial. Nevertheless, the relative undersaturation of the market presents a clear long-term opportunity for private investors seeking to gain exposure not only to the growing capacity of domestic projects, but also to innovations across the cleantech, grid, and storage space. Building this exposure in Japan also enables foreign investors to potentially gain access to benefit from the lucrative links which Japanese corporate, financial, investment, government, and non-governmental bodies have cemented across the Asia-Pacific region. Keep checking back or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram to get notified about our latest posts. We’ll be adding more articles in the future relating to global expansion, energy, and relocation in Japan, so watch this space! Alternatively, get in touch to see how we can help you collaborate and do business in Japan.  
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Mar 2021

Local Expertise For Global Expansion

Whether it’s Steve Jobs stepping out of his garage or Mark Zuckerberg expanding beyond his Harvard dorm room, every successful company reaches a point where it’s too big for where it started. As you look to expand your business beyond your home country or territory, there are vital steps to take to ensure a relatively easy landing. Local laws and regulations have to be understood and evaluated. An innocent mistake – like, for example, hiring misclassified employees – could lead to costly legal action, fines and reputational damage, before your local team has even unpacked their suitcases. Before you enter a new country, make sure your team has familiarised itself with the basic entry – and exit – requirements of your target market. After you’ve completed your market assessment and weighed up your market entry options, you’ll need to start bringing in the necessary expertise. Who are those experts, and who needs a seat at your global expansion table? Cast your mind back to the earliest stages of your business, when you were first moving from an ambitious start-up (possibly even a one-person show) to growing concern. Your first new hire might have been ‘someone who could correctly advise you on the appropriate tax structures and on regulatory compliance.HERE'S WHY YOU NEED TO HIRE LOCAL EXPERTISE Global expansion would require the same expertise, but on a local country basis. This team would assist your own newly landed team with managing local tax regulations and providing bespoke accounting solutions. Legal advice would be a necessary extension of that, and another key early “hire”. From navigating local laws and employment laws (which might be very different from what you’re accustomed to in your home jurisdiction) to managing visas and work permits for staff who’re relocating to set up your new satellite office, trusted legal support is of course absolutely essential. Less obvious, but no less important, benefits of in-country legal support include conducting risk analysis and crisis management. Then, as the business establishes itself in its new territory, property – either renting or buying – would become the next problem to be solved. Recruitment, payroll, outsourcing… Global expansion support would also cover HR services, which can vary dramatically from country to country. Country-compliant HR processes would also have to be set up and implemented, as would the necessary cross-border banking solutions. Many companies make the mistake of entering a new market without hiring any local team members. Local people have unique, invaluable insights into local customs, cultural standards, and employee expectations, which can only come from having lived and worked in that particular market. The key driver behind global expansion is, of course, the potential to grow your company’s brand and profitability. It can also serve as protection against the risk of decline in your domestic markets. The trick lies in getting it right – and to do that, you’ll need to call on in-country expertise. The Centuro platform provided end-to-end assistance through the complexities of global expansion, activating the local business ecosystem to provide a clear roadmap of actionable solutions.
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Mar 2021

New Era of international assignments and relocating

As COVID-19 swept the globe, many countries adopted a shelter-in-place approach, hoping to contain the pandemic through local, regional or national lockdowns. Borders have closed, and the idea of immigration – let alone an overseas vacation – has been shelved indefinitely. Or has it? Life and business go on, and while remote working remains the default for some organisations, others are unable to wait for ‘normal’ travel patterns to fully return before relocating groups or individual employees. Relocation and immigration, which are high-stress but low-risk activities under normal circumstances, take on an added layer of complexity during a pandemic. This places added pressure on employers, whose duty of care to employees extends to their health and safety when relocating for work purposes, forcing HR specialists to consider rapidly changing regulations on top of existing transborder legislation. Non compliance of the rules could inevitably have a serious impact on the company as well as the individual. For example, when it comes to speed of deployment, companies may be forced to initially send someone into a new country with a business visa rather than a work permit for the sake of expediency, without realising the implications that a pandemic has imposed on travellers such as mandatory quarantine and negative Covid tests before they are permitted to enter. In such circumstances it would be the employer’s responsibility to ensure their assignee is briefed in advance without having to deal with the stress of added border checks being introduced globally. Regulations around immigration requirements as well as eligibility are changing rapidly, with entry restrictions often announced without notice. Individuals cannot be expected to keep track of the changes; instead, businesses should work closely with their internal legal teams, or external suppliers and develop internal policies and introduce regular communications keeping all stakeholders up to date. As vaccine rollouts began in early 2021 there was widespread concern about ‘vaccine passports’, which would either facilitate entry or enable immigrants to skip quarantine protocols when arriving in a new country. Several governments (and even some airlines) now require digital travel passes to help passengers manage their travel plans. None of that will be new to frequent travellers, who for years have had to provide ‘yellow cards’ as proof of vaccination against diseases like yellow fever and cholera. However, the rules will vary depending on the immigrant’s destination or country of origin, on their potential exposure to specific strains of the COVID-19 virus, and on the exact vaccine they have received. Again, it’s essential that those bases are covered to ensure a smooth process and business continuity. Many national governments have demonstrated a level of leniency and flexibility when dealing with the pandemic, but as the world heads towards a new normal it has become critical for companies to review their internal practices and introduce new measures that tackle the requirements for the future of international assignments. Given the significant overhaul of the requirements for travel, it would be prudent to review insurance and medical policies and introduce contingency planning to tackle the unforeseeable, thereby equipping your employees with the information and support they need for safer assignments. In addition to the safety requirements, employers will also be dealing with remote working locations and tax liability for both the individual and business. The earlier a company prepares and considers all the moving parts of a future assignment and factors in the cost implications to the business for Covid testing, health insurance and emergency measures, the more rewarding the experience for the employee in question. In short, HR departments need to undertake more strategic decision making with the buy in from senior management to ensure their assignment programs can run smoothly in the future. It will be interesting to see how assignments will be structured going forward with more options for employees to choose their desired location for remote working anywhere in the world.
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Mar 2021

Labour Pains

In some countries, cars drive on the left. In others, cars drive on the right. In some countries most people ride bikes or scooters; and in some parts of some major cities, cars aren’t allowed to drive at all. Employment law is no different. While some employment regulations are universal, others have local variations that create complexities for businesses looking to expand into new jurisdictions. The International Labour Organization (ILO) sets universal labour law standards, which individual countries ratify (sign up for) and enforce as part of their domestic laws. But there are nuances to many local laws which must be understood and accounted for, to ensure your business doesn’t miss out on recruiting the people it needs, and that it doesn’t waste money on avoidable fines or criminal sanctions. The recruitment process is often a puzzle for globally growing businesses. Some countries require a local entity to be set up to hire local employees, while in others the parent company can work directly with local hires. Many – but not all – countries require written employee contracts to be in place, setting out the employer’s and employee’s obligations. (In some jurisdictions, like Belgium and Saudi Arabia, those contracts are only enforceable if they’ve been translated into the local language accurately.) Likewise, many – but again not all – countries have a minimum wage and overtime requirements in place; and while this does not apply to white-collar hires, it may well apply to your blue-collar staff or independent contractors. Implementing country-compliant processes is absolutely essential. Take the Saudi Arabian example: there, all part-time workers must have a contract that states an official termination date, and part time-contracts can only be renewed once. Foreign workers must have a fixed-term contract and are ineligible for part-time work. Probation periods should be explicitly stated in contracts and normally run for three months, although they can be extended to six months by written agreement. The in-country specifics only get more complex from there. The maximum working time for employees working in Saudi Arabia is eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. This can vary in the event of shift work, but only if those limits are not breached over a three-week rolling average. Those limits are then reduced during Ramadan to six hours a day and 36 hours a week. Now compare that to Singapore, for example. According to the local Employment Act, every contract of service must include the designation title and job scope, hours of work, probation clause, remuneration package, employee benefits, code of conduct and termination. Companies that fail to comply with any aspect of this Employment Act can face severe fines and possible jail time. In Singapore, the maximum working hours are eight hours a day, 44 hours a week, and no more than six consecutive hours without a break. Employees cannot work more than 12 hours a day, including overtime. Some countries (like France, Italy and Brazil) require employees to “unionise”, or join in industry-specific collective bargaining agreements.; and almost every country on the planet requires employers to set up payroll and redirect the applicable income tax and employee benefits (healthcare, pensions, unemployment insurance, etc) to the relevant authorities. This can be a significant cost, which may be best outsourced to a specialist payroll provider, at least at the start. If hiring is a maze, then firing can be a minefield. The grounds for legally terminating employment vary dramatically from country to country, or even in different regions within a single country. Some countries (including, famously, the United States) have “at-will” employment, which allows employers to fire staff as and when they please. Try that in other most countries, and you’ll face a short and expensive trip to the labour courts. There, terminations must follow a fair process and must be based on reasonable grounds, like poor performance (which has to be documented), redundancy (which often requires firmer grounds than simply a desire to restructure that one role) or gross misconduct (which again has to be documented and proven). The rules get more complicated as your business grows. In Japan, for example, you’re required to document work rules in an employee handbook once you’ve grown to 10 employees; in France, that’s required at 20 employees, while in Belgium it’s mandatory for just one. As with so many aspects of global expansion, the secret to success lies in knowing the lay of the land and planning ahead. Your first engagement, then, might not be an in-country employee, but rather a local “fixer” who can help you navigate the intricacies of domestic labour law.
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Mar 2021

New Brazilian Tax law to benefit Expanding IT Companies

Introduction On 18th February 2021, the Brazilian Supreme Court (“STF”) ended a dispute of many years and ruled that Municipal Service Tax (“ISS”) is the correct tax to be levied on software transactions, especially in respect of software licensing and use assignment transactions. What does this mean? Such a decision changed the prevailing case law regarding the matter and impacts IT companies all over the country since they had been waiting for a final decision to be rendered to have legal certainty on how to conduct their activities. In short, Municipalities will only be authorized to charge retroactively the cases in which no tax has been collected. Additionally, taxpayers may only apply for a refund of the ICMS amount to States in the cases where the payment of both taxes has been effected. Conclusion Under this new scenario, IT companies will no longer need to enrol with the State Tax Authority at the time of their incorporation, a requirement that had been triggered automatically by the State Authority at that stage, and which also required the need for physical and segregated premises. Therefore, the judgment will not only produce a lower tax burden for the technology sector but will also bring less complexity to the company's operations.
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Mar 2021

Centuro Global: The New Frontier to Global Expansion

How can businesses grow beyond restrictions imposed by COVID-19? In a world where an enterprise is still held hostage by pandemic restraints, international growth might seem an impossible endeavour. Certainly, organic growth has been challenging in these times. The challenges posed by business internationalisation are more complex than ever, due to restrictions on travel, conducting due diligence and establishing operational collateral in foreign geographies. In tandem, the pandemic shook the foundations of every international market, upheaving long-founded supply chains and regulations for expanding businesses. Above all, the impact of the global health crisis exposed vulnerabilities in the way business mitigate social and economic threats; particularly those caused by conventional framings of development and global growth. According to a KPMG white paper, the companies that could not sustain operations throughout the pandemic were those that failed to ‘seize opportunities offered by digital or hybrid solutions. The KPMG analysts advise executives to look beyond conventional means of survival: ‘Companies need to shift their focus to new opportunities. Companies on the lookout for emerging opportunities early on may find opportunities to create added value’ COVID-19 proved the need for organisations to outgrow existing operational fragilities, and to go digital. Several long-standing organisations that failed to adopt next-generation capacities faltered under pandemic pressure. They faced barriers that could have otherwise been avoided by more interconnected approaches. In light of last year’s events, businesses need to pre-empt the success of newer approaches to internationalisation. Nominally, they need to consider the benefits of hybrid service offerings and product platforms that will ease the expansion progress for them. Zain Ali, CEO of global expansion company Centuro Global, believes that businesses will succeed by adhering to platform-based approaches to internationalisation. He identifies the trends and potential roadblocks that expanding organisations might face in the short and long-term, and how expansion solutions like Centuro Global’s ‘Go Global’ and ‘Centuro Connect’ offerings could remediate these bottlenecks. Read The Full Conversation Here.
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Event
Mar 2021

GLOBAL EXPANSION CONFERENCE 2021

ELEVATING BUSINESSES BEYOND BOUNDARIES Join us in the picturesque Cappadocia Mountains of Turkey where we set flight to a new way of doing global expansion. The conference will be filled with inspirational speakers, thought leadership discussions, networking and fun.   We will kick off with a Welcome Cocktail party on the Wednesday evening, where online business associates, partners and clients finally get to meet in person in a casual relaxed setting. Thursday morning will see us get stuck into guest speakers, panel discussions and many opportunities to network. The evening will be filled with authentic cuisine and local entertainment. Friday morning sees an optional Hot Air Ballooning excursion, followed by more conferencing, including specialty break away sessions for Accounting, Legal, Immigration and Marketing.   Don’t miss out on this year’s Global Expansion Conference – brought to you by Centuro Global.
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Event
Mar 2021

Doing Business in The Middle East - Risk and Rewards

The Middle East is a complex region and not the easiest place to operate. If you wish to scale a business into the Middle East, it is undeniably advantageous to operate across multiple countries.However, as a region diverse in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture, the heterogeneity of the Arab world means it is necessary to delve into the details of the economy and culture of each individual countryYou may wish to launch your business in the UAE due to its friendly business practices, before seeking wider commercial opportunities in Saudia Arabia, whilst tapping into more cost-effective talent from nations such as Egypt will help you manage costs.Join us on Wednesday, 10 March 2021 at 14:00 GMT for a webinar deciphering the secrets for success when scaling into the Middle East.  HOST: Zain Ali is the CEO of Centuro Global and a solicitor by background. He has spent most of his career advising large multinational corporates and tech startups alike on protecting their IP, managing disputes, and implementing global expansion projects. Having worked both for an international law firm and in house, as well as living in 3 countries on 3 continents, Zain is well aware of the key challenges businesses face on the international stage. SPEAKERS: 1. Sarah Hildersley, International Trade Advisor at the Department for International Trade, will be taking the stage for the keynote and will discuss opportunities in the region as well as security, risk and the female perspective in the Middle East. Sarah has served as a British diplomat in the Middle East and has extensive experience advising companies on their strategic approach to selling in complex markets. She now works with the UK's largest Chambers of Commerce and has had exceptional success in helping companies accelerate international sales 2. Fiona Chamberlain, ITA and Commercial Attaché for UKDIT in Qatar, is bringing her experience and will offer some truly great insights on the keynote.Fiona Chamberlain spent three years as a Commercial Attaché in the UK’s Department for International Trade based in Qatar. She was responsible for identifying, supporting and developing opportunities for new and existent British companies seeking to enter or expand in the Qatari market. In her current role as an International Trade Advisor, she continues to promote international trade for UK companies. 3. Nihal Othman is a UAE based market entry specialist for the MENA region. Her extensive career working for Nasdaq, CNBC Universal and Baker & Mckenzie before taking on a COO role at Abou Naja IP, equips her to tackle a wide array of client requirements. She has built up an extensive network of decision-makers within the region over the past decade and can advise on company setup, marketing, procurement, IP and overcoming cultural hurdles in the region. WATCH THE LIVE RECORDING HERE
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Mar 2021

Olympic-sized Challenge Ahead for Tokyo

While there has been a lot of negative buzz surrounding the Tokyo Olympics due to the recent scandal involving sexist comments made by Yoshiro Mori, the disgraced former TOCOG (Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) president, his resignation has yielded an unexpectedly positive outcome in the appointment of Seiko Hashimoto as the new committee chief. Not only is Hashimoto the first female to hold the post of president, but the seven-time Olympian is also already injecting new life into the preparation for the games, which since their postponement have been plagued by various logistical complications and an overall lack of a clear strategy. One thing that Hashimoto has made abundantly clear is that there is no plan to hold the games without spectators, although whether visitors from abroad will be permitted to enter Japan is still to be decided. One would imagine that some form of new “spectator” visa would need to be created for those individuals who have been vaccinated, tested, and cleared other requirements prior to entry. And as the mandatory post-arrival quarantine period of 14 days is unlikely to be a practical option for visitors eager to head right to the venues, “travel lanes” within Tokyo would need to be created to ensure that those with quarantine requirements waived do not interact with the general public. Measures could include offering designated accommodations for visitors, limiting the use of public transport, installing tracking apps, and requiring the submission of a full travel itinerary in advance of visa issuance. A similar system already exists in the Business Track (BT) privilege that has been granted to those travelling from Singapore and the Republic of Korea, although BT is currently suspended due to the State of Emergency declaration in Tokyo. Maintaining adequate social distancing at Olympic venues is also sure to be a hotly debated topic, and if the Superbowl of American football and other recent events such as the Australian Open tennis tournament are any indication, a maximum of 50% of venue capacity is likely to be enforced. In addition to driving up ticket prices both at home and abroad, this will present a unique challenge to organizers hoping to showcase the games as being accessible to all in the community. It remains to be seen what types of creative solutions to half-empty stadiums can be found, although these may include using digital effects and providing “virtual spectator” experiences. But the Australians proved that a large-scale international sporting event can indeed be held safely and successfully, even if their solution involved confining athletes and essential coaching staff to a bubble and employing an aggressive testing strategy under which some individuals were tested for Covid more than 15 times over the course of the event. Far from vacation for anyone involved, athletes and fans were restricted to their hotel rooms outside of the event, despite a very minimal level of community spread of the virus in Melbourne. Something that all involved can agree on is that the fan experience at this Olympics is going to be markedly different from past games. The organizers have released a playbook that includes prohibitions on applauding, high fiving, flag-waving, trumpet playing, or any of the general boisterousness that is part and parcel of the Japanese art of organized cheering. Temperature checks will be routinely conducted at all venues and mask-wearing compulsory and absolute (no Melbourne-style removing of masks once seated) for all spectators. Organizers are just hoping that these and soon-to-be-introduced stricter guidelines do not discourage too many domestic fans from venturing out from behind the comfort of their 4K flatscreens and the safety of their living rooms. Unfortunately, public support for the Tokyo Olympics still remains low, with many polls showing that a majority of Japanese do not support going forward with the games at all this summer. A survey by Japan’s public broadcaster NHK found that only 27% of those polled agree with holding the Olympics during a pandemic, and 32% prefer that the games be cancelled entirely. There is also growing opposition to the Olympic torch relay, with Governor Tatsuya Maruyama of Japan’s Shimane Prefecture threatening to cancel participation in the relay unless infection rates in Tokyo subside. This may be just a publicity stunt to put additional pressure on central government organizers, however, it could also serve as a catalyst for more pronounced criticism of how the lead up to the games is being handled. But perhaps the biggest concern surrounds the safety of the thousands of athletes themselves, who would need to be housed communally and transported to the various venues with minimal interaction with the outside world. This is assuming that a significant number of the 10,000 athletes slated to arrive in Tokyo in July are actually willing and able to make the trip. And then there is the question of what athletes will be able to accomplish after arrival. For example, Hashimoto predicts that only one-third of the participating athletes will be able to march in the opening ceremony, with many likely to be stuck in the processing backlog until the start of their respective events. One thing is certain, however. Japan will find a way to make the Olympics work in some capacity, regardless of how many people attend and how many sacrifices must be made by all those involved. Despite public sentiment to the contrary, corporate Japan is fully behind the games, with big-name companies like Toyota showing unwavering support and all 67 of the other corporate sponsors still on board. The Tokyo government is looking to use the games to catapult the metropolis back into a top position amongst innovative global cities, vying to run the first games that are virtually carbon neutral. Tokyo organizers will ferry around both athletes and spectators on fuel cell buses and plan to award medals made entirely from recycled mobile phone parts. If nothing else, the Tokyo games represent a chance for Japan to use the Olympic stage to highlight a turning point for the country, be it Seiko Hashimoto’s ambitious goal of achieving 40% female representation on organizing committees, or Japan’s mission to reinvent itself as a model for sustainable post-industrial societies. Let the games (hopefully) begin.
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Mar 2021

HOW TO OBTAIN A BULGARIAN WORK AND RESIDENCE PERMIT TYPE BLUE CARD OF THE EU

In order to legally work in Bulgaria as a highly qualified professional via the so-called Blue Card of the EU work and residence permit, you must first obtain a work permit. In order to qualify for such, you must hold at least a 3 years bachelor degree from an officially recognized university and a job offer from a Bulgarian employer. Work permits in Bulgaria are processed through the Employment Agency (EA).Let’s say you receive a job offer you want to accept. Firstly, your potential employer should apply for your work permit for a highly qualified professional EA. This can be done only through the EA office in the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia. The documents are submitted only in hard copies. Only original or notary verified documents are accepted. The application can be done directly from the employer or through your Immigration provider. The employer submits various company documents together with translated and legalized education documents of the employee. The processing time officially is up to 15 days but in reality, it usually takes around 3 weeks. Then, once these documents have been approved, you can prepare your visa application documents, book an interview at the closest to your Bulgarian Embassy or consulate. The processing time for the visa is up to 45 calendar days. After receiving your visa you can now enter Bulgaria and continue with the application for your local residence permit type Blue Card. The application takes places at the Migration Office responsible for your Bulgarian residence address. You have up to 180 days to submit your residence permit application, however, you can’t start officially work until you have obtained your residency card so it is advisable that you apply as soon as you arrive in the country. The review of the application documents takes up to 7 days and another 3 to 30 days (depending on the type of service you pay for) for issuing your new ID card. As soon as you receive your Blue Card you can start your employment The validity of this type of work permits is up to 4 years and it is one of the most favourable ways to legally work in Bulgaria.
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Mar 2021

France Immigration Update – March 2021

Despite the pandemic, France continues to make efforts to attract investors and qualified immigrants. Even though France has strict travel restrictions currently in place, most foreign persons considered as company representatives who have power of attorney to represent a French or foreign corporate entity are still welcome as newcomers. The above also applies to highly skilled professionals and to some employees covered by French intracompany immigration regulations. The above persons should have applied for long stay (greater than 3 months) “Talent Passport” visas which are still being processed by French consulates outside of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican. Accompanying married spouses and children under 18 years of age are also covered by the “Talent Passport” conditions and are thus permitted to enter France. It is important to emphasise that all nationalities are still subject to health controls. 
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Feb 2021

INCORPORATING IN MEXICO

General overview. Mexican General Law of Business Organizations (“Ley General de Sociedades Mercantiles” or “LGSM”) provides for six types of business entities, however, the most prevalent in Mexico are: (i) the “Sociedad Anónima” (“S.A.”) or stock corporation; and (ii) the “Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada” (“S. de R.L.”) or limited liability corporation. Both types of entities provide for limited liability of the shareholders (S.A.) or partners (S. de R.L.), which liability may not be assessed beyond the amount of their respective shareholdings or interest holdings. The S.A. is the most common entity used in Mexico for all types of business purposes, but certain foreign entities (particularly those residents in the United States) have adopted the S. de R.L. in order to opt for tax treatment abroad as a partnership. Considering that the commercial differences between the S.A. and the S. de R.L. are minor and that in Mexico both entities have the same tax treatment, our following comments are related to an S.A. Shareholders - In accordance with the LGSM, to incorporate an S.A. a minimum of two (2) shareholders are required. Such shareholders may be either individuals or corporate entities. Capital and Shares - There is no minimum capital for incorporating an S.A. The capital is represented by nominative shares which have equal economic and corporate rights. However, preferred shares with limited voting rights may also be issued if so established in the corporate by-laws. The company may issue different series of shares with specific rights per series (typically done in cases of joint ventures). At the time of incorporation or at any time thereafter, the company may adopt the modality of “variable capital”, in which case it becomes a “Sociedad Anónima de Capital Variable” or “S.A. de C.V.”. Under the variable capital modality, the company may increase or decrease the variable part of the corporate capital in an easier and less expensive process. Shares of an S.A. may be transferred freely; however, the corporate by-laws may provide that any proposed sale or transfer of shares must be authorized by the Board of Directors. Likewise, the by-laws can provide for preferential rights, drag along and tag along rights, among others. Shareholders’ Meetings - In accordance with the LGSM, the maximum authority of an S.A. is the General Shareholders’ Meeting. General Shareholders’ Meetings may be (i) Ordinary (dealing with basic, on-going corporate issues) and/or (ii) Extraordinary (usually dealing with special issues which may imply fundamental changes to the company). A General Annual Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting must be held within four months following the close of the company’s fiscal year (December 31). Special series of shares may hold Special Shareholders’ Meetings. Shareholders may personally attend the Meetings, or they may be represented by special attorneys-in-fact pursuant to simple proxy letters; however, members of the Board of Directors and Inspectors may not represent shareholders at such Meetings. Minutes of the meetings must be recorded in the Shareholders’ Meetings Minutes Book and signed at least by the President and Secretary of the Meeting. Management - Management of an S.A. may be conferred to a Sole Administrator or to a Board of Directors (two members or more), who are appointed (and/or ratified) by the General Shareholders’ Meeting. The Sole Administrator or the members of the Board may be or not shareholders of the Company, they may be Mexicans or foreigners and they do not need to reside in Mexican territory. Surveillance - The Company must appoint one or more Inspectors (“Comisarios”). Such Inspector is usually a certified public accountant in Mexico who oversees the actions of the Sole Administrator/Board of Directors and files an annual report with the General Shareholders’ Meeting regarding management’s compliance with all applicable Mexican legislation and the corporate by-laws, as well as regarding the veracity and accuracy of the annual financial statements. Incorporation process.  Incorporation Permit - The incorporation procedure requires a permit from the Mexican Ministry of Economy (“Secretaría de Economía”), which essentially reserves a corporate name (not already in use or easily confused with others) for a particular type of business entity. Drafting of Charter of incorporation and By-Laws - In accordance with Mexican law, the charter of incorporation and the corporate by-laws are usually drafted and contained in one single document known as the “acta constitutiva”. Such document provides for all the basic structural aspects of the Company (i.e., name, domicile, duration, purpose, capital and shares, management, calls to shareholders’ and board of directors’ meetings, attendance and voting quorums, shareholders’ rights and obligations, dissolution, and liquidation). Formalization before Notary Public - The charter of incorporation and by-laws (“acta constitutiva”) must be formalized before a Mexican Notary Public. At the time of formalization, the initial shareholders appear either in person or represented by attorneys-in-fact appointed pursuant to special, limited powers of attorney and, essentially, hold the first Shareholders’ Meeting to subscribe and pay the corporate capital, appoint members of the Board and grant powers of attorney in favour of officers/representatives of the Company. In the event the shareholders are represented at the time of incorporation by attorneys in fact (usually members of this Law Firm), the respective powers of attorney that we will prepare and send to you shall be filed in by a representative of each shareholder, certified before local Notary Public and, depending on the jurisdiction, apostilled or legalized before the corresponding local authority (Secretary of State or Consulate). Public Registry of Commerce - Once the charter of incorporation/by-laws have been executed and protocolized before a Mexican Notary Public, the Notary shall record the first original of such public deed before the Public Registry of Commerce of the corporate domicile. National Registry of Foreign Investment - Given that the corporation’s corporate capital will be owned by foreign investors, it must be registered within the next forty (40) business days following the date of incorporation before the National Registry of Foreign Investment. Further information has to be provided to this agency on a quarterly and yearly basis. Tax Regime - At the time of incorporation, powers of attorney must be granted in favour of the person that will act as the legal representative of the Company before Mexican Tax Authorities. The legal representative may be or not Mexican national but must be a taxpayer with current tax identifications. Likewise, the Company must have a tax domicile, which is an existing address within Mexican territory. The Company must file monthly and annual tax returns; therefore, an external accounting firm must be appointed to carry out these obligations.  
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Feb 2021

The Portuguese non-habitual resident (“NHR”) tax regime

“The NHR regime essentially grants qualifying individuals the possibility of becoming tax residents of a white-listed jurisdiction whilst legally avoiding or minimising income tax on certain categories of income and capital gains for a period of 10 years.” The non-habitual resident (“NHR”) tax regime came into force in Portugal in 2009 and is proving very successful at attracting individuals of independent means, pensioners and certain skilled professionals to establish residency in Portugal for tax purposes, while not being subject to minimum or maximum stay requirements. In addition to the non-existence in Portugal of wealth tax, or of inheritance/gift tax for close relatives, the NHR regime essentially grants qualifying individuals the possibility of becoming tax residents of a white-listed jurisdiction whilst legally avoiding or reduce the income tax on certain categories of non-Portugal sourced income and capital gains for a period of 10 years. A major feature of the NHR regime lies in its interaction with the double taxation agreements (DTAs) signed by Portugal, or with the OECD model tax convention in the absence of one. In effect, most DTAs (of which Portugal signed 79, grant the possibility to tax most categories of income to the country of source of such income, although in practice, so as to attract foreign investment, many countries will not make use of that possibility to tax non-residents. Since most such categories will not be taxed in Portugal in the hands of an NHR because they may be taxed abroad, in practice most foreign-source income types will be zero taxed in such hands. Taking the UK/Portugal DTA as an example, if you are a resident of Portugal but receive dividends from the UK, then the UK has the power to tax them under article 10, although it does not if the recipient is not a UK resident. On the other hand, Portugal will not tax such dividends in the hands of an NHR either, because the UK may tax them under the DTA. This way, the non-habitual resident of Portugal may receive dividends from UK sources completely free of tax. Under the NHR regime, the following categories of foreign-source income and capital gains (except if sourced from a blacklisted tax haven that does not have a double taxation agreement with Portugal, will be exempt from income tax in Portugal if they may be taxed in the source country, even though they will not often be taxed in the hands of non-residents in the latter country either: Dividends, interest and real estate income Capital gains from the disposal of real estate Royalties and associated income (but please note that under some conventions the source country is prevented from taxing this income, in which case it will be taxed in Portugal); b• Profits derived from eligible occupations; Capital gains from the alienation of movable property (other than shares deriving more than 50% of their value from real estate, or ships/aircraft operated in international traffic) will be tax-exempt if the relevant double taxation agreement states that they may be taxed in the source country, but this is not the case with the OECD model or with the generality of the conventions, and therefore some tax advice may be required. It should be noted that several countries often deemed “offshore tax havens” do have double taxation agreements with Portugal and, strictly in accordance with the relevant legal provisions, are therefore white-listed for the purposes of the NHR regime. However, in practice, this is not always the case and blacklisted tax havens should preferably be avoided as income source countries by someone who wishes to avoid any confrontation with the tax authorities. In any case, all EU member states are white-listed, even though several such states may in many ways be used as “offshore tax havens”, especially by non-residents thereof. Pensions will be liable to a 10% flat tax rate in Portugal provided they are not deemed sourced from Portugal. Foreign-source income from employment (including fees of directors and entertainers or sportsmen) will not be taxed in Portugal if it is taxed (at whatever rate) in the source country in accordance with a double tax treaty. Portuguese-source income depends on whether it is derived from eligible occupations Employment income (including fees of directors and entertainers/sportsmen), business or self-employment profits and royalties (including payments for know-how), if derived from eligible occupations will be subject to a 20% flat rate; Other Portuguese-source income will be taxed at the normal rates applicable to regular resident taxpayers; A surcharge of 2.5% is imposed on the slice of total taxable income between €80,640 and €250,000; and a surcharge of 5% on the slice of income that exceeds €250,000. So as to maximise the advantages of the NHR regime, one has to take into account not only Portuguese tax law but also the tax law of the source country of the income, as well as the double taxation agreements (or the OECD model convention) applicable to the foreign-source income and gains one is to receive as an NHR. Main benefits Residency of a white-listed, EU-member, country. No minimum stay requirements in Portugal (but care must be taken to avoid deemed tax residence in another country). Possibility of enjoying a tax-exemption on the following types of non-Portuguese source income for 10 years: Dividends; Interest; Real estate income; Capital gains from the disposal of real estate, of shares deriving more than 50% of their value from real estate, and of ships/aircraft operated in international traffic; Royalties and other income from know-how (with some exceptions); Business and self-employment profits derived from eligible occupations (but do check the relevant double taxation agreement in this respect). Possibility of paying tax at a flat rate of 20% during at least 10 years on Portuguese-source employment income, fees, profits and royalties if derived from eligible occupations. Possibility of paying tax at a flat rate of 10% during at least 10 years on pensions and similar remuneration obtained abroad. Ability to pass on wealth to a spouse, life partner, and direct descendants or ascendants, without payment of inheritance or gift taxes.
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Feb 2021

How to Get Mexican Citizenship

The process of obtaining Mexican citizenship or becoming naturalized is quite straightforward. You might consider this if you are a long-term resident, or you have family in the country. As usual, you must meet their requirements and present the correct documentation to the authorities (SRE – External Relations Secretariat). As a naturalized Mexican you will enjoy similar rights and privileges of your fellow citizens. These include voting and the right to own property near the borders. In this article, we outline what you need to do. Requirements for Mexican Citizenship Application Original and one copy of the following, unless indicated otherwise: Completed application form DNN-3 Resident card (two copies) – valid for 6+ months from the application date, and proving Mexican residency for two or five years previous to the application date CURP – Clave Única de Registro de Población (Unique Population Registry Code)  Legalized/apostilled foreign birth certificate – translated into Spanish by a court-certified translator (read more about apostillization here) Passport or alternative valid ID – two copies of all pages of the passport Resident card. This document must demonstrate consecutive residency in the country for five/two years immediately prior to the date of application. This document must be valid for at least six months after filing the application.  A letter under oath declaring the number of exits from and entries to Mexico for the two years preceding the application (two copies) Clean Criminal Record Certificate (Certificado de No Antecedentes Penales) issued by the national and local authority for your place of residency  Proof of your knowledge of the Spanish language, the history of the country and your cultural integration in Mexico Two passport-size photos: white background, no glasses, bare head  Proof of payment of application fees Applicants must take a test to demonstrate their knowledge of the items in 9. Consult the government website for a study guide: https://sre.gob.mx/tramites-y-servicios/nacionalidad-y-naturalizacion (Over 60s and children are exempt from this requirement.) Why Become a Naturalized Mexican? To enjoy the same rights as other Mexican citizens, specifically: the right to buy property in restricted areas without the need for a trust (fideicomiso).  the right to vote in Mexico.  change residence and job without having to inform the immigration authority. to avoid renewing temporary residency.  priority at airport immigration –  avoid the tourist lines. Things to Be Aware Of To apply, you must be able to demonstrate legal residency in Mexico for at least five consecutive years prior to the application date. This requirement is only two years if you have a Mexican spouse or child. Similarly, it is two years if you are a Spanish or Latin American national. Furthermore, you cannot have been outside Mexico for more than a total of 180 days in the two years prior to your application. Finally, having applied for Mexican citizenship, you will no longer have the right to consular protection from your home country while you are in Mexico.
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Feb 2021

UK-EU Trade Agreement: a remedy or a band-aid to a gun wound?

United Kingdom's exit from the EU, the world's largest trading market, landed a severe blow to UK businesses wishing to continue their operations within the single market. While the new Trade and Customs Agreement aims to soften that blow, it is becoming clear that its effects are severely limited. The biggest hallmark of the Agreement is that it has, on the part of the EU, achieved the unimaginable by omitting tariffs and quotas. While on its face a great success, this provision comes with an important caveat, namely the re-balancing mechanism which allows both parties to reintroduce tariffs in the form of countermeasures if they believe that the other party's subsidy policy is detrimental to them. This creates great uncertainty for businesses as they are left at the mercy of country leaders which often act on a whim. Additionally, the deal has not managed to ease the difficulties which will be brought in the areas of customs and rules of origins, which will prove to be highly difficult for businesses to navigate for the future. As the UK has ceased to oblige by the EU rules concerning the standards of imported products, UK businesses will face a mountain of paperwork to prove that their goods meet the high requirements set by the deal. In addition, businesses dealing with the export of animal products will face severe challenges and a restriction on the import of certain products due to the EU's stringent laws. Consequentially, businesses will undoubtedly experience delays and additional costs due to border checks and the incumbent paperwork. The new requirement of export licences will stall trade and dealing without a licence will result in criminal liability. Furthermore, UK businesses dealing within the financial services market are faced with the hurdle of regaining access to the EU market. The Agreement has been unsuccessful in dealing with this matter which resulted in a lot of uncertainty for the financial services businesses as they must await the individual decisions from the EU, as well as the prospect of having the licence revoked at any moment. Importantly, COVID-19 has significantly impacted the businesses possibility to prepare for the UK's formal exit from the EU. The pandemic has weighed heavily on the financial means of the businesses who are now faced with high costs of obtaining licences and filing paperwork. In light of the situation, London, as the largest financial and marketing hub of the EU, is being replaced by Amsterdam, with many businesses choosing to incorporate a branch in the Netherlands due to the low capital requirements and favourable tax legislation. Many of the world's largest names, including JPMorgan Chase, have opened branches in the EU.5 While the Agreement is a welcome aide to the future trade relationship between the EU and the UK, it can scarcely be said that it allows for what is deemed to be, in the purest form, free trade. Businesses are advised to, if they wish to benefit from the EU single market, consider establishing a presence within the EU.
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Feb 2021

SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES SUPPORT IN SOUTH AFRICA

The small and medium-sized enterprises sector is the lifeblood of successful economies and they should be supported in every manner possible. It is for this reason that amidst a heavy hand from the state, the tax and accounting practice Indevaldi has expanded its service offering to include a regulatory compliance unit. The new unit’s focus is on the entire statutory corpus, inclusive of constitutional principles, legislation, regulations, by-laws, policies, governance frameworks and guidelines, irrespective of jurisdiction, and it helps small to medium-sized businesses to properly understand their statutory environment, to effectively steer around pitfalls and negative consequences, whether financial or reputational and to maintain compliance once achieved. While the new unit is active from plant floor upwards to board level, its immediate focus in current South Africa is supporting clients towards compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act, with the window period for compliance closing on 30 June 2021. It is trite that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) serve as the engine room of vibrant economies. Typically, these SME’s stimulate job creation, employment, innovation, and economic growth. The most important outcome of all of these is an improvement in the well-being of the citizens of those countries encouraging and supporting SME’s with clever policy measures and with capable government institutions. A widely used indicator of the extent to which countries succeed in welcoming SME’s is found in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business index. This index compares business regulations of 190 countries and serves as a valuable guide to both policymakers and investors. Interestingly, while increased regulatory activity obviously increases the costs of doing business, since 2003/04 the 20 best-performing economies on this index have carried out a total of 464 regulatory changes, but they have also pushed through 20 significant reforms during this period which helps to explain their top rankings. This suggests that regulatory reform albeit it expensive could encourage and sustain businesses. Not surprisingly, the Doing Business index finds that greater ease of doing business is associated with higher levels of entrepreneurship. Therefore, developing economies should want to strike a balance between control, however, justified, and encouraging entrepreneurs. Indeed, the latest index reports that the cost of starting a business has fallen over time in developing economies, suggesting a moderation of the regulatory environment. Yet, South Africa’s position on this index has weakened from 82 to 84 for 2020. Consider the following rankings of peers: Mauritius 13; Thailand 21; Turkey 33; Rwanda 38; Kenya 56; Chili 58; Zambia 85; Botswana 87; Namibia 104; Egypt 114; Ghana 118; Nigeria 131.   How should the SME sector in South Africa and elsewhere then be supported in navigating a smothering regulatory environment? One answer obviously lies in education and training. Yet another lie in offering a regulatory compliance service focusing on the SME sector like Indevaldi Regulatory Compliance Services does since January 2021.   Through pursuing an ethos of integrity, a pathos of understanding and a logos of underlying structure and organization, Indevaldi offers to SME’s everywhere the ability to assess and convey in understandable terms those pieces of legislation and associated regulations relevant for their specific industries, and the capacity to guide them systematically towards optimized compliance and maximum commercial benefit.   While South Africa takes the back seat with aspects such as contracting with government, ease of hiring and firing, and the ease of redundancy, it also has now promulgated data protection regulations, known for slowing business necessary though it may be. Leaning on best practices from jurisdictions such as the European Union, South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information legislation is particularly comprehensive, setting stiff penalties for non-compliance. At Indevaldi, therefore, the focus is on assessment to determine compliance gaps for its clients, implementing the specific steps necessary to remedy shortcomings, composing and implementing policy, inducting staff to operate and adapt to the new standard operating procedures, and regularly returning to help maintain a status quo of compliance.  
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Feb 2021

How to Obtain a Mexican Work Visa via a Job Offer or New Business

In order to legally work in Mexico, you must obtain a work visa in one of two ways: through a job offer from a Mexican employer, or by opening a business there. You then have your own company hire you as an employee. Work permits in Mexico are processed through the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM). Mexican Work Visa from a Job Offer Let’s say you receive a job offer you want to accept. Firstly, your potential employer should apply for your work visa at the INM. This can be done through the INM office directly or by using an immigration specialist. The employer submits various company documents proving its legal existence, that taxes are paid, and the identity of the representative. Then, once these documents have been approved, you book an interview at a Mexican consulate outside Mexico. At this interview, you get a Mexican Visa sticker in your passport. You have 180 days to return to Mexico from that date. Upon returning to Mexico, do not enter as a tourist. Ensure the INM agent sees your sticker and updates your Forma Migratoria Multiple (FFM) accordingly. They will then allow you 30 days to report to the INM. This part of the process is called the canje (exchange) and is handled by the immigration office in Mexico. Eventually, you exchange your 30-day visa for temporary residency with permission to work. Mexican Work Visa as a Business Owner If you own a business in Mexico, you also require permission to work. First, your company needs to register for Constancia de Empleador at the INM, allowing it to hire foreigners. The requirements are: Constitutive Act – original and copy Public registry record Fee payments Up-to-date tax document Annual tax payment Original I.D. of the legal representative Proof of residence – current and original electricity or water bill Photos of premises – 3 inside and 3 outside Google maps location indicator Letterheads on opaline paper with colour logo, RFC (Federal register of contributors number), address, telephone number, website, and email IMSS (social security) list of Mexican and foreign employees, specifying positions and nationality IMSS (social security) receipt
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Press Release
Feb 2021

Asma Bashir named newest member of Leaders First

Leaders First is a global membership organisation supporting professionals to expand their business network and to learn new skills. With active hubs in the UK, Italy, Russia and the USA, their global network of members is spread over 20 different countries. The core belief of Leaders First is that leaders from different industries can learn from each other. The community of Leaders First includes top managers, business owners, emerging leaders, family business members, investors, family office representatives and entrepreneurs across different sectors.In a press release on LinkedIn, Leaders First announced our chairman Asma Bashir as their newest member. "We are very proud to welcome a new Premium Member - Asma Bashir - Investor, Speaker, Judge, Chairman at Centuro Global. Asma is a legal professional with over 20 years of experience having built a business in over 15 countries around the world.She sold her business in 2015 to an American private equity firm before embarking on a new journey to work with entrepreneurs and help companies go global. She is an investor, mentor and a speaker at many events with a focus on innovation and future leaders".Read the full press release here.
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Feb 2021

Global Talent Scheme and Independent Program

Global Talent Scheme The Global Talent Scheme (GTS) allows Australian companies including start-ups, a pathway to sponsor highly skilled and specialised workers not covered by the standard 482 programs. This program also caters for new and emerging STEM positions where the occupations will not already be approved for visa purposes. There are two visa streams in this program, these are: Employer-Sponsored Program Established Business Stream (GTES) Start-Up Stream Established employers who have an agreement in place with the Immigration Department can sponsor up to 20 applicants per year over 5 years. The business must be an accredited and current Standard Business Sponsor. There is a minimum annual earnings requirement which is set at the Fair Work High Income Threshold  which for FY 20/21 is $153,600. Start-up businesses can sponsor up to 5 applicants per year. This stream allows employers to sponsor start-ups operating in a technology or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related field. Start-ups must be endorsed by the independent GTS start-up advisory panel. In order to gain endorsement, the business will need to have received an investment of at least $50,000 from an investment fund registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership or received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant. There is a minimum annual earnings requirement of no less than $80,000 which can be made up of partial equity and cash. Occupation Lists The GTS Agreement must specify the occupations that are to be filled over the 5 years. Unlike the standard sponsorship program, the occupations do not have to be listed in the approved list of occupations used in the 482 and 186 (Employer Nominated Scheme) programs and sponsors can apply to have their occupations approved by Immigration.  Age Requirement Applicants applying for permanent residence under visa subclass 186 will generally be eligible to apply up to the age of 55 years. An increase in the age limit can be negotiated Labour Market Testing The sponsor is required to test the local labour market which requires the business to advertise the position as per labour market testing requirements. Global Talent Independent Program The program offers a streamlined variety priority visa pathway for highly skilled individuals to work and live permanently in Australia and is designed to strengthen Australia’s ability to compete for the world’s best and brightest skilled migrants and grow Australian businesses of the future. The eligibility requirements for the program include that the candidate: is highly skilled and internationally recognized in one of seven target sectors (listed below); and  has the ability to earn the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently $153,600). In assessing whether a candidate is likely to have the ability to meet this salary threshold, the Department will consider current salary or future job offers; as well as candidates who have recently graduated or are soon to graduate with PhDs or Masters qualifications in the target sectors. The following target sectors have been selected to foster growth in future-focused industries:  AgTech FinTech MedTech Cyber Security Space and Advanced Manufacturing Energy and Mining Technology Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT How to apply? Individuals who meet the requirements will be provided with a unique Global Talent Identifier, which provides priority processing for a Distinguished Talent Visa application. You must register with the immigrations Department to be provided with a unique identifier number. Candidates accepted into the program will receive streamlined, priority processing to meet the Distinguished Talent Visa regulatory criteria. All visa applicants need including health and character requirements before a visa can be granted.  
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Feb 2021

Egypt your Ideal destination for Investment

Egypt, situated in a strategic geopolitical location which gives it an ideal advantage of access to the markets through various trade agreements i.e. Pan Arab Free Trade Agreement/ Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement (GAFTA), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Egypt-MERCOSUR Free Trade Agreement etc. Being a party to such trade agreements gives Egypt access to 1.5 billion consumers of which 100 million consumers are in Egypt.  Further, the international reports indicate that Egypt continues to progress i.e. according to the World Bank Report, Egypt ranked 114th out of 190 countries instead of 120 in 2019. In facilitating start-ups, Egypt ranked 90 in 2020 instead of 109 in 2019; In Protecting Minority Investors, Egypt jumped 15 positions from 72 to 57 due to legislative reforms. The reports, also, expect the Egyptian economy to grow at 6% in 2021 instead of 5.8% in2020.  To have a Legal presence in Egypt, one of the following entities may be established: Limited Liability Company “LLC”; Joint Stock Company “JSC”; Sole Individual Limited Company; Branch; Representative Office;  We will concentrate on the most common two preferred types by investors:Limited Liability Company’s Characteristics: It should consist of, at least, two partners. Capital shall be divided into allocations. The partners may be individuals or legal entities. It will be managed by a Manager or group of Managers. There is no minimum capital requirement. In the past, the capital should be fully deposited before establishment however, this condition has been lifted to ease the establishment process. Except for certain activities i.e. importation  It may be fully owned by foreigners except for importation purposes. In past importations, the purpose was limited to only Egyptians however, the condition has been lifted to encourage investment in Egypt. Currently, foreigners may establish a company with the purpose of which is importation provided that the percentage of foreigners’ participation should not be more than 49%. There is no Egyptian Manager.  The liability of the partner vis-à-vis third parties will be limited to his/her allocation. Investors preferred this type to examine the market, first, before expanding.  Joint Stock Company “JSC” Characteristics:  It should consist of, at least, three shareholders; Capital shall be divided into shares; The shareholders may be individuals or legal entities;  It will be managed by a board of directors to be elected by the shareholders; The minimum capital is EGP 250.000 and for certain purposes, the capital should be raised to EGP 500.000. The capital will not fully be deposited upon the establishment. 10% will be added before establishment to be raised to 25% within three months of the establishment to be fully deposited within five years.  May be fully owned by foreigners except for importation purposes.  The liability of the partner vis-à-vis third parties will be limited to his/her shares. Tax Treatment: Both entities are subject to an annual tax of 22.5 % on the net profits. 
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Feb 2021

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to step down as CEO this summer

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced that he will be stepping down as CEO of the Seattle-based eCommerce giant this summer.   As part of a group of leading business and entrepreneurial figures in the UK, Our CEO, Zain Ali shares his opinion on this transition in an article for Business Leader Magazine.   “From starting as an online bookstore to becoming the world’s most valuable company, Jeff Bezos’ reign as founder and CEO of Amazon has been an overwhelming success. Whilst there are a number of question marks surrounding ethics relating to anti-trust and worker conditions, which should not be ignored, the most remarkable features of Amazon have to be its innovation.   Under Bezos’ management, Amazon has always been one step ahead, pioneering online retail when people did not know what the internet was, building up mass revenues from behind the scenes with cloud computing, and now dominating the AI smart device market with Alexa. The way Amazon has also tackled international expansion and adapted to local markets such as offering in-store credits for the unbanked to deposit cash in developing regions has always been striking. Bezos’ grit for problem-solving and focusing on the end consumer is a big contributor to the company’s success. The fact that Bezos is stepping down to focus on new ventures may actually mean there is even more innovation to come from Amazon, with time potentially freed up for more creative thinking. Having slogged for almost three decades, and achieved sales exceeding $386 billion in 2020, now is as good a time as any to take a step back, enjoy the success and focus on other passions. It will be interesting to see how Bezos manages to transition from out of a role of absolute control and power after so many years and how his successor will fare.” Read the full article here.
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Jan 2021

The Biggest News You Likely Missed

Covid infection rates and vaccine trials have dominated news headlines. Yet, our intense focus on the pandemic has overshadowed the progress being made in other areas. One important news item that may have an enormous impact on the world is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). RCEP is a free trade agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and six other regional countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea. Notably, RCEP is the first multilateral trade agreement in which China has participated. India had initially been in the negotiations but subsequently pulled back, although the members have indicated that India still has the potential to join in the future. The agreement was signed in November of 2020 and is the largest trade deal globally, outsizing the EU and the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement. RCEP signatories also represent one-third of the world population and almost 30% of global GDP, percentages that would increase significantly should India come on board. And while many of the member countries have existing bi-lateral trade agreements, under RCEP each country is treated equally across the trading block, breaking down barriers and complications. That in and of itself should make negotiations easier and help to lower costs. Additionally, by reducing complicated tariffs between members, RCEP has the potential to increase intra-Asian trade and investment. The favourable treatment of “Common Rules of Origin” written into the pact should also encourage foreign investors to enter the region. Overall, RCEP will make doing business within Asia easier and more beneficial to all parties involved. The true impact of RCEP will become clearer over time, although it is expected that the “big three” East Asian countries of China, Japan, and the ROK will benefit most in the short term, with a combined potential export gain of over USD 400 billion. Members will also wait to see if the new Biden administration can move quickly to assert more influence on the world stage. If the US does decide to join the pact at a later point, it would represent an effective counterbalance to China, however at the same time serve to dilute the overall regional impact of the agreement. For the time being, all eyes are on the ratification process expected to conclude later this year, with approval needed by six ASEAN countries and three non-ASEAN members.More information can be found here: https://rcepsec.org/    
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Jan 2021

South Africa Immigration Update – January 2021

Concession for Visas Expired During Lockdown and Permanent Residents As per an extended Ministerial exemption, no-one whose visa has expired during or shortly before the lockdown will be penalized. Persons with visas that have expired after 15 February are permitted to stay in the country, leave the country or make an application for a new visa, until 31 January 2021 without being declared illegal, undesirable or having to be legalized first. Short-term visitors (or “tourist”) visas that have expired during this time will not be extended again. Such tourist visa extensions are only granted to persons who arrived in the country after the re-opening of borders in September. Due to high volumes of applications and limited capacity under Covid-10 restrictions, securing appointments for applications or collections of outcomes has become increasingly difficult. You are welcome to contact us should you require assistance. Others affected by the travel restrictions and the health risks of travelling during the pandemic may also benefit from concessions. According to information received by Imcosa, permanent residents who have spent an extended time outside the country and were prevented from returning to South Africa during 2020 to avoid the lapsing of their permits (usually the case after an absence from the country of longer than 3 years), will not lose their status. Similarly, persons who have received their permanent residence, but not been able to take up residence in South Africa within the specified period, will not lose their status. Official confirmation of this concession is still being awaited. Visa Applications Open, Permanent Residence and Citizenship (Largely) NotThe Department of Home Affairs, its service provider VFS Global and most South African Embassies and Consulates abroad are open for short- and long-term visa applications, waivers and appeals. In fact, local visa applications are being processed comparatively fast. Permanent residence results are being issued and can be collected. However, due to the restrictions of Covid-19 regulations, offices can only work with a much-reduced staff contingent and thus at a lower capacity. Thus, applications for permanent residence and citizenship are not yet possible (with few exceptions which accept citizenship applications). Understandably, managing large numbers of people safe during this time is a challenge. Every Covid case on-premise leads to the closing of an office for 7-10 days, which further increases the pressure on the system. We, therefore, feel that the appeal for our patience is a reasonable one. We are hoping that further applications will open during the first term of 2021. Visa Concessions for Seconded WorkersTo promote economic growth and accommodate persons currently seconded to South Africa, holders of intra-company transfer visas may now apply to have their visas extended locally by another two years! This comes as a great relief to seconded experts and their families who can now avoid having to return to their home countries and awaiting an outcome there. The concession applies to those whose visas expired during a lockdown or will expire by the end of June 2021. For further information and assistance, you are welcome to contact our team.
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Jan 2021

TAXATION OF MALTA COMPANIES

Since joining the EU in May 2004 and the Eurozone in 2008, Malta has become an attractive financial services centre which serves as a base for international investors for their activities. Malta offers various benefits to companies that are either resident or registered in Malta including a skilled workforce, low operational costs, various tax incentives and a double tax treaty network with over seventy countries. Company Tax Rate In terms of Maltese income tax legislation, a company is a resident in Malta if it is incorporated in Malta. If the company is incorporated outside Malta, it is still resident in Malta, if its effective management and control are exercised in Malta. Companies are subject to tax in Malta at the standard corporate tax rate of 35%. Full Imputation System Malta adopts the full imputation system, which means that shareholders of a Malta company, will be entitled to a tax credit equivalent to the tax paid by the company upon a distribution of profits. The purpose of the imputation system is to eliminate any economic double taxation that might arise on the distribution of dividends, meaning that company profits will not be subject to tax twice, first at the corporate level, then at the shareholder level. The highest rate of tax applicable to individual shareholders is equivalent to the corporate rate of tax (35%), meaning that no further tax will be due on the distribution of profits. Tax Accounting for Companies Companies must allocate their profits to one of the following tax accounts: Foreign Income Account (FIA) - royalties, dividends, capital gains, interest and other passive income arising outside Malta are allocated to this account. Maltese Taxed Account (MTA) - profits of a company which are not allocated to the FIA and which have suffered Malta tax are allocated to this account. Immovable Property Account (IPA) - profits derived from transfers of immovable property situated in Malta and from other activities which are related directly or indirectly to immovable property situated in Malta are allocated to this account. Final Tax Account (FTA) - profits which are exempt from tax and which are also exempt in the hands of the shareholders upon distribution are allocated to this account. Untaxed Account (UA) – the difference between the company’s accounting profits (or losses) and the total amounts allocated to the above four tax accounts are allocated to this account. The proper allocation of profits to the correct tax accounts is of utmost importance in view of the refundable tax credit system explained below. Refunds of tax by shareholders can only be claimed in respect of dividends which are distributed from the FIA and MTA. Distributions from the FTA, IPA and UA do not entitle the shareholders to a tax refund. Tax refunds can only be claimed by shareholders who are registered to receive them and the number of refunds received will depend on the nature and source of income derived by the Malta distributing company. Refundable Tax Credit System Shareholders of companies registered in Malta are entitled to a tax refund upon the distribution of profits. In general, the tax refund amounts to 6/7ths of the tax paid by the company resulting in a maximum effective tax rate of 5% after-tax refunds. Where double taxation relief is claimed by the company in respect of foreign tax suffered, the effective tax rate can be reduced further to 0%. In the circumstances where the profits distributed are made up of passive interest or royalties, the tax refund is reduced to 5/7ths of the tax charge, resulting in a maximum net tax paid in Malta of 10% after-tax refunds. Passive interest and royalty income is income which has not been derived directly or indirectly from a trade or business and where such interest or royalty income has not suffered or suffered any foreign tax, directly, by way of withholding or otherwise, at a rate of tax which is less than 5%. Where the company has opted to claim relief from double taxation on its income which stands to be allocated to its foreign income account, refunds to shareholders will amount to 2/3rds of the total tax paid (including foreign tax). If the relief from double taxation claimed is the Flat Rate Foreign Tax Credit (refer to the section on Double Taxation Relief) the tax refund will amount to 2/3rds of the Malta tax paid. In general, the tax refunds are calculated on the total tax paid including foreign tax, subject to the tax refund not exceeding the Malta tax suffered. The only exception is where the FRFTC is claimed, as mentioned above.The following is an example illustrating the 6/7ths refund: Company Profit before tax                                                                                                               €1,000 Tax at 35%                                                                                                                            (€ 35 0)     Profit after tax                                                                                                                     €650 Shareholder Refund on the distribution (6/7ths tax refund)                                                      €300 Effective rate of tax on profit before tax                                                               5%           Double Tax Relief in Malta Under the Malta Tax regime, relief from double taxation is available under various mechanisms. Double Tax Agreements To date, Malta has concluded more than 72 double taxation agreements for the avoidance of double taxation with various countries.Malta’s double tax treaties are largely based on the OECD Model Convention and grants relief from double taxation using the credit method. Unilateral Relief Malta grants also relief from double taxation under unilateral relief whereby overseas tax incurred on income received from a country with which Malta does not have a tax treaty can be claimed as a credit against the tax due in Malta. The credit cannot exceed the total of Maltese tax payable. To claim the unilateral relief, the recipient of the income must prove the following to the satisfaction of the Commissioner: That the income arose from overseas; That the income was subject to tax outside of Malta; and Proof of tax paid abroad. Unilateral relief is only available in cases where there is no double taxation relief. Flat-rate foreign tax credit (FRFTC) The flat-rate foreign tax credit can be claimed by Maltese companies which receive income or capital gains from overseas and which income is allocated to the Foreign Income Account of the company. The FRFTC is calculated at 25% of the amount of the overseas income or gain received by the company, before allowable expenses. The income along with the credit less deductible expenses will be subject to full Maltese income tax with relief for the estimated credit (up to a maximum of 85% of the Malta tax payable). Participation Exemption Malta Holding companies that are in receipt of dividend income or capital gains from a ‘participating holding’ or from income arising from the disposal of that same holding may benefit from the participation exemption. Malta's participation exemption on capital gains is also extended to domestic holdings of shares, hence capital gains arising from the transfer of a participating holding in a Malta company are also eligible for the exemption. A participating holding arises when a company holds equity shares in a company or a qualifying body of persons which does not own immovable property and which give it any two of the right to vote, the right to receive a dividend and right over assets upon the liquidation of the company. Moreover, a participating holding must meet one of the following criteria: Has at least 5% of the equity shares in the other company; or Is an equity shareholder in a company and the equity shareholder company is entitled to the option to call for and acquire the entire balance of the equity shares of the non-resident company and is entitled to the Right to the first refusal to purchase such shares; or Is an equity shareholder in a company and is entitled to sit on the Board or appoint a person to sit on the Board of that company as a director; or Is an equity shareholder in a company which invests a minimum sum of €1,164,000 and such investment is held for an uninterrupted period of 183 days; or Holds the shares in the company for the continuance of its own business and the holding is not held as trading stock for the purpose of a trade. As per the Malta tax structure, Dividends resulting from a participating holding in an EU resident company is exempted from tax in Malta in all cases. Tax on dividends received from a participating holding in a non-EU resident company are exempt in Malta provided at least one of the following additional criteria is fulfilled: The said non-resident company is subject to a foreign tax of a minimum of 15%; or The said non-resident company does not derive more than 50% of its income from passive interest and royalties; or The shares in the non-resident company are not a portfolio investment and the non-resident company or its passive interest or royalties have been subject to tax at a rate which is not less than 5%. Two Tier Structures To take maximum advantage of the refundable tax credit system, it is very common for a Malta trading company to be owned by a Malta holding company. The Malta holding company will serve as a dividend feeder company, receiving dividends from the Maltese trading company and tax refunds from the Maltese tax authorities. This avoids the problem of classification of income in those foreign countries which consider the tax refund as a dividend or any other income. Any dividends and tax refunds received by the Malta holding company can be either distributed to the ultimate beneficial owners in the form of dividends or reinvested in the operating company. Malta does not impose any withholding tax on the distribution of dividends and due to its full imputation system of taxation, the tax suffered at the level of the Malta trading company will be granted as a credit against the tax due by the Malta holding company upon receipt of a dividend. Therefore the Malta holding company will not incur any further tax on the dividends received from the Malta trading company. Exemption from Stamp Duty Companies whose business activities are mainly carried out outside Malta are eligible for an exemption from stamp duty on the transfer of shares. This exemption from duty also applies where more than half of the ordinary share capital, voting rights and rights to profits are held by persons who are not resident in Malta. Stamp duty is paid by the person acquiring the shares. The above-mentioned exemption also applies to the transfer of shares by/to such companies. No Withholding Tax Malta does not impose any withholding tax on the outbound payment of dividends, interest and royalties.  
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Jan 2021

Cannabis Update

As mentioned in our last Cannabis Update dated November 20, 2020, finally on January 12, 2021, Mexico issued the Regulations to the General Health Law regarding the Sanitary Control for the Production, Research and Medical Use of Cannabis and its derivatives (the “Regulations”). The General Health Law was amended in June 2017 precisely to regulate the medical use of Cannabis but, so far, no secondary legislation was implemented despite the Supreme Court resolution issued in August 2019. The Regulations establish specific rules for the research; production; medical purposes; manufacture and destruction of raw material, pharmacology derivatives and Cannabis-based medicines. Quality and manufacture controls will be guaranteed as holders of a sanitary registry must have as well a quality control laboratory, duly authorized by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (“Cofepris”). Raw material, pharmacology derivatives and Cannabis-based medicines can be imported into Mexico. Only pharmacology derivatives and Cannabis-based medicines may be exported to other countries. Sowing, cultivation and harvest of Cannabis must be done in restricted areas with special authorizations. Besides granting legal certainty to the medical cannabis industry, the Regulations will also clarify the current situation of those permits granted under the Guidelines issued by Cofepris on October 30, 2018, but revoked later by the current administration on March 27, 2019. The Regulations, in no manner whatsoever, interfere with the Federal Law for the Regulation of Cannabis which awaits approval by the Lower Chamber of the Mexican Congress and will regulate adult-use cannabis and hemp industry. For further information please contact: Juan Daniel Rodriguez drodriguez@rrsc.com.mx Ana Laura Gurria agurria@rrsc.com.mx
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Blog
Jan 2021

Immigration to Mexico: Who Does It and Why?

Immigration to Mexico from the US, Canada and other locations, such as Argentina, is increasing. Mexico’s immigrant population is diverse and everyone has their own reasons for doing it. For some, it’s more about leaving their old lives behind in their home country. For others, Mexico specifically, is an attractive land of opportunity. In this article, we explore who is likely to leave the US and Canada for Mexico and why. Who Immigrates to Mexico? Retirees Mexico is a hot spot for retirees from the US and Canada who want their pension to go further. The cost of living in other North American countries compared to Mexico is significantly higher. Many pensioners are struggling to survive on their pensions and their quality of life is decreasing at home. In Mexico, that all changes. A US pension will generally allow for better value accommodation and utilities, regular socializing, quality healthcare, and some financial flexibility. Pensioners who relocate to Mexico find themselves in the company of many similarly aged and minded people. And with cheap flights back to the US and Canada, the family is never too far away. Snowbirds Although many retirees fit into this category, snowbirds can be any age.  Snowbirds come from countries with cold climates that they escape from during the winter. Mexico’s warm coasts are popular destinations for snowbirds who leave the cold behind for up to six months of the year. If you hold temporary or permanent Mexican residency you can enter and exit the country unconditionally. The maximum stay for tourists is 180 days. Families More and more US and Canadian families with young children are also immigrating to Mexico. There are many private and international schools in popular ex-pat locations. They are often bilingual and fees are generally significantly less than in the rest of North America. Parents value the unique cultural experience their children gain by living in a foreign country. The lower cost of living also means many families enjoy a better quality of life and can spend more time together. Entrepreneurs According to the World Bank, Mexico is the second-largest economy in Latin America. It is a strong worldwide player in the real estate, tourism and fintech industries, and a supporter of start-ups and innovation. Many entrepreneurs from the US and Canada see Mexico as a promising market for investment and development. Its low cost of living also makes it an attractive base for those starting out on a new venture. Quintana Roo specifically has been targeting the so-called digital nomad market. Popular initiatives that attract mobile, online workers are co-working spaces and ‘nomad’ events. Needless to say, there are many reasons to immigrate to Mexico; the food, warm, welcoming people, and outstanding nature are all attractions. We have listed a few more in our blog:10 Simple Reasons to Move to Mexico.  If you are also curious about immigration to Mexico or would like a personal consultation, email Adriana Vela at info@immigrationtomexico.mx.
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Press Release
Jan 2021

Centuro Global Partners with Office Freedom

Office Freedom now representing the UK as part of the Centuro Global Network Office Freedom has been appointed as a key Global Partner providing flexible office space globally to our community.Centuro Global is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development and promoting innovative solutions for start-ups, SMEs and corporates around the world. With this new appointment, Office Freedom, will join a powerful network of global expansion experts and encourage further global growth. The inclusion of Office Freedom provides a wide range of opportunities and opens doors for economic development and greater involvement on the global business stage. Asma Bashir, Chairwoman of Centuro Global welcomes this appointment and states "Centuro Global supports startups, scaleups and high-growth businesses scale globally by providing access to valuable know-how and strategic partners around the world, saving businesses both time and money. We aim to help more companies successfully grow and in turn contribute to both the local UK economy and the world economy as a whole. We strongly believe that this will further be made possible through this appointment and look forward to working closely with Office Freedom".Richard Smith, CEO of Office Freedom commented, "We are exceptionally proud and excited by this exclusive appointment which means we can now help Centuro Global members worldwide find office space by accessing our One-Stop-Gateway to the Flexible, Serviced, Leased and Managed Office Industry".Learn more about Office Freedom and their services here.  
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Event
Jan 2021

Scaling Your Business to Latin America

Latin America presents a fantastic growth opportunity for scaling companies in their global expansion journey. The region is yet to be saturated with software like many other territories, it has one of the highest predicted GDP growth rates for 2021 in the world, and there is a high-skill talent pool to be tapped into. Infrastructure has also rapidly developed across the continent and the region has also become more politically stable in recent years. Nonetheless, doing business in Latin America also comes with a host of challenges.WATCH THE LIVE RECORDING HERE Companies frequently struggle to make critical decisions during the global expansion process. Rather than spending weeks and months researching information and looking for service providers, join our panel of local experts on Wednesday, 27 January 2021 as they share vital initial decision-making information to give you a competitive advantage in your expansion journey. Join us as we discuss everything you need to know around: • Conducting market assessments • Cultural Adaptations • Determining the best market entry options • Corporate & Employment law • Tax requirements • Managing your HR and payroll Webinar Host: Asma Bashir Asma is a former founder of Newland Chase and current Chairman of Centuro Global. She is a mentor on the Mayor's International Business Programme as well as a Senator of the World Business Angel Forum.Speakers: Neil Montgomery Neil is the Founding and Managing Partner of Montgomery & Associados. He is a lecturer on Doing Business in Brazil at the renowned Brazilian business school Fundação Getúlio Vargas – FGV) and author of several published articles on Brazilian aviation, corporate and international law, arbitration, labour and employment and gaming law. Juan Daniel Rodríguez Cardoso Juan Daniel Rodriguez is a Managing Partner at Rodríguez Rueda, S.C., in Mexico City. With several degrees ranging from Law to telecommunications, Daniel is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, International Technology Law Association, International Bar Association and Barra Mexicana, Colegio De Abogados, A.C. Arnaud Bleuez Arnaud Bleuez is Partner & Director at BPC Partners in Brazil. He has worked with several large European companies including PWC and is currently the author of a book on Brazilian Taxes, intended for International Companies doing business in Brazil. "Brazilian taxes: what you need to know". Bjorn Reynolds Bjorn Reynolds is the Founder and CEO of Safeguard Global. Bjorn has been at the forefront of transitioning businesses and creating successful value propositions for customers, shareholders, and employees alike. He was recognized in 2016 as Payroll World’s “Top 50 Most Influential People in Payroll, ″ and as a “Game Changer” by Workforce Magazine. Jorge Ferrari Jorge is the Founder and CEO of Aurora International Education. With over 26 years of international experience, Jorge focuses on the education sector and most recently co-founded Galileo Global Education (GGE) in 2011. GGE is a company focused on higher education which now has over 100,000 students in 8 countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.    WATCH THE LIVE RECORDING HERE  
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Event
Dec 2020

Doing Business in a Post Brexit Europe

As the transition period for the UK leaving the EU is drawing to a close, are you Brexit ready? Understanding the importance of effective Brexit planning will help UK & European companies avoid a challenging and costly post-Brexit transition. Join us on Thursday 10th December 2020 as we bring together experts from around Europe for an interactive roundtable discussion with exclusive insights and advice into what business must consider when preparing for the end of the transition period. We will cover topics including the implications of Brexit on: Immigration, staff mobility and hiring between the UK and the EU Entity Setup and the need for a European presence to continue trading Social security and tax Business visitor requirements Intellectual Property Our host: Asma Bashir is a legal professional with over 20 years’ experience in expanding businesses across the world. She has significant experience in law and policy across Europe having advised multinational companies on changing legislation. She is a mentor and board member of several businesses and Chairwoman at Centuro Global. Speakers: Tomáš PetyovskýTomáš is a co-founding Partner of Petyovský & Partners and Attorney-at-Law, specialising in immigration and legal services. He also participates on policy development of the Czech immigration legislation as a member of American Chamber of Commerce, Work Group for Economic Migration at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the Czech Republic and is working on policy development directly with the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic. He lectures at various training and seminars for clients, students and universities. Michael Møller NielsenMichael heads the employment law department of Lund Elmer Sandager in Denmark. He advises on all types of employment law challenges including executive service agreements, collective bargaining agreement issues, anti-competitive agreements and individual employment matters. Michael has extensive experience within data protection law and M&A and has written several publications on employment law matters. Fiona Mougenot Fiona Mougenot is a British national who has lived and worked in France longer than in her native country. Her professional experiences, in the areas of marketing, tax and international human resources consulting, have been with multi-national companies such as IBM, TRW, Barclays, Europace, and KPMG LLP. She founded Expat Partners in 2003 to provide full immigration services to the Global Mobility Directors seeking assistance. Fiona is regularly invited as a guest speaker at Global Mobility functions, sharing her knowledge and insight on immigration matters. Greg YoungGreg Young is HR Manager at Manor Renewable Energy Ltd. Greg has worked for a number of multinational companies within the oil and gas industry and has specialist expertise with international assignment management. He holds a post-graduate diploma in personnel management and merit from the University of Portsmouth. WATCH THE LIVE RECORDING HERE
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Videos
Nov 2020

Why did Starbucks fail in Australia? (Coffee with Centuro Episode 13)

We start this week’s episode by case studying Starbucks' expansion into Australia and then delve into the US presidential elections 2020. Get our thoughts and opinions on the candidates, issues and battleground states.
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Press Release
Oct 2020

Zain Ali named as one of the Top 20 Dynamic CEOs in the UK 2020

The CEO Publication, a unique print & digital platform featuring the industry experts who have created ripples across various areas of expertise has acknowledged Zain Ali, CEO of Centuro Global—assisting businesses in entering and scaling into new markets—one among the “Top 20 Dynamic CEOs of 2020 in the UK″ who is transforming the industry with his unique solutions. The CEO Publication has been become pioneering magazine owing to their unique coverage of news, articles & industry leaders concentrating on transforming various arenas. Owing to the innovative approach adapted by Zain Ali, CEO of Centuro Global, he is being featured in the “Top 20 Dynamic CEOs of 2020 in the UK″ edition. The company takes care of every step of the international expansion journey from tax, legal, immigration to HR and Payroll allowing their clients to trade in any jurisdiction globally with ease and efficiency. Adam Patrick, Managing Editor of The CEO Publication says, “It is an honor to recognize Zain Ali, CEO of Centuro Global as one among the Top 20 Dynamic CEOs of 2020 in the UK who is a true inspiration. Centuro’s solutions come integrated in a fantastic online platform that democratise access to information and advisory services. Designed to help clients connect, communicate and collaborate with global experts remotely; it simplifies the complex global expansion process with a clear strategy, roadmap, tools and a trusted network; all at your fingertips.” Zain Ali, CEO of Centuro Global said, “Companies frequently struggle to make critical decisions during the global expansion process. Our platform equips you with the knowledge and power to make these decisions quickly and efficiently.” To read the full feature on Zain Ali and Centuro Global, follow the link: https://www.theceomag.com/transforming-the-delivery-of-professional-services-worldwide-zain-ali/
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Event
Oct 2020

Live, work, Study in the UK or Canada

REGISTERThere are a lot of questions you need to ask and find answers to when you are deciding to relocate, the first and most important question being which country. That is what we are here to help you decide.Our local partners the Canada and the UK will be on hand to run you through the pros, cons and difference of relocating to their respective countries.This event is for any one who wishes to set up a business or is highly skilled in their field and wishes to explore their options to relocate. It is also for those who may wish to study or start a new tech company so attractive for start or innovator visas.AGENDAOptions to live and work in the UK/CanadaTime to settlementRequirements and eligibilityProcessREGISTERABOUT CENTURO GLOBAL Centuro Global is an exclusive business hub for high growth entrepreneurs, SMEs and multi-national companies to access global market entry strategies and connect with the highest quality professional services providers anywhere in the world.Our online platform allows you to instantly Connect, Communicate and Collaborate with likeminded entrepreneurs, business leaders, professional advisers and investors from around the world.
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Blog
Oct 2020

Defamation in the Fifth Industrial Revolution: Can an emoji convey defamatory meaning?

Introduction   With the now fast-paced world in the fifth industrial revolution, the legal sector is at the forefront of current global technological growth which makes for a powerful force to enable sustainable change and high levels of accountability and transparency. It is therefore no surprise that the District of New South Wales, Australia has made an unparalleled finding involving the use of social media’s ‘emoji.’   In 2002, Kirby J made remarks in the case of Dow Jones & Company Inc. v Gutnick (2002) 210 CLR 575 which still hold true today in 2020 as they did then. At the time, the whole concept of social media was in its initial phase and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram did not yet exist. Within this time, social media has made strides in a manner which has been unforeseeable, making it easy for defamation as a result of defamatory remarks to be published or accessed in ways which are unprecedented.   Facts of the matter   On 27 August 2020, in what appears to be the first of its kind, Australian judge Gibson J confirmed the unprecedented decision in Burrows v Houda [2020] NSWDC 485, that the use of an emoji is capable of breeding defamatory meanings. In this case, the plaintiff brought defamation proceedings from an exchange on Twitter with the defendant who was her employer. The defendant in response to a question “but what happened to her since?” responded with the ‘zipper-mouth face’ emoji and continued to use other emojis in three other tweets.   The first part of the analysis Gibson J had to make was twofold. Firstly, she had to question whether it was appropriate to determine a meaning based on an emoji without the benefit of expert evidence, jury or input. The court concluded that it was unnecessary in this case because there had already been rulings on the meaning of emoji in other areas of the law without this requirement. It also added that there had been prior rulings made on liability for publication and, or, defamatory meaning for non-verbal internet tools. In light of this, it was unlikely that the court would rely on linguistics or communication experts for the interpretation of emojis. Secondly, she noted that on Emojipedia the zipper-mouth face emoji carried the meaning of a “secret” or to “stop talking” in events where it was implied that the person knew the answer but was reluctant to give it. Furthermore, she accentuated this particular argument on the finding in the case of the School of Excellence Pty Ltd v Trendy Rhino Pty Ltd [2018] VSC 541 [25] where it was confirmed that an emoji has the ability to convey a set meaning. In opposition to her findings, the use of Emojipedia has resulted in the academic criticism of judges (Smyth 2018: 211). However, the nature of modern communication makes it absolutely necessary to consult internet dictionaries such as Emojipedia to determine what the ordinary reasonable person would make of these symbols.   Applicable principles   Central to this case is the question of whether the defendant’s zipper-mouth face emoji together with other emojis in corresponding tweets as a reply to a request for updates on disciplinary proceedings constitutes defamation. The following claims were made: The “zipper-mouth face” emoji is worth a thousand words and that it implies a finding which may be damaging to the plaintiff but the defendant may not disclose the result and must hint at it by posting the emoji. The post which refers to the swearing of false affidavits would infer that a reasonable social media reader would think that the plaintiff signed the false affidavits and would therefore also assume responsibility for the part played in the presentation of the affidavits to the court. In cases where the tweets that identify a prosecution as a result of the signing of false affidavits, the reasonable social reader would assume that the plaintiff is also likely to be prosecuted. All these claims were found to constitute defamation.   Conclusion   What does this mean for South African law? South African law authorises its courts to merely consider foreign law in interpreting the Bill of Rights in the Constitution where it states in section 39(1)(c) that a court may consider foreign law. As the use of emoji increases and social media continues to become a dominant form of communication, a case similar to this may make an appearance in South Africa and therefore it is important to prepare for these instances before they occur.  Directors, board members and employers in companies should therefore address the use of social media in the workplace and on social media platforms.
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Guides
Oct 2020

A Guide to Intellectual Property

Do you know the difference between trade marks, copyright, design rights and patents?How can you protect your personal or company's intellectual assets?IP makes up a significant value of a company's assets and can be valuable both as an asset but also monetised to generate recurring revenue. On the flip side, certain activities you undertake may infringe others' IP if you are not careful and could result in costly rebrands or lawsuits. To help you get to grips with all things IP we have created a handy IP Basics Guide. Download the guide here: https://www.centuroglobal.com/ip-basics
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Videos
Sep 2020

Coffee with Centuro - Episode 8

What do Robert Downey Junior, Mark Cuban, Ciara and the CEO of Uber all have in common? Tune in to this week's episode of Coffee with Centuro to find out!This week Zain, Ben & Seraj discuss topics ranging from Facebook's threat to quit Europe, LVMH's proposed takover of Tiffany, Toilet Paper VC, and analyse the proposed smart city in Senegal AKON CITY.
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Videos
Sep 2020

Coffee with Centuro - Episode 7

This week Ben, Seraj and Zain discuss their thoughts and opinions on a range of trending topics in the business world from philanthropy, AI automation and its effects, LEGO, among many others.
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Event
Sep 2020

‘COVID-19 HAS RIPPED OFF THE BAND-AID FOR THE OLD WAY OF WORKING’

Our Chairwoman, Asma Bashir, participated in a roundtable of business leaders discussing the impact of COVID-19 on business and what they think the future will hold.  The first question asked was, ‘How is COVID-19 affecting your business and your clients?’ Asma Bashir, who has run various businesses in her career, kicked off the debate by saying: “We have several businesses in our portfolio and were able to react very quickly. As soon as the government announced we were going into lockdown, we were able to respond efficiently due to the technology infrastructure we had in place. “In regards to the shift to remote working, there was a high-level of excitement in the first couple of weeks, with working from home being a new experience and people feeling united with their families, but gradually it is starting to wear on people and the excitement has waned. “From an external perspective, the impact on our clients has been varied. For the start-up clients we deal with, they are being challenged by cashflow, their business runway in terms of funding and also how they navigate the various government schemes. “For our larger customers, we have had challenges with their expat population and people being stuck in other countries and we’ve been trying to support them with crisis management and getting them the advice and support they need.”   Follow the link below to read the full article. 
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Press Release
Sep 2020

Centuro Partners With Faster Capital

We are delighted to announce that Centuro Global has entered into partnership with FasterCapital, to add to our offering to startups and scaleups around the world.Centuro Global seeks to assist companies from around the world in expanding their business into new markets globally and provides a range of services including legal, tax and accounting, HR & payroll to fully service a company’s international expansion needs.FasterCapital is an online incubator that supports entrepreneurs worldwide with a core focus on FinTech, AI, EdTech, Software, B2B, Media, Entertainment, Tourism and other industries that mostly require technology. The core offering is to help you build your product by becoming your technical co-founder and investing 50% of the money you will need in the process.Mr. Bashar Hamood of FasterCapital commented on this partnership, “FasterCapital is thrilled to partner with Centuro Global and we look forward to supporting and working with entrepreneurs from the Centuro network.”FasterCapital runs three programs to bring a startup to life and set it up to scale globally, at which point Centuro Global can come in to assist with all international expansion related work. The three FasterCapital programs are: Tech Cofounder, Idea to Product, Grow your Startup. Founders can join any of these programs for free by filling an online form and applying here. Zain Ali of Centuro Global commented, “We are excited to work with FasterCapital and assist their startups in scaling globally.”
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Videos
Aug 2020

Coffee with Centuro - Episode 3

This week Ben, Seraj and Zain discuss the UK economy heading into recession, some of the top countries for doing business (which include a few surprises!) and the wonderful world of Unicorns (billion dollar valued companies)! Grab a coffee and join in with the conversation here.
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Videos
Aug 2020

Centuro Global launches Coffee With Centuro!

Our team regularly has insightful discussions about business news from around the world, sharing interesting opinions, fascinating insights and experiences over a cup of coffee and we thought why not turn this into a weekly chat show / podcast / vlog series?! We sat down and thought, what can we call this, and decided to name it after exactly what it is - Coffee with Centuro ("CwC"). In episode 1, Zain Ali, Ben Blackburn and Seraj Toefy (all of Centuro Global) sit down alongside guest, Shaheena Rasool from Oclas Group (a turnaround business consultancy) and discuss the Winners & Losers of COVID so far, and what struggling businesses can do to keep going and get through this pandemic. Check out the video here and let us know what you think! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCpiXXdDBwk 
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Videos
Aug 2020

Coffee with Centuro - Episode 2

This week Seraj, Ben and Zain discuss the Big Tech Hearing in the US, TikTok's struggles in the US, and Forbes recently published list of the Most Valuable Brands in 2020. Seraj backs the slipper market as the next big opportunity, Ben suggests that Facebook may be better off being broken up leaving Instagram and Whatsapp as independent companies and Zain finds the US' much debated TikTok ban shocking and potentially illegal. Watch the episode here and let us know your thoughts!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpcAsnY7Vrc 
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Event
Jul 2020

In-depth with Global Women Leaders in the face of Covid-19 in the Services sector

COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on life as we know it. Within the Services industry players must adapt and look to change the way Services are designed and delivered. Our Chairwoman, Asma Bashir, will be speaking on a panel of Global Women Leaders to discuss this in more depth tomorrow, 21st July 2020, at 4pm GMT.  Sign up now to hear from Swati Mandela, Marie Christine OGHLY, Deniz MISIR, Danela Arsovska, Alexandra Lund, and Asma: https://lnkd.in/dqiNw7r  The evidence suggests that given its unprecedented nature, it is very likely that the covid-19 crisis is transforming the way Services are designed and delivered. The task is uniquely challenging for industries that rely heavily on in-person interaction, including a wide swath of sectors from banking and insurance to hospitality, telecommunications, government & public services, IT and industrial services.This webinar aims to identify, understand and address these and other issues related to the trends in the transformation of Service industries and how can this transformation create more formal, qualified, high-quality and resilient jobs, the effectiveness of post-pandemic recovery efforts for service industries, the use of artificial intelligence and robots in services, as well as government measures and policies intended to provide assistance and interventions in service sectors.WBAF Virtual Roundtable: In-depth with Global Women Leaders in the face of Covid-19 in Services sectorDate: 21 July 2020Time: 4 pm GMT60 Minutes + 30 Minutes Q&AWelcome SpeechSwati Mandela, President, WBAF Global Woman Leaders Committee & High Commissioner for South AfricaKeynote SpeakerMarie-Christine Oghly, World President, World Association of Women Entrepreneurs (FCEM), Vice President of the GWL Committee, FranceModerator:Deniz Misir, Founder, V22 MFO, WBAF Senator for TurkeyPanelists:Danela Arsovska, President of the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce Asma Bashir, Chairman Centuro Global, WBAF Senator for UK Alexandra Lund, CEO Core Values Consulting, WBAF Senator for Cyprus
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Blog
Jul 2020

UK offers citizenship to Hong Kong residents

Yesterday, on 1st July 2020, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered the opportunity for residents of Hong Kong with British National Overseas (‘BNO’) status to settle in the UK and ultimately become citizens. This was in response to the National Security Law introduced in China, which is seen to violate the rights of Hong Kong residents and is a direct breach of the terms agreed when Great Britain ‘handed back’ Hong Kong to China.  This was the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ promise to grant residents of Hong Kong key liberties, as well as judicial and legislative autonomy, until at least 2047. This meant that while becoming part of one country with China, Hong Kong would enjoy "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs" for 50 years. As a result, Hong Kong has its own legal system and borders, and rights including freedom of assembly, free speech and freedom of the press are protected.   What is the National Security Law? Pro-democracy protests have been ongoing in Hong Kong for over a year, with a fear that Beijing is overreaching with its role in HK governance and starting to breach the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ promise. China went on to introduce the National Security Law on Tuesday 30th June 2020, without any input from Hong Kong authorities. The law gives Beijing broad powers to crack down on a variety of political crimes, including separatism and collusion and it is feared that it will curtail the civil liberties of the residents of Hong Kong. Many fear a reign of terror and Hong Kong becoming a secret police state. Many Hong Kong residents will be looking to resettle elsewhere, and this new offer from the British Prime Minister opens up a new avenue.    What are the British settlement requirements?  BNO Passport holders in Hong Kong were granted special status in the 1980s but currently have restricted rights and are only entitled to visa-free access to the UK for six months. Under the government's new plans, all British Overseas Nationals in Hong Kong and their dependants will be given right to remain in the UK, including the right to work and study, for five years. At this point, they will be able to apply for settled status, and after a further year, seek citizenship.   What remains unanswered There are currently 350,000 BNO passport holders, and about three million Hong Kong residents are eligible for BNO passports. These figures exclude dependants born after 1997 and so the number of total eligible applicants could be well over 3 million. Many questions remain unanswered including, Will the UK be ready to take in so many Hong Kong residents? Will there be enough jobs? Will BNO passport holders have recourse to public funds? Will they be covered by the NHS? It is also still unclear if the applications made by BNO passport holders will carry any costs or if there will be any other special conditions attached to their stay.  China has also since retaliated and stated that it firmly opposes the British offer to Hong Kong residents and has urged Britain to stop “interfering”. We will have to wait and see how this plays out and the UK government will reveal more information in due course and we will keep readers up to date. For any immigration queries, get in touch with us now for a free consultation: https://www.centuroglobal.com/contact-us  
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Event
Jun 2020

FREE WEBINAR: Tactics to Exploit Your Intellectual Property to Scale and Protect Your Business

  ABOUT OUR FREE WEBINAR   Join this webinar to learn the best tactics to exploit your intellectual property (IP) to both scale and protect your business. IP lawyer, Zain Ali of Centuro Global, will be joined by Alex Athienitis of EdTech startup, Education Shed, to explore the different types of intellectual property and how to use them to grow your business.  Book your free ticket: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-use-intellectual-property-to-scale-your-business-tickets-107820451874  Who is this webinar for?  This event is for dynamic forward-thinking entrepreneurs and business owners to help them get an edge on their competition by understanding intellectual property and how this might apply to their business.  What will we cover?  Zain Ali will guide you through the core forms of IP and how these can be exploited by your business, he will cover:  Core forms of IP - Trademarks, Patents, Copyright and Design Rights  Top tips for protecting your IP  Do’s and don'ts when using IP to get ahead of the competition  How to exploit your IP Zain will be joined by Alex Athienitis to discuss how Education Shed exploited trademarks to scale their brand globally across 102 countries. With over two million users of their technology, the innovative online platform that provides educational resources globally has gone from strength to strength. Alex will also share his experience of how they protect themselves from competition plus the key considerations for startups when creating their IP strategy.  Discover your business's Intellectual Property Every company will have some form of IP that they own or can own, yet many businesses are not aware of some of the IP that exists within their company and do not know how to exploit it. Apple reached a TRILLION DOLLAR evaluation in 2019, and 80% of that value arose from their intellectual property. Join this webinar to ensure you don’t miss out on an opportunity to add value to your company! Register for tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-use-intellectual-property-to-scale-your-business-tickets-107820451874  ABOUT CENTURO GLOBAL  Centuro Global offers leading business consultancy to help businesses go global. With over 20 years' experience working in legal services and management consultancy and an extensive global network, they can help you scale your business and achieve your goals.  Services include:  Support finding investment and funding Helping businesses go global  Intellectual property advice  Start-up and Innovator Visas Business strategy and much more...  Find out more and get in touch: https://www.centuroglobal.com/contact-us
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Blog
Jun 2020

Why You Need to Protect Your Intellectual Property: Copyright, Trade Marks and Patents

Does your company have Intellectual Property it could protect?   Every company will have some form of IP that they own or can own, yet many businesses are not aware of some of the IP that exists within their company and do not know how to exploit it. “Apple reached a TRILLION DOLLAR evaluation in 2019, and 80% of that value arose from their intellectual property. So how can you make your Intellectual property bring value to your business?” In 2019, SMEs making legal claims to protect their IP increased by a massive 68%, with initial IP registrations surging greatly, demonstrating that more and more business owners are waking up to the importance of protecting their IP for the long-term. But where exactly do you start if you’re a new business owner and a novice to the world of IP? Moreover, what is the actual process for registering IP and how does it add value to your business? How to assess your intellectual property?   Firstly, it is wise to critically analyse your unique selling point and review what products or services you are creating and how you are positioning them in the market. This gives you the opportunity to assess what areas you wish to protect and identify where to develop the business in the future, ranging from logos, taglines and branding through to physical inventions, such as unique software platforms. Remember, ideas themselves cannot be protected. However, if you are concerned about someone sharing or using a particular idea, the best option is to create a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which can be applied to any relevant scenario – ranging from the protection of sensitive business information to pitching a new product to a group of potential investors. What are the forms of IP?   Trade mark - Product names, logos and slogans Patent - Inventions and products, e.g. machines and machine parts, tools, medicines Copyright - Writing and literary works, art, photography, films, TV, music, web content, sound recordings Registered Designs - Appearance of a product including, shape, packaging, patterns, colours, decoration Register a trade mark or patent   Once you have critically analysed your IP, think about what you can trade mark or patent. A trade mark is any sign, be it a word or logo or even numbers, that represents your brand and distinguishes it from others. An easy way to apply for a trade mark is by submitting an application directly to the Intellectual Property Office, which can be found via the Gov.uk website. The process is fairly straightforward but requires thought around what exactly you want to be trademarked and what ‘class’ it sits under, for which you may want to seek expert advice. Once the trade mark has been listed, members of the public have a short time period in which to contest it and if no responses are received, the trade mark will be yours. Once you register a trade mark, you will be able to take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission. Once the trade mark is issued, you can put the registered symbol next to your brand, slogan or its tagline to show that it's yours and you can take legal action should someone attempt to use or replicate it. Patents, on the other hand, are more complex and are designed to protect your invention and are only granted to inventions that no-one has ever thought of or built before. It is important to be diligent in what you are trying to register so that it does not infringe upon anyone else’s IP. Consider a copyright   Copyright covers anything that an individual or company creates. It can incorporate words (e.g. text for websites), images, photographs, and training manuals and is automatically created with no registration required. If a work is created in the course of employment, the assumption is that the copyright lies with the employer unless agreed otherwise. For the tech industry, copyright can also extend to code. Using this example, when code is written by an individual, independent developer, copyright automatically lies with that person unless it is sold or assigned to a client company. However, this would need to be agreed within a commercial contract. Review your intellectual property over time   The one mistake entrepreneurs or business owners face when trying to protect their IP is complacency. Have you developed a new product or service? Reviewed your branding recently? Or changed your tagline? When improving and growing your business, you need to review and grow your IP too, ensuring you have the correct trade mark, copyright registration or patent in place with each change and development. “Not taking the time to review your IP requirements on a consistent basis increases the risk of competitors being able to take and market key elements or USPs of your business and brand. This could be detrimental to both the growth of your business and its ongoing longevity.” Seek intellectual property guidance from experts   If you are looking for further guidance or advice, there is a wide selection of information and support available.  Contact us now for an IP health check, together with guidance on how to register your IP and where. Centuro Global can help you protect and monetise your intellectual property with legal advice, planning and application support for copyrights, trade marks, patents and design rights. We can create a strategy to add value to your company through IP both in the UK and globally. Get in touch for a free IP consultation. https://www.centuroglobal.com/contact-us 
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May 2020

BLOG: Top Tips on Raising Investment During a Crisis

We hosted a thought-provoking panel discussion on Raising Investment During a Crisis on 20 May 2020. Our highly esteemed panel offered some incredibly valuable insights and provided many lessons for startups and investors alike. (A link to the recording of the webinar will be shared in due course - watch this space or sign up to our mailing list to be kept up to date). Read on for some of the main takeaways from the event. What investors are looking for The panel discussed the importance of a number of factors when looking for investment opportunities: Grit - A founder who can show that they are determined, have tenacity and can weather a storm will be the most successful. Just because COVID-19 has come along and impacted the world now, doesn’t mean something else won’t come along next year or in the future so you need to be able to demonstrate you can take on any challenge. Josh Romisher recommended the book “Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success” by Angela Duckworth as a great read. Trust & Integrity – Do not massage your financials to make them seem better than they are or exaggerate on your wins and successes. During the due diligence process your business will be laid bare and your integrity will be damaged if you have not been honest. Traction – With the current pandemic slowing business worldwide, the more traction you can show with your current business or a track record of previous successes the more likely you are to catch an investor’s eye. The less traction you have the harder it will be to convince investors to back you. Experience – The panel recommended that all founders invest in a startup themselves, even if it is only £500 or £1000, which you can do via many Crowdfunding platforms. Research companies yourself and track your investments as they grow. This will put you in the shoes of an investor and better equip you with the knowledge of how you should present yourself to potential investors. Sales - You need to be able to present well and capture the minds of the investors. If you can’t come across as convincing to investors, they will struggle to believe you will be able to sell your vision to your staff let alone your product or service to customers. Does approaching investors cold work? The panel also shared valuable advice on how to approach investors. Here’s a summary of their key recommendations: Peter Cowley – Warm introductions are always better than cold so make sure you network and befriend someone who may know an investor and can make the introduction for you. Target investors carefully and ensure you will be a good fit for them as investors typically have strict criteria relating to the companies they invest in ranging from sector, to growth stage, to founding team etc. Nicholas Russell – Think of reaching out to investors in the same way as reaching out to someone you’re interested in dating. Don’t just adopt a scatter gun approach and send the same message to hundreds of people bragging about how great you are and why they should pick you. You need to take the time to build a relationship and get to know each other first and offer them value. Tuba Terekli – It is very difficult to receive a response to a cold approach from investors as we receive countless LinkedIn messages, Whatsapps and emails daily with pitch requests and it just isn’t feasible to look at them all let alone respond. Building a relationship first is certainly key. How would you react if someone approached you on the street and started asking for things when you didn’t even know them? Do not start conversations by saying you are looking to fundraise from the get go. Build rapport, add value and then ask. Next Steps If you are looking to raise funds for your startup or require any advice on getting investor ready, or even more widely on business growth, do get in touch with us now: https://www.centuroglobal.com/contact-us About Centuro Global Centuro Global offers leading business consultancy to help businesses go global. With over 20 years' experience working in legal services and management consultancy and an extensive global network, we can help you scale your business and achieve your goals.  Services include:  Support finding investment and funding Helping businesses go global  Intellectual property advice  Start-up and Innovator Visas Business strategy and much more... 
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Event
May 2020

WEBINAR: RAISING INVESTMENT DURING A CRISIS

Want to know how to impress investors and raise funding during these challenging times? We have gathered a formidable panel of investors and serial entrepreneurs within the Centuro network for a webinar on how to raise investment during a crisis, from an investor's perspective. Whether you are a start-up, a business facing tough decisions due to coronavirus or looking to grow and go global, our expert panel will share their years of experience with you on how to raise the funds to achieve your goals. The event will be hosted by Joshua Romisher, the CEO of LaunchLab, who has raised over $250 million in funding over the past 6 years. We will cover: How have investors been affected by COVID-19? How to find opportunities for investment What investors are looking for Tips on fundraising both now and beyond COVID-19 Reserve your ticket now: https://bit.ly/Invest-during-covid-webinar  SPEAKERS Peter Cowley Awarded the accolade of Best Angel Investor in the World 2017 by the World Business Angel Investment Forum. He has also founded 14 of his own businesses in technology and construction. Tuba Terekli A serial investor funding companies globally over the past 15 years & founding the first accelerator program in Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Fast Growth 100 list. Nicholas Russell A serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley and involved with a new initiative - Conception X, a venture builder that creates deep tech start-ups from PhDs. He has also mentored some of the most innovative and highly successful businesses in the tech sector. Josh Romisher A serial entrepreneur and former US banker, his array of ventures include a boutique investment bank in New York, a solar irrigation start-up in India, entering the solar sector in Africa and a frozen yoghurt franchise in San Francisco. Josh has been successful in raising funds of over $250 million in the past 6 years.   ABOUT CENTURO GLOBAL Centuro Global offers leading business consultancy to help businesses go global. With over 20 years' experience working in legal services and management consultancy and an extensive global network, they can help you scale your business and achieve your goals. Services include: Support finding investment and funding Helping businesses go global Intellectual property advice Start-up and Innovator Visas Business strategy and much more... Find out more and get in touch: https://www.centuroglobal.com/contact-us
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Blog
May 2020

The Power of Partnerships - Nike & Michael Jordan

The year was 1984. A rookie by the name of Michael Jordan was about to start his first season of the NBA looking for an athlete endorsement deal and keen to sign with Adidas. Along came Nike, a brand predominantly known at the time for long distance running shoes. Whilst everyone recognised the immense talent in this rookie, Nike were ready to put all their chips on the table and offered him a deal far more lucrative than the bigger sports apparel companies such as Adidas. Michael Jordan had never even worn a Nike shoe at the time but was convinced by his parents to take the deal over Adidas, commencing the legendary partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike. The Air Jordan was born and the rest is history. NBA rules meant that players could only wear white sneakers at the time. Leveraging the fact that Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls, Nike designed the first Air Jordans in red, black and white. The NBA were not best pleased and fined Michael Jordan $5,000 every time he wore the shoes. However, Nike were willing to pay the fines and have the shoes stand out from the crowd. They predicted $3 million of sales of the Air Jordan in the first four years of the deal. Nike actually sold $126 million in the first year alone. Nike became a mainstream shoe, having previously been known mainly as a track running shoe, slipped into popular culture as the edgy must have sneaker, and are now one of the most recognised brands on the planet. Michael Jordan went on to become arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, and off the field he has also made $1.3 billion to date from his deal with Nike, alone. This shows the power of partnerships and how two new entrants to an arena can combine forces to make a massive impact. Sometimes, partnering with someone that understands your vision and can strategically help you scale your business is the key to long term success. If you are looking for that partner to catapult your business to the next level, get in touch with Centuro Global today. We are on hand to help you scale into any region globally and assist with all your business growth needs. We’ve recently been advising clients on COVID-19 related disruption, specifically relating to: Renegotiating Contracts Furloughing Staff & Dealing with Redundancies Applying for government relief, grants and business loans We are also on hand to assist with our full array of services including investor readiness, international expansion support and IP advice. Get in touch today.
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May 2020

Post Lockdown Return to Work Guidelines

Coronavirus has had an unprecedented impact on life and is primarily a humanitarian issue with healthcare professionals battling to save lives. Nonetheless, workplaces and businesses have been impacted like never before and after lengthy periods of lockdown, some countries are starting to ease measures. In light of this, some “non-essential” businesses will be re-opening and employees may begin to return to offices. Certain protocols will need to be in place and office life will not be as it was before, at least in the short term. This article will provide some guidance on some of the measures that will need to be put in place. 1. Managing staff numbers Given that the spread of coronavirus stems from close contact of groups of people, the return to work of staff will need to be carefully managed. Any return may require employees to be phased back in small numbers and over time. A phased approach is not only important for ensuring sufficient social distancing can take place in the office but also to minimise the number of people using public transport to commute to and from work at any one time. Staggering start and end times for work should also be considered to reduce the numbers on public transport at any given time, and prevent a crowded rush hour scenario. Timings could be segmented based on roles or departments. Choosing which employees to bring back to the office first is also an important consideration. If it is straight forward for some employees to continue working from home then they should be permitted to do so. Where productivity or physical space requirements are important, these employees should be phased in first. 2. Office Environment The government has already warned that social distancing is likely to continue for some time. This may be easier for some workplaces and roles to implement than for others. Employers must start planning for this now, as it may take time to get right, in order to be in the best possible position when a return to work for staff is possible. Key considerations include: Spreading work stations 2 metres apart. Minimising close interactions and meetings in small closed spaces. Limit the number of people permitted in communal areas at a time, such as office kitchens. Promote healthy personal habits including regular washing of hands Provision of masks to all staff and anti-bacterial stations throughout offices. Make use of PPE including plastic screens on office desks such as those used at supermarket tills. Signs to make social distancing easier to follow. One way systems on stairs and limiting of use of lifts to certain floors. Regular cleaning with cleaners operating throughout the day. Stagger lunch hours and encourage eating at your desk. 3. Health & Safety Employers have a duty to provide a safe place of work and to protect the health and wellbeing of their employees. Some of the office environment suggestions above relate to hygiene in the workplace. Employers will also need to review sick policies and share updated policies with staff. Anyone with COVID symptoms should immediately self-isolate and not attend the office for 14 days. Some employees may not want to return to the office out of fear of using public transport and being in public spaces. This may not be considered unreasonable and therefore employers should tread carefully in how they deal with this. In the UK, if an employee who refuses to return to the office is dismissed, then this may be considered automatically unfair under section 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Similarly, if an employer decides to furlough such staff or reduce their pay and they subsequently resign as a result, then this may be considered constructive dismissal which may also be automatically unfair. Careful communication and open discussions with employees is key. The main considerations are whether an employee believes that COVID-19 poses a serious and imminent danger to them, and is this a reasonable belief for them to hold. This is fairly subjective and will be considered in line with government advice. 4. Back to work training Staff should all be offered back to work information and any relevant training to ensure they understand new policies, new hygiene requirements, what they can and cannot do and there new work hours. If you need help or would like to discuss please get in touch: hello@centuroglobal.com
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Apr 2020

UK Government announces new “Future Fund” for startups affected by COVID-19

British government announces the introduction of a new “Future Fund” for high growth startups adversely affected by COVID-19. With much uncertainty over how long the pandemic could last for, and many business practices halted for an unspecified duration of time, Founders and CEO's alike have grown increasingly concerned by the threat this poses to their startups' existence and longevity.  The British startup ecosystem is one that contributes hugely to the economy by employing millions and bringing highly innovative services to market, and even gave rise to eight tech unicorns last year alone. For such companies to struggle or go bust as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic would have disastrous effect on the UK economy. Whilst the "Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme" and "Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme" are impactful steps in the right direction, startups still fear that this is not enough to keep them afloat, and more governmental support measures have therefore been requested.  In response, the new “Future Fund” - first announced by the government on Sunday 19th, April 2020 - pledges to launch in May, investing between £125,000 and £5 million in qualifying startups. So, how will this work in practice? The investment currently assumed as a convertible loan note will give businesses an injection of much needed immediate capital, with the option to repay the loan or part with equity stake in the future. The British Business Bank, who are held responsible for managing the fund, will be allocated £250M of taxpayer money. In order to qualify, businesses "must secure an equal or greater amount of match funding from private investors, and be a U.K. registered private company that has previously raised at least £250,000 in private investment in the last five years". For more information on eligibility, and how to access the government fund(s) and business management during this time, we will be holding an informational webinar session this Wednesday 22nd April, in collaboration with The Entrepreneurs Network and with a business finance expert from Beauhurst.  There will be Q&A and networking throughout this free webinar. You may register here. Whether you need to seek funding, or find alternative ways to manage your company, contact us today so we can discuss your business options to ensure you are equipped to survive and thrive COVID19. Let's save our startups.
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Event
Apr 2020

Start up Investment Options to Survive and Thrive

The start up ecosystem has been growing exponentially for the past decade with many success stories. With billion dollar tech companies having disrupted the market and highly successful entrepreneurs, creating jobs and prosperity for the UK economy. This work is now under immense threat as the Covid 19 shutdown has imposed substantial harm to the start up environment. We are seeing an increasing number of companies running out of cash to survive this difficult period without any recourse to options or investors. What should the government be doing to support entrepreneurs and start ups in our economy? Should the government provide an equity based liquidity package or runway fund to help these businesses survive? We will be asking these and many other questions to our expert panel of speakers to find ways to support businesses who are still struggling to get through the current crisis. Whether you need to seek funding, or find alternative ways to manage your company, ask the experts during our webinar. Date: Wed, 22nd AprilTime: 14:00pm BST REGISTER FREE TICKET._______________________________________________________________ SPEAKERS: Philip SalterFounder, The Entrepreneurs Network Philip Salter founded The Entrepreneurs Network in 2014 with the aim of building an organisation with the aim of helping make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business. Philip was previously Business Features Editor of City A.M. where he wrote a weekly column on entrepreneurship and interviewed many of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs.He is a frequent speaker at conferences, writes a column for Forbes on entrepreneurship and appears regularly elsewhere in the media. View Linkedin profile, here. Henry WhorwoodHenry leads Beauhurst’s Research and Consultancy team. He is an expert on business finance and has worked on briefs for clients including the British Business Bank, Penningtons Manches, Syndicate Room, and Innovate UK. Henry regularly gives presentations on market trends at events around the country. He studied Classics at the University of Oxford. View Linkedin profile, here. Asma BashirAsma has worked in the legal services industry for most of her career, having been with multinational law firms before she established her own practice. Asma went on to found Newland Chase, where she worked for 13 years before the firm was eventually acquired by an American corporation. She is now a mentor on the Mayor's International Business Programme as well as a Senator for the World Business Angel Forum. Asma has worked with both multinational clients and SME's to help them expand into complex regions across the world. Her specialist skills are to match entrepreneurs and scaling companies to the right investor either for funding, merger or acquisition. View Linkedin profile, here.   REGISTER FREE TICKET.
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Apr 2020

Rebuilding after the South African lockdown and embracing the new norm.

South Africa Lockdown Webinar Series #3. Join us as we tackle the topics facing Startups, SMEs and large companies alike during this Lockdown Period. About this Event: The Lockdown Webinar Series is a group of webinars aimed at business owners and designed to help during this lockdown period. Join Centuro Global's Head of Africa, Seraj Toefy with guest speakers tackle the issues facing South African business. As South Africa and the world, start to contemplate the lifting or easing of lockdown restrictions, we speak to a panel of experts on their view of rebuilding after the lockdown and embracing the new norm. Register free ticket. Wednesday 15th April, 2020 11:00am SAST Speakers: Josh Romisher is a serial entrepreneur who has built businesses in Africa, United States and India. He is currently CEO of LaunchLab where he transforms seemingly impossible ideas into world-shaping businesses. Shukri Toefy is an entrepreneur, strategic advisor, investor and CEO of FORT. He is an Entrepreneurship Expert at Said Business School, University of Oxford and has been named a Top40 CEO by Under40CEOs and an EY World Entrepreneur finalist. Asma Bashir is a former founder of Newland Chase and current Chairman of Centuro Global. She is a mentor on the Mayor's International Business Programme as well as a Senator of the World Business Angel Forum. Seraj Toefy is a serial entrepreneur based in Cape Town with a rich background in marketing, communication and entrepreneurship. He started his career in the oil industry working for a multinational across Sub-Saharan Africa before switching to the internet, publishing and communication industry heading up several consumer magazines before starting his own content marketing business. Seraj lectures Entrepreneurial strategy and management at a few leading universities throughout Africa and is a regular guest speaker on the topic in Europe. He heads up the Centuro Global Africa operation and will provide on the ground analysis and perspective to any global client wanting to scale into Africa while assisting African companies wanting to scale globally. REGISTER FREE TICKET HERE.
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Apr 2020

4 Ways COVID-19 Has Left Entrepreneurship in Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has been reported in more than 175 countries and territories around the world. As of April 7, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) had affected 1,378,937 people, leading to more than 78,000 deaths. It has shut down business activities around the world, bringing some sectors to the verge of collapse.  While governments and big companies are feeling the heat of COVID-19, entrepreneurs are definitely the biggest hit. The disease and the way the world is responding to it has left entrepreneurship in crisis. Small and medium businesses are suffering the reality, and there is a good chance that things will change for good even after the pandemic. Here are four ways the COVID-19 has left entrepreneurship in crisis: Emphasis Is Now On Survival Many entrepreneurs had serious expansion plans for 2020. Many had taken the necessary actions, signed the necessary contracts, and started adapting the strategies to become bigger. The reality of COVID-19 has taken everyone back to the drawing board. The primary objective of any entrepreneurial endeavor at the moment is to survive. This is a no brainer as there is no upside for any business that doesn't survive the crisis.  Revenue Has Been Hit, and Will Take Time to Get Back To NormalA few businesses who are supplying products and services that are mission-critical or enablers of remote working and lockdown living are still doing well in terms of revenue. For the majority of other businesses, however, revenues have been hit. Contracts with cancellation clauses are getting terminated due to the uncertainties about the pandemic. Entrepreneurs are no longer able to fully rely on their supply chains as it is becoming increasingly obvious that more businesses may shut down soon. Factories are closed and businesses with physical outlets have been forced to close as society is pushed into lockdown, cutting out most revenue streams. The biggest question is when will this end. There is a good chance that revenue will not get back to normal for most businesses in the next 12 months.   Raising Money Will Be Tougher Going Forward Funding will stall even after we see an end to the menace of the coronavirus. Limited Partners who provide the funding that goes into the VC pot have been hit, either through their own businesses or through stock market crashes, and so the pipeline of funding will be increasingly reduced.  Some investors will remain active, but we will likely witness smaller rounds of investments at lower valuations. Even for existing portfolio companies, the disruption of most business activities, and the sudden downturn in the market will cause a severe stall in funding.  Emerging entrepreneurs will have to think outside the box to get funding. That being said, many governments around the world are offering grants and funding incentives to entrepreneurs who can provide new solutions to a COVID-19 and beyond new world order.  Downsizing Will Take Center Stage As bad as this can be for some people, downsizing will be the way out for most entrepreneurs. This will be part of the survival strategies many businesses will adapt. Already, many employees have lost their jobs in some sectors. There is no way for things to get back to normal immediately afterward. Except for the very big companies, most businesses will have to do with fewer employers until they have recovered from the shock of lost revenues. Fortunately, many governments around the world are offering support schemes for employees who may otherwise have been made redundant, with the UK government’s furlough scheme a prime example.  ConclusionEntrepreneurship is all about adapting to the inevitable changes. This does not mean that entrepreneurs are immune to global pandemics like COVID-19. The novel virus and the disease it causes has left entrepreneurship in crisis in many ways, and the points above are the realities at the moment. There are nonetheless opportunities for new entrepreneurs. The global recession in 2008 birthed the likes of Uber, Airbnb, WhatsApp, Slack and Pinterest. Now is the time to seize the moment.  
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Event
Apr 2020

Managing contractual obligations during COVID19

Corona Correction For Startups Webinar Series #2. In the second instalment of our Corona Correction webinar series, we will be looking at how businesses can manage their contractual obligations in these uncertain times.   We will also discuss the current startup fundraising landscape.   This webinar will aim to answer questions on the following key areas: What businesses can do where they are struggling to fulfil their contractual obligations. What your options are if you are a party to an agreement where the other side is failing to fulfil their contractual obligations. The steps businesses can take going forward in this uncertain time to mitigate risk. Are VCs still looking to invest and what the state of the fundraising market currently is. The impact on ongoing deals and negotiated term sheets. What founders can do to manage their relationships with investors? Other general contractual issues. We will be joined by two fantastic guest speakers:   Leena Patel – Corporate/Commercial Solicitor at Grant Saw Solicitors. Leena acts regularly on a range of Corporate M&A transactions with a particular emphasis on secured lending and restructuring instructions. She also understands how raising finance works in practice and the issues that frequently arise during the lending process.   Kenzo Onumonu – Senior Legal Counsel for Entrepreneur First. Kenzo Onumonu is a corporate (venture capital) lawyer by background with experience working for a City firm in London, in house at Deliveroo, and now for the world’s leading talent investor, Entrepreneur First. He is also the founder of the conversation card game – Forty.   Hosted by Zain Ali - CEO of Centuro Global and IP lawyer by background. Zain has worked with large multinational media, sports, and technology companies on how to protect their brands and creative content. He branched out to advising start ups and scale ups, exposing him to some key challenges that all entrepreneurs face. This inspired him to start Centuro Global to assist all businesses with their growth efforts.       Please note this site is only currently compatible with the following browsers: Chrome, Safari or Edge. Here’s a handy checklist containing more information to get the most out of using this webinar & networking platform.
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Event
Apr 2020

Labour Law and Leadership in the time of Covid-19

South Africa Lockdown Webinar Series #2. This week's webinar will once again be hosted by Seraj Toefy, Head of Africa for Centuro Global, and will start with Schalk Greef recapping any new developments around funding and subsidies, followed by labour lawyer, Melanie Ferreira who will breakdown the dos, don'ts and best practises of labour law related to the lockdown, and we will finish with Professor Mias De Klerk of the University of Stellenbosch Business School, who will talk about Leadership in the time of Corona. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ SPEAKERS: MELANIE FERREIRA Melanie studied B.Com Law at the University of Johannesburg and followed this with the post graduate LLB degree which she received in 2000. Subsequent to this she joined SVH Attorneys, a firm specializing in Labour Litigation where she articled and remained employed until she branched out on her own and commenced her own practise in 2007 as Ferreira Attorneys, specializing in Employment Law.Melanie identified a spin off opportunity and started a Consulting business called Labour Solve in 2007 as well, acting as Managing Director of to date. Labour Solve consists of a team of Consultants, specializing in Industrial Relations Practises, Human Resourses, Employment Equity, Skills Development and BEE Consulting.With experience in the labour law arena of more than 19 years, we pride ourselves on having assisting our clients i.e. various Employers (from large corporates to EME’s) to mitigate the risk of managing staff on a daily basis and surving the Employment Law maze. Professor Mias de Klerk Mias de Klerk is Professor in Leadership Development and Organisational Behaviour and at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, where he is also the Head of Research. He has 30 years industry experience as an organizational development consultant, specializing in leadership, personal and organizational transformation, workplace spirituality and motivation and business ethics. Internationally, he facilitated workshops on all continents. He also has many years academic experience, which includes University of Stellenbosch, University or Pretoria (UP), University of the Free State and University of South Africa (UNISA). His research interests include business ethics, system psychodynamics, meaning and workplace spirituality, work motivation and commitment, and personal and organizational transformation. He has a PhD in organisational behaviour (UP), Masters Degree in Business Leadership (UNISA), and B Eng (UP). SERAJ TOEFY Seraj is a serial entrepreneur based in Cape Town with a rich background in marketing, communication and entrepreneurship. He started his career in the oil industry working for a multinational across Sub-Saharan Africa before switching to the internet, publishing and communication industry heading up several consumer magazines before starting his own content marketing business. Seraj lectures Entrepreneurial strategy and management at a few leading universities throughout Africa and is a regular guest speaker on the topic in Europe.He heads up the Centuro Global Africa operation and will provide on the ground analysis and perspective to any global client wanting to scale into Africa while assisting African companies wanting to scale globally. Please note this site is only currently compatible with the following browsers: Chrome, Safari or Edge. Here’s a handy checklist containing more information to get the most out of using this webinar & networking platform.
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Event
Apr 2020

Relief packages made available by the UK government and how you can access it

Corona Correction For Startups Webinar Series #1. Join us for our Corona Correction Series, designed to help you navigate through challenges facing your business due to COVID-19. About this Event: In the first of four webinars, we will delve into the relief package made available by the UK government and how you can access it. The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced numerous government support packages which businesses in the UK may be eligible for including a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, business grants, rates relief and more. Not all of these may be right for your business, and you may be left confused about your next steps. We have brought together experts from various fields to help you understand what your options are to get your business through these trying times. We will clarify the various relief options and how you can actually access this support on a practical level. There will also be a Q&A to provide you free advice for your business as well as a chance to network and hear from peers.__________________________________________________________________________________________ SPEAKERS: Tim Stovold, tax Partner at Moore Kingston Smith who specialises in complex tax issues with extensive experience in start up businesses as well as entrepreneurs will offer advice and tips on how to access the government grants and funding for your business. Tim works with businesses throughout their lifecycle, from developing appropriate business structures and fundraising for owner-managed businesses, through growth and expansion to exit and succession planning. His portfolio of clients includes individuals, small and medium sized businesses, the UK operations of large international groups and publicly listed companies in the UK and worldwide. Tim also has extensive experience providing guidance and insight for Indian clients who wish to invest or start a business in the UK. View Tim on LinkedIn here.Zack Topuzov, Finance Specialist at a fast growing technology start up Smarkets, Zack will discuss considerations all businesses should be making and the benefits of each of the relief options enabling you to better understand the pros and cons.Zack's skills and experience are highly valued by entrepreneurs as he has a unique insight into analysing clients' financial models and providing accurate and realistic projections to be successful. View Zack on LinkedIn here.Host: Asma Bashir Chairman of Centuro Global, Asma worked in the legal services industry for most of her career, having been with multinational law firms before she established her own practice. She is a mentor on the Mayor's International Business Programme as well as a Senator for the World Business Angel Forum. View Asma on LinkedIn here.
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Event
Apr 2020

Navigating the subsidies provided by the South African Government.

South Africa Lockdown Webinar Series #1. Join us as we tackle the topics facing Startups, SMEs and large companies alike during this Lockdown Period.   About this Event: The Lockdown Webinar Series is a group of webinars aimed at business owners and designed to help during this lockdown period. We will have guests speakers who specialise in their field and topics to be addressed through the series will be: Navigating COVID19 subsidies that are available in South Africa Tips and Strategies to deal with staff during the lockdown Time to rebuild, how best to strategise during the lockdown If you have other ideas for topics, please send it through to us in the chat feature. See you soon.____________________________________________________________________________________________ Speakers: SERAJ TOEFYSeraj is a serial entrepreneur based in Cape Town with a rich background in marketing, communication and entrepreneurship. He started his career in the oil industry working for a multinational across Sub-Saharan Africa before switching to the internet, publishing and communication industry heading up several consumer magazines before starting his own content marketing business. Seraj lectures Entrepreneurial strategy and management at a few leading universities throughout Africa and is a regular guest speaker on the topic in Europe.He heads up the Centuro Global Africa operation and will provide on the ground analysis and perspective to any global client wanting to scale into Africa while assisting African companies wanting to scale globally. SCHALK GREEFFSchalk is a small business activist with a corporate background who now loves working alongside, mentoring and investing in entrepreneurs.Over the years he's obtained skills and experience on how to start a company from nothing, to build a growth platform and then scale from there. He's meticulous on the standard by which he does things, but won't let an opportunity pass. He also is a Managing Partner of Indevaldi, a professional services company that focuses on the entrepreneur, their businesses and their families. Services range from accounting, payroll, tax, advisory and many more.Indevaldi is a digital, on-line practise, serving clients throughout South Africa and abroad.
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Press Release
Mar 2020

HOW ARE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS REACTING TO THE CORONA VIRUS CRISIS?

"The relentless progress of the corona virus is pummeling life and business in the UK in a way that hasn’t been seen since World War two. The health of the nation has been shifted to the center of importance, with the UK businesses effectively put in lockdown to tackle the spread and save lives. For this article, we look at the private equity market is reacting to the crisis." This article seeks to answer; How is the PE market reacting to the crisis? How are PE funds being affected? What other trends are you seeing in the market?   READ BLM FULL ARTICLE HERE:
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Press Release
Mar 2020

Entrepreneurs hit hard by Coronavirus – ways to stay afloat

Thought provoking words and tips on how Entrepreneurs can stay afloat during times of crisis - from our CG Head of Africa, Seraj.   In this article published by the University of Stellenbosch Business School, Seraj shares insights on the following seven areas; Costs Operations "Co-opetition" Communication Strategy Knowledge Mindset Read the full article on University of Stellenbosch Business School website here.
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Blog
Mar 2020

Government Relief Programs for Small Businesses Affected by COVID

New governmental initiatives around the world are providing wider support for Employers, Businesses and the Self-Employed. This document contains a collated list of such relief programs for the following countries; Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. You will find information relating to Tax, Financial aid, Employee Wages, Sickness support, and more. DOWNLOAD THE RESOURCE PACK HERE. Please share this with your network. Also, we have created a Linkedin group to discuss the challenges business owners and leaders globally are facing during the coronavirus crisis, and to find expert advice and guidance on how to manage the impact of these challenges - particularly as it relates to managing cash flow, legal compliance, immigration and team remote working. You may request to join the group here.  
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Blog
Mar 2020

Template - Company Guide to Working Remotely

Moving to a full remote setup, particularly in a quarantine environment, is a new experience for all of us, and one where we’ll have to be very deliberate with our actions and communication to make it go well.In this guide, we cover off a few things we especially want to look out for: communication, keeping the [company] community, and looking after our own well-being.DOWNLOAD COMPANY GUIDE TO REMOTE WORKING
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Blog
Mar 2020

CENTURO GLOBAL AFRICA HAS ARRIVED!

We are excited to announce that, due to our remarkable growth over the last one and a half years, we now have expanded into Africa! Our Centuro Global Africa office officially opened its doors on Monday 16th, March 2020 and is situated in Cape Town, South Africa. So, whether you’re an African based business looking to scale out of Africa, or an overseas business looking to scale into Africa, we are here to help facilitate your global expansion plans. You can come to us for services including; Legal Immigration Intellectual Property Scaling & Expansion New Market Entry Raising Capital Pitch Deck Creation Business Development HR Support Office Sourcing Investor Introductions and, more. We chose South Africa as our first Centuro Global Africa hub because with a GDP worth USD 294 billion, South Africa is the 40th largest economy in the world and the third largest in Africa.  They are also home to the third largest entrepreneurial hub in Africa, just behind Nigeria and Kenya.   A report commissioned by Google highlights the huge opportunity within SA;  “Much of the support has focused on creating early-stage startups and entrepreneurs, with little focus on mapping out the full journey of entrepreneurship and creating support initiatives along the way…” We are ready to change that narrative by assisting South Africa in reaching its full potential by improving the commercial outlook for entrepreneurial talent and innovation. Heading up the operation will be Seraj Toefy. Seraj is a serial entrepreneur based in Cape Town. He also lectures Entrepreneurial strategy and management at a few leading universities throughout Africa and is a regular guest speaker on the topic in Europe.  He will provide on the ground analysis and perspective to any global client wanting to scale into Africa, while assisting African companies wanting to scale globally.  You can contact him on Linkedin and our website. You can also follow what we're doing on our social media channels; @centuroglobal. We would like to Thank You for your continued support in Centuro Global. We are pleased to be expanding our hub into diverse regions across the globe in a pact to grow more successful startups. To celebrate, we are offering any business that is thinking about expanding into Africa, or from Africa into the UK, a consultation. Contact us today! https://www.centuroglobal.com/contact-us  hello@centuroglobal.com
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Blog
Feb 2020

No “Australian Visa System” in the UK

The UK government has finally released some of their actual plans for the “new immigration system” after Brexit. The new system is alleged to be more employer-led and will be implemented on 1 January 2021. The details released on February 20th, do not cover family migration, asylum and students but covers workers (“fiscal migration”).  The new UK’s point-based system  As the UK will leave the UK by the end of 2020, the government has released their plans to “compensate” the cessation of the EU freedom of movement of people. Businesses and workers have been quite anxious about how the UK would shape their immigration system after Brexit and this morning the Home Office has finally disclosed their plans (some) on introducing a new UK’s points-based system following the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report published last month. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/migration-advisory-committee-mac-report-points-based-system-and-salary-thresholds   1. Skilled Workers The Home Office will bring the skills threshold down from RQF6 to RQF3. These will open a door for more workers to become eligible to work in the UK. All other workers with lower skills than RFQ3 are not going to be benefited by any specific route, but the government will expand the pilot scheme for seasonal workers in agriculture providing 10,000 places for such individuals.  1.0. New Salary Threshold  Migrants still need to meet 70 points in order to be eligible to apply for the visa and have a job offer from a Home Office approved employer. The gross annual general minimum salary, currently used on the Tier 2 General visa category, is going to be reduced from £30,000 to £25,600. Migrants must still be paid according to the minimum “going rate” salary of their respective Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes, which can be higher than the new salary threshold.  ⦁ Trading Points and salary reduction The new factor introduced is that migrants will be able to “trade” some of their jo characteristic qualifications towards points if their salary is going to be less than the minimum threshold or “going rate” but never less than £20,480. Migrants can “trade” to obtain points if: ⦁ their job is in the shortage occupation list (as designated by MAC); or⦁ they have a Phd in a subject relevant to the job; or⦁ they have a Phd in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subject relevant to the job. Salaries can be reduced as follows: ⦁ the job is in the shortage occupation list (as designated by MAC) - 20 % reduction⦁ the migrant has a Phd in STEM subject - 20 % reduction⦁ the migrant has a Phd in non-STEM subject – 10 % reduction ⦁ Dependants The Home Office has confirmed that as now, skilled workers are going to be allowed to bring their dependants to the UK. No further information or details have been provided on this. ⦁ Global Talent visa category As expected, the Global Talent Visa will be extended to EU citizens who will be able to come to work in the UK without a job offer, as long as they have been endorsed by a competent body. ⦁ Unsponsored visa route The government mentioned that they are working on a broader unsponsored route which will allow the most highly skilled workers to come to the UK without a job offer. No further details have been provided on this either. ⦁ Students Student visas will also be points-based system managed where, students must have an offer from an approved educational institution, knowledge of English and funds to maintain themselves in the UK. Again, nor further information or details have been provided on this visa category.  ⦁ EU Citizens The government has confirmed that EU Citizens will be treated the same as non-visa nationals, where entry clearance is not required to be issued before coming to the UK for a maximum period of six month, but work is not permitted. The UK unilaterally will allow EU citizens to use the e-Gates but stressed that this policy will be kept under review. EU Citizens will be able to apply for visas using their smartphones to self-enrol face biometrics and fingerprints will not be required. Other citizens will have to visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC) abroad to enrol their biometrics.  A physical visa or card will not be issued to EU citizens. Therefore, they will be able to prove their immigration status in the UK electronically. Article written by Michael Rodriguez. If you would like to get more information on the above or have any question on Immigration please call us on +44 (0) 207 458 4600, or send an email to hello@centuroglobal.com
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Blog
Feb 2020

Brexit results in 'eU-turn' on Meme Ban

Following the UK leaving the EU on Friday 31 January 2020, albeit in a transitory period until the end of 2020, there was one immediate positive outcome for UK based memelords and meme fans alike. The anticipated “Meme Ban” will not be brought into UK law. What is the so called ‘Meme Ban’? The EU Copyright Directive is a controversial piece of legislation that is due to be implemented across EU Member States. It addresses how copyrighted material is shared on online platforms and its most controversial component is Article 17, which requires online platforms to stop copyrighted material being shared on their platforms. With so much content shared between users of online platforms, there have been fears that such platforms will be left with no choice but to use automated filters to takedown and remove copyrighted content. The goal being to redirect revenue from the tech giants to the original creators of the content. Given this new and very significant burden of responsibility added to the shoulders of online platforms, Tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have naturally been against the Directive. Whilst memes technically fall under the copyright exception relating to content that is merely “for purposes of quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody and pastiche”, the fear is that the automated removal technology that platforms may implement will not be able to distinguish between genuine copyright infringement and excepted copyright material. The internet therefore coined the term ‘Meme Ban’ for the EU Copyright Directive. However, UK Minister for Universities and Science, Chris Skidmore, has confirmed that the UK will not implement the EU Copyright Directive now that we have left the EU and so memers can all rejoice. Why has the UK opted not to implement the EU Copyright Directive?             The UK was actually a key player in the original inception of the EU Copyright Directive and originally supported it. If the UK was really not keen on the Directive or on Article 17 (previously Article 13), as a strong EU player, it could in fact have blocked it. Many are therefore now suggesting that this reversal of adoption of the Directive is a mere PR stunt. The topic of copyright freedom online has been hotly debated and will continue to be hotly debated with a very tricky balance between freedom to share content online and obtain knowledge versus the right for creators to control or benefit from their content. Legislators argue that online platforms are the one benefitting from the content at the expense of all the creators – the artists, writers, journalists, and so forth. Will the decision not to implement the Directive benefit business?             One industry that will particularly be hit hard by the lack of implementation is the music industry, who have been campaigning for years for platforms such as YouTube and Facebook to face more responsibility for tackling content that contains infringing content belonging to record labels, songwriters and artists alike. There are suggestions that, on the other hand, this could benefit startups and smaller platforms who cannot afford to implement the technology required to scan and remove content. Julia Reda, a former MEP for the Pirate Party Germany, predicts that “not implementing Article 17 makes the UK more attractive for running platform businesses”. However, the Directive does not require smaller companies to act in such a manner regardless. Any companies that meet all of the following 3 criteria would not have been required to implement takedown technology: It has been around for less than 3 years; Annual turnover is below €10 million; and It has fewer than 5 million unique monthly visitors.   Furthermore, the lack of implementation of this law is unlikely to be a significant consideration for many businesses about whether to do business outside the EU, in comparison to the other consequences of Brexit. Not much will practically change over the next 11 months, but for now we can all rest easy that we can share and enjoy memes without any fear of copyright infringement.
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Event
Jan 2020

Brand It, Pitch It, Nail it, Scale It!

Centuro Global, in collaboration with White Bear Studio, are delighted to announce our upcoming masterclass. The session focuses on both White Bear and Centuro Global's proven methodologies to nail your branding and pitching strategies to land investment and drive sustainable growth. The speakers will teach their methodologies so that you can apply them yourself, such as: How to build your brand story and tone of voice How to build a brand for future growth and investment Top tips for creating a pitch deck that will land investment Scaling your business As with any good event, there will be the opportunity to network and breakfast will be provided. About The Speakers... White Bear StudioWhite Bear are a London and Dublin based Branding Agency that specialises in creating smashing brands with stickiness for high growth businesses, helping them scale for investment and growth. We work with businesses across multiple sectors and our clients have secured investment in the tens of millions, as well as significant double-digit growth. We teach our unique approaches at industry-leading events. All the brands we've created have beaten their investment goals. White Bear Studio will share their creative process for building a compelling brand, fit for scale and investment. Through brand story, tone of voice, and building a brand world to ensure your business is set up for success. Centuro Global:Centuro Global is a business growth consultancy and concierge service. We assist companies throughout their lifecycle from seed to scaling to exit. Whether you need assistance with pitch decks and funding, intellectual property protection or advice on how to enter new markets and scale globally, we offer a full 360 service. We also have a global membership community comprised of vetted scaleups & SMEs, professional service providers, and investors to ensure you have the right advisory support throughout your business journey. Centuro Global will share their top tips for nailing your pitch deck. Having created numerous pitch decks for clients and connecting them with our network of angel investors and VCs we have great experience in what works and what does not. Join us for our core principles on maximising your chance of obtaining investment.
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Event
Nov 2019

Launch of The Business Series in collaboration with Modern Woman

On 27th November 2019, we launched a new events collaboration with Modern Woman at The Curtain Members' Club in London: The Business Series. The event was split into two parts to provide maximum value for our sold-out audience, namely a social media marketing masterclass followed by a live speaker panel. We had a full house on the night, buzzing with colourful canapés, vibrant ambience and inspiring conversation. Dominic Baber-Norris and Xavier Parkshouse-Parker, the dynamic duo behind digital marketing service Zaphub, led a fantastic workshop in which they shared a host of actionable tips that any small business owner could get started with on social media straight away. Three of our guests in the audience were selected for a live audit of their social media profiles, which proved to be deeply valuable for the entire audience covering tips for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.  Fitness & Lifestyle influencer, Karly Arber, also stepped onto the stage and delighted the audience with her bubbly personality as she shared her journey towards becoming a social media influencer, and most importantly how to remain authentic whilst growing a large following. The key takeaway from Karly’s message was that regardless of who your audience is, authenticity always wins.  People follow you because they are interested in you, and what you do. They want to feel as though they are taking that journey with you, getting previews of the behind-the-scenes shots of your daily life and getting to know the real person behind the screen.  Bearing in mind that it’s natural for people to connect with people, rather than a company, it is important to showcase the human element of your business. Do you do monthly team pizza days? Or do you have a dog friendly office?  Capture these moments in the form of short videos, boomerangs and pictures to share on your socials as this will boost intrigue and engagement amongst your followers whilst depicting you as a personable brand, rather than a cold, soulless entity. As the workshop wrapped up, DJ Ronnie Herel from Mi-Soul radio played ambient, soulful sounds as our guests networked with one another and enjoyed the wide array of delicious canapes and refreshing drinks provided. Panel Discussion Rosie Coxshaw, Founder of Modern Woman, moderated the second session of the evening, where we welcomed to the stage three incredible guest panellists to discuss a variety of topics including female success, wellness and purpose as an entrepreneur. Top takeaways: Karene Lambert-Gorwyn, Property Investor with a multi-million pound portfolio and Co-Founder of Profit for Practitioners Mentorship program -  Value collaboration over competition. This opens you up to wider opportunities for success than you could ever achieve alone. Help other women climb the ladder with you. Often, as women, you work so hard trying to open doors throughout your career, that you forget to hold the door open for your fellow women along the way. Quote she lives by “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life in a way that most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”  Tram Anh Nguyen, Wall Street Trader turned Co-founder of the Centre for Finance, Tech & Entrepreneurship - Stay healthy and remember to switch off, to avoid burn out.  Ensure you have a deep-rooted mission that underpins your company and motivates your team. Every single day she receives testimonials from students all over the world who have landed jobs in fintech thanks to her programme.  Quote she lives by “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”. Thomas A. Edison  Chantal Gautier, Chartered Psychologist -  The future of work is changing. As an employer, you must trust your employees enough to give them autonomy. Thank you to all who came and shared in a wonderful evening. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media to receive the latest news, top business tips and updates on future events! LinkedIn Instagram Facebook Twitter
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Blog
Nov 2019

Rich vs King

‘Why Did You Start Your Business?’ Founders get asked this all the time. What made you do X and why did you choose Y? Founder motivations differ and can be incredibly broad. It’s undoubtedly a blend of timing and inspiration, but ultimately what motivates us as founders is vital to understand. Noam Wasserman’s, The Founder’s Dilemmas, examines early stage decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team.  Wasserman argues that in the majority of cases, the motivation bottles down to a shoot-out between ‘Rich’ or ‘King’: ‘Rich’ – This is self-explanatory where money is the name of the game. This motivation is where a company's purpose is typically seen as a vehicle to deliver shareholder profit (and ultimately build the founder’s personal wealth).  ‘King’ - Wasserman describes the motivation of some founders stemming from running and controlling their own business empire. Power is the driving force here. ‘So, Which Is Better - Rich Or King?’ Firstly what does this “King” type founder look like? Are they micro-managers who try to control every aspect of their business? Potentially yes, but not necessarily.  The key point of control is the control of the equity and likely resulting control of the board. Founders who maintained this type of control in their business typically exited at lower valuations, with lower returns or in most cases did not exit, as the company stalled as a “Zombie” or simply failed. It may seem counter-intuitive that, in ceding more equity, co-founders and investors would lead to significantly higher returns. However, studies repeatedly show that founders that are “rich” motivated will achieve their goals with less control.  An element of this is obvious - selling equity to an investor who injects both financial and social capital into a business will likely have a better chance of success - sure you’ll lose some control, but sometimes you have to accept your weaknesses and bring others in to grow. A great example of knowing when and how to cede control is often the CEO position.  For startups that are growing fast, strong leadership to make decisions and set the company direction is necessary. The qualities of a top CEO will differ from company to company and opinions on what makes good CEOs are constantly debated.  Ultimately, we can confidently say that the founding CEO is not necessarily the best person to run their company. Many founders have visions of being the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, founding a large company and running it for many years. However, Wasserman’s research of hundreds of American startups revealed that within three years of founding the startup, 50% of founders were no longer the CEO, and fewer than 25% were in the top seat when their companies went public.  In fact, four out of five founders from Wasserman’s study were actually ousted from the CEO post, a direct challenge to this role of King. This suggests that, more often than not, foregoing the glamour of being a King, and instead pursuing Rich is the best route to growth.  ‘One Step Backwards, Two Steps Forward’ The control point is where the founder’s dilemma is felt hardest. Professional investors (VCs and Super Angels) will sometimes push to replace the CEO early since they know that everyone’s financial returns will be maximised by implementing experienced leadership.  Admittedly, this isn’t always the case and/or investors aren’t always right. Sometimes founders can be stepped down too early, thus calling disruption or stalling company growth. The founder has the initial vision, sees the opportunity and hires people to help build according to that vision. Indeed, super successful VC firms such as Andreessen-Horowitz (A16Z) are well known for much preferring to back founding CEOs. However, AH are one of the few exceptions. Another key consideration is that at different stages in the lifecycle of a startup, different skillsets will be required. For example, whilst a technology minded founder might be the best person to lead the company at an early stage, more business acumen and experience in marketing and sales may be required as the company grows. Therefore, the more successful a startup is at an early stage, and the more equity and board control that is given away, the more likely that the ‘successful’ founding CEO will be replaced by someone with more experience and/or different skillsets.  Take the example of Google - founded by Larry Page (Founding CEO) and Sergey Brin. The co-founders made a great team but were initially inexperienced and unable to captain the incredible growth that Google and its technology were experiencing. Page knew he was not ready and with his board hired Eric Schmidt, who helped mastermind Google into the incredible technology giant it is today. Throughout Schmidt’s tenure, Larry Page importantly stayed involved at the board and executive levels. Then in 2011 - a whole decade after he initially stepped back - Page was now ready to retake the reigns and lead Google to their next stage of growth.  Google really is a perfect example of the founding team realising the huge potential their venture held whilst accepting their own shortcomings in relation to this. In their case, it made total sense to bring others in to ‘run’ things. Sure, ultimately Larry Page returned, but this was far from guaranteed in 2001 when he stepped back from his creation - what was guaranteed though, was that Schmidt presented the best opportunity for Google to kick on to the stage of hyper-growth. So, how about Steve Jobs? The infamous control freak, who many would argue achieved both Rich and King… Even Jobs accepted he was not right to be CEO of his booming company in the early 1980s. Upon accepting this, Jobs went out and hired Pepsi-Cola’s President, John Sculley. In hindsight, this was not the best hire (Apple’s prospects under Scully deteriorated). However, the decision to bring someone in was correct - Steve Jobs was not the right person at that time. It took the strenuous experience of acting CEO of NeXt Computers and later Pixar to build Jobs into the ‘iCEO’ we all know about today. Therefore, even Jobs faced the Rich vs King dilemma and learnt to avoid King. In summary, all founders need to understand their motivations for their company. Do they want to maximise returns or retain control and power over their company? If it is the latter, they need to consider whether they are ready for such a role.  Founders who understand that they are motivated more by wealth than by power will make the best decisions to help the company scale, including bringing in a more experienced CEO. On the other hand, those motivated by control may make more decisions that enable them to retain power whilst actually hindering the overall growth of the company. It’s a prevalent dilemma because often founders face the choice to lose control to increase their wealth. However, it’s safe to assume that most entrepreneurs are motivated by maximising profit - therefore, avoiding the enticing trap of King is a must for those looking to scale effectively.        
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Nov 2019

Social Media Marketing Masterclass: Presented by Modern Woman & Centuro Global

Set in the cool and trendy LP Room at The Curtain members club, The Curtain Hotel, 45 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3PT. Join us for an insightful day full of workshops, valuable business tips and inspiring stories whilst networking with other business owners, entrepreneurs and passionate people! See below for a diary of events: 4pm - 5:45pm: Social Media Marketing Masterclass Social media has rapidly become vital in the armoury of any entrepreneur’s marketing efforts. Not only is it important for promotional purposes, but also as a medium to communicate with business customers and clients. Dominic Baber-Norris and Xavier Parkhouse-Parker from digital marketing service Zaphub will lead this workshop on how to use social media for your business. This unmissable course will show you how to: Develop a successful social media strategy Identify and target your audience Create compelling content to drive engagement Time your posts to maximise engagement *A surprise social media influencer will also be attending to give their top tips on driving engagement.* 5:45pm-7pm: Food, drinks and networking 7pm-8:30pm: Live Speaker Panel Modern Woman's editor, Rosie Coxshaw hosts the conversation with inspiring women from diverse industries & cultures as they share their personal experiences as well as discussing thought provoking topics centred around women in the workplace including sales and marketing tools, raising finance, monetising tech for you business and wellness. Followed by an audience Q&A. See below for speakers on the night:   Tram Anh Nguyen Co-Founder of The Centre For Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (Covering: Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship) Tram Anh is the co-founder of CFTE (Centre for Finance, Tech and Entrepreneurship) and an Industry Fellow at Imperial College Business School. She has been nominated as one of the Top 100 Women in Fintech in 2018 and 2019, and is an advocate for lifelong learning and continuous education as the best tool to help organisations and people adapt to a fast-changing world. She is passionate about up - skilling and providing more opportunities to professionals in finance, as well as providing women and individuals from diverse backgrounds with a voice. With extensive experience in the finance industry prior to co-founding CFTE, Tram Anh has a tracking record of setting up leading projects in the world of education with learners around the world, from over 100 countries. Today, she works tirelessly with governments, policy makers, industry experts and academia to push initiatives in continuous education. She believes that in a world increasingly dominated by technology, people must remain at the centre of society and organisations, with education and training key to helping individuals thrive in a fast-changing ecosystem.   Karene Lambert-Gowyn Co-Founder of Passion to Profit & Heart Centred Business (Covering: Business Growth, Sales & Marketing) Karene is an award winning Mumpreneur, Coach and successful Property Investor with a multimillion pound portfolio. Previously a highly paid Management Consultant in Australia, Singapore as well as the UK and Europe, she changed careers to have more time, better relationships and financial freedom. After engaging world-class business and property mentors, Karene created a £2m+ property portfolio in under a year and alongside launching her own Property Coaching Business, she helped Chris create the Passion to Profit for Practitioners Success Formula.She credits her stellar financial and business success to finding the right mentors combined with stepping outside of her comfort zone and taking massive action! With her years of corporate experience focused on saving companies money through efficiency structures and effective systems, Karene brings that knowledge and experience to the Practitioner world and with her husband Chris, created the Award-Winning Passion to Profit for Practitioners Mentorship where they help expert health practitioners build a six-figure practice and then scale it to seven-figures. Chris and Karene have personally trained more than 2500 heart centred business owners how to build a 6 figure income. They have been invited to speak at Business and Financial Conferences around the world, appearing on stages in 14 different countries across 4 different continents, alongside business titans such as Sir Richard Branson, Robert & Kim Kiyosaki, Kevin Harrington, Randi Zuckerberg, Gill Fielding, and Kane and Alessia Minkus. Chris and Karene live in Central London with their daughter Mya where they balance their exciting careers around being present and committed parents.   Chantal Gautier Senior Lecturer, C. Psych, fHEA, AFBPsS at Westminster University & Author (Covering: Business Psychology & Wellness) Chantal is a London-based academic, Chartered Psychologist and eclectic professional with consultancy skills, specializing in a wide range of academic and business activities. Her successful track record in Higher Edicatopm warranted the Teaching Fellow Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Chantal continues to apply her academic knowledge and teaching skills in a range of settings. Her breadth of experience and specialist insight into leadership, team development, employee engagement, change management and customer services, has led to contributions in both public, private sectors as well as internationally. Her attraction to Organizational Psychology is driven by her interest with the interface between learning, teaching and business and how they can impact on the servicing of people and interactions. With her recent book publication: The Psychology of Work: Insights into Successful Working Practices, she reminds us of the need to bring back the humane into organizational life. 8:30pm-10pm: Networking, drinks and soulful sounds with DJ Ronnie Herel (Mi-Soul Radio) All attendees will also receive a free day pass to the Private Members Club, “The Curtain”. Buy Tickets
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Blog
Oct 2019

The Power of Marketing Data & 5 Ways You Should Use It In 2020

“Marketing Data” can sound like typical industry jargon that means nothing and has no basis in the real world. Or worse still, flashbacks to Cambridge Analytica and data leaks can leave people frightened of the negative capabilities that modern data control brings. The truth is, the best ‘marketing’ is using any information you get from your customers to enhance the promotion of your business. The best marketers in the world know that utilising data to guide creativity is the key to marketing & business success. If we could give one piece of advice to any small business it would be: get a handle on your marketing data ASAP. Data is the new gold. On the surface, marketing data is as broad as any and all audience interactions. In reality, decisions can currently be made from insights into something as specific as click percentages of 16-25-year-olds within 15km of your business. In effect, marketing data is all the information that comes from interactions with an audience, in person or online. All of this is incredibly useful when it comes to growing your business. Why? Here are our three key reasons why business success and marketing data are inextricably linked: 1. Marketing Data Tells You Who Your Customers Are. This might sound very strange: you know who your customers are, right? You interact with them on a daily basis, but do you know their age range, their business sectors or their business size? Can you plot that data on a graph that tells you your ideal customer persona? There are tools available that will track many of these key pieces of data for you – the more you know, the better you can target leads. 2. Marketing Data Saves You Money. If you’re marketing now, then you’re spending money. Even if this is just business cards, flyers and branding - your logo and even your business name are marketing. Even spending your time on your Twitter page costs you time and, as a wise man once said, ‘time = money’. If you know more about your market or your customers, then you’ll be able to spend your time or money better, maybe even automating parts of your acquisition funnel like we have at CG. 3. Find Out Your Best Customers. Do you know which customers make you the most money? The Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule states that the likelihood is that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers (we’ll get in to how to use this a bit later). Put simply, you probably have an ‘ideal’ customer - someone who you add the most value to and someone who, in return, is a loyal and reliable revenue stream. So, the data from your marketing can give you incredible insight into your business and your customers. But, how can you use this to grow your business? Here are our top 5 ways you can use your marketing data: 1. Target the right people.  Above we said marketing data could be used to save you money and time. It pays to be more focused. If you find from your marketing data (for example) that 80% of your customers are middle-aged women, for example, then all your marketing efforts should keep this in mind. Do you know which social media your customers prefer? If they’re all on Facebook and not Twitter, then any time you spend on Twitter is wasted. Unless you have money or time to burn, it’s essential to maximise everything you do.(As an aside, if you do have a bit of money to throw at your marketing next month, think about saving time by outsourcing some of your outreach.) 2. Target people when they need it.  This is one of the best uses of marketing data: sell to your customers when they need it. This isn’t as simple or easy as focusing on one social media - there are few ways to effectively do this. If you’re an online business or conduct any activity online, then you really should look at Facebook’s Pixel for starters. It’s their product that tells you which customers want to buy what and even indicates when they want to buy it. It’s powerful, and there isn’t enough space to explain it here, but it’s well worth the effort to add. Read up on it here.  But, what if you’re not an online business? Well, in that case, when are your products typically used? If you sell caffeinated drinks, then 8:30 in the morning is a great time to target your customers. If you’re a gym, then January and May are pretty good times to focus. The best thing is marketing data will help you make these decisions by showing you when to focus and whom to focus on (more in number 4). 3. Understand Wasted Effort.  Ever heard the phrase “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”? (John Wanamaker (1838-1922)). This old saying used to be the case for marketing, but, using data, you can know precisely what works. You can see where your customers click (tools like bit.ly are fantastic), you can use data to see which of the places you’re advertising generate the most revenue. This is similar to targeting the right people since you can double down on everything that works well and cut everything that doesn’t. Taking John Wanamaker’s formula, you’re practically doubling your marketing effect, at half the cost. Think about using landing pages and heat mapping plug-ins to fully visualize where your customers are most interested. Again, most agencies should be able to help you sort this and the easy tech available nowadays is game-changing. 4. Focus on High-Value Customers.  Throughout this article we’ve mentioned focusing on key targets, demographics & times. All of this comes down to the 80/20 principle. It’s one of the more fascinating rules in business and economics. It came from an Italian economist who was examining peas and discovered that most of the peas come from a minority of pods; usually split by 80% of the benefit (peas) coming from 20% of the participants (pods) (hence 80/20). Over time the same phenomenon can be seen in business: it’s staggering that 80% of revenue can come from just 20% of customers. We’ve just finished working with a company where the split was actually 92%/8%. This doesn’t only apply to revenue; you could find that 80% of your new customers come from just 20% of your marketing: giving you a clear path to ramping up your successful marketing. The key here is to focus on the aspects that are working and ‘double-down’ on those. This is a big topic, with lots of examples and research conducted; Tim Ferris has done much work in this area. You can use your marketing data along with the 80/20 principle to unlock a business superpower. 5. Plan your cash flow far, far ahead.  This might seem mundane, especially compared to some of the interesting principles we’ve touched on, but it’s incredibly important. Do you know how much it costs you to acquire a new customer (your ‘Cost Per Acquisition’/ CPA)? This number is one of the most critical numbers any business owner can have, as it means that, for every dollar spent on advertising, you’ll know how much new custom/revenue you will get. Once you know this, you can plan to grow bigger with ease, and you will be able to truly understand what is needed to grow. Reinvesting revenue is a no-brainer when you have a clear calculation of the returns you’ll see next quarter. This article has only been brief overview of marketing data and what it can do for your business. There is so much more to say but a quick point (I see a lot of people complaining about) is that spreadsheets don’t have to be boring - they can unlock the potential of generating more revenue by spending your time and money effectively. Instead of seeing marketing data as boring, view it as a key tool to growing your business. Since there’s nothing boring about growing your business, get into using your data effectively!
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Event
Sep 2019

Young Owners Forum in Bodrum, Turkey

Our Chairwoman, Asma Bashir, and founder & CEO Zain Ali, attended the inaugural Young Owners Forum in Bodrum, Turkey from 20th– 22ndSeptember. It was a fantastic gathering of business owners from across Europe, the Middle East, Africa & Asia, as well as investors and business advisers. The topics discussed ranged from the rise of robotics, to challenges facing young business owners, to how to target a global market. Professor Adrian Cooper, the CEO of Oxford Economics (a leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis) forecast that 20 million manufacturing jobs could be lost to robots by 2030. This would be a reduction in the global manufacturing workforce of 8.5%. From 2011-2016, in China alone there was a 267% rise in the number of robots per worker, with a 40% rise in the US and 27% rise in Germany. A Chinese delegation also attended the conference and led a panel discussing the landscape in China. Elena Zheng of Huobi Global discussed the speed at which technology is developed in China, which renders many pieces of tech obsolete by the time they are completed, making it a race to stay relevant. The sheer size of the population at 1.5 billion, over half of which own smartphones, make it a massive market for business resulting in phenomenal opportunity. Our Chairman, Asma, sat on a panel including speakers from Germany, Spain, Oman, Iraq and Nigeria discussing leadership to inspire the younger generation of business owners. Tariq Al-Barwani, the founder of Knowledge Oman, emphasised the importance for early stage entrepreneurs to test their idea in the market and creating an MVP before going full steam ahead with a startup. Asma discussed two of her biggest challenges in her early days as a founder of a company in the early 2000s. These were setting up a strong team and servicing the needs of demanding clients. If you can carefully curate a balanced team with all of the required skillsets and complementary personalities, you will be onto a winner. Meanwhile, doing everything you can to keep clients happy, which can be very time consuming, is crucial. Asma also advised that her top tip for success is to ensure you continue to innovate and never stay stagnant, which was echoed by members of the panel. Miguel Martin, a renowned Spanish angel investor and member of the World Business Angel Investment Forum emphasised the importance of thinking 3, 5, or even 10 years in advance just to keep up with technological developments and to stay one step ahead of your competitors. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend networking with amazing individuals in the beautiful seaside town of Bodrum. We look forward to the second edition of this wonderful conference next year.
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Blog
Sep 2019

Why Valuation Matters

“What is your valuation?” “£100,000 for 10%?” The above seems like a fabricated scenario made for Dragons Den or Shark Tank, but at some stage, every investor will want to know: “what is your valuation?” Often one of the most daunting questions that a VC or angel investor can impose on you is around valuation and the distribution of your equity. Without wanting to get tangled up in trying to cover behavioural economic signalling, it’s best to regard answering this correctly as more of an art than a science. At any investment stage, when an investor is asking for your valuation they are looking for many things. Principally, they want to gauge how attractive the deal on your startup’s equity is - they can then make any further decisions anchored to this number. There is a lot to look at when it comes to tackling your valuation. You’ll hear terms such as ‘pre-money, post-money, EBITDA multiple’ thrown around and it’s easy to get lost in the jargon (there’s a handy Jargon Glossary at the end of the article in case you run into any new terms whilst reading).  What really matters is how your stated valuation affects the investment deal for both you, and the interested party. Every interaction with an investor will act as a signal. The way you dress, pitch, your tone of voice and your enthusiasm are all factors that are hard to control. Believe it or not, we’re seeing data that suggests even being enthusiastic in pitches could actually hurt your chances of success! The point is that interactions can be erratic, and it’s near impossible to predict their effects on individuals. Nonetheless, there is no need to panic! Your valuation is one thing that is totally in your control. Until you have your first lump of capital invested, you are entirely free to move your valuation to suit your aims & business ambitions. Sure, we’re framing this potentially daunting autonomy as being a good thing, but if you can’t get excited by risk, then maybe fundraising isn’t for you after all...   So, Why Does It Matter What Valuation I Say? How does what I say affect the deal and what are these behavioural economic signals I’m sending? If you state your valuation too high, you could seem delusional or price future investors out of the deal. Too low and you might imply a lack of faith in your idea and team or, even worse, sell your equity too cheaply and as a founding team be stuck with a minority stake in a booming business one day. You’re sending an important signal and you must use this as a tool to your advantage. Signalling isn’t something that many accelerators or incubators will adequately teach you. Being lucky enough to get introduced to investors is one thing, but knowing how to manoeuvre that room once you’re in it is a whole new game. As a founder, equity in your attractive business is your one pivotal asset and will be a central factor in any investment negotiation. Any deal-making is based on tradables as seen below:   P1: I trade X for Y P2: What if we traded my Y for your X and your Z P1: We can make it work if we trade my X and Z for your Y and W. Deal? P2: Deal   The letters in the above negotiation are tradable; each one adds more value to the deal and eventually leads to an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both parties (at least that’s the aim). There are many tradables in an investment deal (board seats, liquidation preferences, shareholder rights, pre-emption rights, drag-along rights etc.) and you should become familiar with these terms before embarking on any deals. While we’re not fans of jargon, sometimes it does pay to be in the know. Check out our glossary below where you can find definitions to all of these terms and more. In almost all early-stage financing rounds what matters most is what the investor ‘gets’ for what they put in. In effect, your stated valuation is your opening position and (as any game theorist or expert negotiator will tell you) this sets the stage for the entire rest of the deal.   How Do I ‘Use’ My Valuation? The valuation you state first, i.e. the one that is in your pitch deck, isn’t necessarily going to be your final agreed figure. As a founder, it’s vital to know the equity percentage that you want to end up at and it is prudent to have an upper and lower bound as to what you will accept. Once you know and understand your personal (or team’s) percentages, then you are at an advantage as you can enter any negotiation or pitch with clear parameters of what you will accept and clear parameters of what you will walk away from. After you’ve settled on ideal outcomes, you can focus on what information you can deliver with your valuation. In most cases (like any negotiation) it is best to open at a high asking price, as it’s likely you’ll see efforts to bring the valuation downwards, so it’s good to leave room to ‘cooperate’. Additionally, opening with a reasonably high valuation tends to signal confidence. Since you’re able to be flexible from pitch to pitch about your valuation, you can fluctuate your valuation number easily depending on whom you are pitching to. For example, when meeting professional VC investors with established funds, a £1m+ valuation at seed stage is not untenable (in fact, VC’s won’t really get excited about anything lower than this). In comparison, an angel investor certainly could be scared off by such a high valuation. Tailor your valuation to what works for you, and what you expect to work for the specific investors you’re targeting. On angel platforms (e.g. https://www.syndicateroom.com/) or equity crowd funders (e.g. https://www.seedrs.com/) it’s often prudent to set your valuation low to encourage rapid micro-investments. As you gain momentum and reach your milestones you could end up raising considerably more than your initial ask at a much higher valuation (although watchout for down rounds). Above all, try to simply look at valuation (and investment generally) as a tool to grow and accelerate your startup. It isn’t just a signalling method and it certainly isn’t a vanity metric, it’s a real number that will affect your startup for years to come. A massive valuation is guaranteed to make headlines, but it’s certainly not guaranteed to bring successful growth.   Finally, Is Valuation Everything? No. As discussed above, there are numerous factors in play during an investment deal. For example, take these two deals: A: £400,000 for 20% equity B: £200,000 for 10% equity Both of these deals would give the startup a pretty tantalising pre-money valuation of £2 million. However, deal A gives the startup far more rope in terms of working capital for a sustained burn rate than deal B, at the cost of surrendering more equity. Only you can decide which is better - it’s when you’re presented with decisions like these that you’ll be grateful for the mentors and team around you. Ultimately, a stranger could invest £100 into your startup for 0.00001% equity and you would technically have an instant ‘unicorn’ (£1billion+ valuation). In this case, your valuation would be a dangerously misleading vanity metric, and certainly unimportant for you and your business.   A Complex Problem If you’re dedicated and talented enough to fundraise, your valuation/s will be one of the most prominent factors in your career. It’s fraught with problems and since it’s often little more than an educated guess, it makes sense to get the right help in early before you start making commitments and receiving capital. At Centuro Global, we assist businesses in getting the right advisory support from our unique network of professionals. Our team comprises industry experts within the legal, finance, technology and marketing sectors. We have led companies, advised major brands and contributed to the growth and success of numerous small to medium and large businesses around the world. Valuations are tricky. It is definitely an art not a science and, put simply, it can be a disaster if you get it wrong. However, as the best entrepreneurs have shown over time, your valuation can equally be a significant asset when you get it right.   Jargon Glossary: Pre-Money & Post-Money Valuation - The value of private companies is very subjective and usually comes down to negotiation. Pre-money valuation is the value you place on your company before going out to find investment. Post-money valuation is simply the pre-money valuation plus the investment. The higher the valuation is, the less dilution there will be as the company will need to issue fewer shares for any capital raised. However, if the valuation is too high it will be off-putting for potential investors. As always, balance is key – don’t be too greedy but don’t sell too cheaply either!   EBITDA Multiple -This financial ratio compares a company’s Enterprise Value to its annual EBITDA. The Enterprise Value considers the startup’s entire market. For example, all ownership interests and asset claims from both debt and equity are included. EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization and is a metric used to evaluate a company’s operating performance. Put simply, a low EBITDA ratio value indicates that the company could be undervalued, and a high EBITDA value suggests that there may well be an overvaluation. Importantly, it’s not uncommon for prospective buyers and investors to push for a lower valuation to get more ‘bang for their buck’.   Pre-Emption Rights - These can be set-up to give a contractual right for existing shareholders to maintain their proportion of ownership of the company. Put simply, they do so by acquiring their proportional share of any additional stock issuances (e.g. if the company goes public). This right ensures that a shareholder's ownership interest is not diluted through the issuance of more shares. Also known as subscription rights or subscription privileges, these can be really important in negotiations as they allow a shareholder to be able to protect themselves from having their shares devalued over time. Equally, they can prevent selling or transferring shares to another party whom they may not wish to be in business with, thus potentially blocking future deals.   Down Round - Generally viewed as a very negative way to raise capital for founders; a “down round” is when a company sells shares of its capital stock at a price per share that is less than the price per share it sold shares for in an earlier financing. Investors will often cement protections against down rounds. They are typically issued new shares to ensure their stake in the company isn’t diluted by new investors acquiring equity. However, that has to come out of someone else's proportional stake - typically founders. Additionally, down-rounds can be seen as a backwards step for a company as the valuation shrinks. This is bad for a number of likely obvious reasons and is likely to hinder future investment opportunities and damage employee morale.   Drag Along Rights -An agreement that enables a majority shareholder to effectively force a minority shareholder to join in the sale of a company. A key caveat is that the majority owner doing the ‘dragging’ must give the minority shareholder the same price, terms, and conditions as any other seller. Something to watch out for as it can suggest an investor’s exit strategy doesn’t align with yours.   Tag Along Rights -Effectively the opposite to Drag Along Rights, whilst not mentioned in the article, are very important for some investment deals. Also known as 'co-sale rights', they occur when a majority shareholder sells their shares; a tag along right will entitle the minority shareholder to participate in the sale at the same time for the same price for the shares. These rights are meant to protect minority holders from being ‘left in the cold’ after a sale of large proportions of the equity that don’t involve them.
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Blog
Sep 2019

Why You Need To Up Your Networking

Networking.  The chances are, the above word either fills you with excitement or a sense of dread. Nonetheless, regardless of how it makes you feel, networking is essential for your startup.  For many people, networking is practically intolerable. Networking events can sometimes feel forced and may even seem fake and artificial to some.  In reality, though, the functional purpose of networking is about as natural and authentic as it gets. “People do business with people.”   It’s an age-old saying but still holds true nonetheless. In fact, in the modern digital ecosystem, the ability to engage people face-to-face is a dying art. Think back to that time you gained a client purely off the back of a chance encounter. Or how about that time an old friend or colleague just threwchucked some work your way because they could trust you would do a good job, at a fair price. These examples stem from networking in some shape or form. We’ve even heard a story about a startup landing their first major client by literally spilling coffee on a stranger at an event in London! All it took was a chat and a bit of luck - fortunately, the recipient happened to be in the market for his product (and a new shirt!) If your business has a unique founding story, or interesting people/products behind it, what better way is there to get people enthused in your brand than by simply telling them about it? Instead of throwing money at digital promotion, a savvy startup should be on the lookout for the dozens of free networking events going on in London every month. Sure, you probably won’t meet any massive prospects at a free event, but, you are guaranteed to meet like-minded people.  People do business with people and nearly everyone prefers to do business with people they know personally. People you’ve met and built a relationship with will remember you and drive sales into the future.  There aren’t many better feelings than building a consistent revenue stream just from referrals - clients you’ve gotten to know in-person are more likely to want to refer you business. We all have clients who we’ve developed personal relationships with and they’re the clients who we reliably retain going forward. Ultimately, networking is never going to be for everyone. Some people can’t get enough and attend multiple events every single week in London. If you’re one of those lucky few - keep at it! If you’re in the larger camp of people who can’t really get excited by spending an evening networking, start with one event a week and build up from there. If you know that you’ll only be at a handful of events every year, you’re more likely to make the most of every encounter and find yourself enjoying it much more.  Something we’re crystal clear on at CG is the absolute need for entrepreneurs to surround themselves with the right people. We tailor our events to ensure that the right people are in the right room to make meaningful connections. To stay in the loop on great upcoming events and start surrounding yourself with an A-Team, get involved with Centuro Global today!
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Blog
Aug 2019

5 Funding Options To Raise Your Startup Beyond Bootstrapping

TLDR: Multiple funding routes exist for your startup - some better than others. Whatever option you choose for investment, it requires a lot of time and perseverance. Centuro Global can help you along the way with mentorship as well as access to investors and exciting competitions with 6-figure prizes.   No. 1 Ingredient For Survival. No matter the idea, no matter the team and no matter the market, the most critical requirement for any startup to succeed over time is cold hard cash. With the need to compete intrinsically linked with the need to grow, there comes a time for every ambitious startup to look externally for funding. Hacking together an MVP, proving market demand, bolstering up your business model - the brightest teams will often learn to thrive off a shoestring budget, but bootstrapping can only get you so far.  Capital is the number one irreplaceable ingredient for business survival. With sufficient funding, any team can be improved, any product can be developed, and all processes can be scaled. There is a growing desire among young startups to sell off large chunks of equity to the highest or (even worse) first bidder. If you’ve created something worth investing in, it’s in everyone’s interest to find the ideal funding option for your startup.   Here are a few tips on route to raising you can adopt: (1) Bossing CompetitionsProbably the most exciting way to raise capital is through winning contests. The UK has some of the best competitions for you to win some capital, often without having to sacrifice equity or months chasing investors. Pros - The best contests often hold or attract media coverage to boost your startup’s publicity. Equity-free prizes Pitching practice Feedback opportunities Cons - Stages tend to be quite high-pressure. Requires a lot of confidence - participation often requires fielding public criticism and getting ‘grilled’ by a panel of judges. We love a good competition at Centuro Global, which is why we’re hosting a unique pitching battle in October. In true winner-takes-all style, there’s going to be £100,000 equity-free investment up for grabs. Find out more and apply here. (2) Crowdfund Like A Champ There’s an ongoing debate around the best crowdfunding platform right now. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Seedrs & Crowdcube are probably the top four in the UK, depending on whether you’re selling a product, service or platform. Every crowdfunding platform has its quirks and own approach, but whichever one you choose, there are a few universal advantages and disadvantages to communal capital. Pros - Creating a buzz. The best campaigns whip up the most public attention and will raise finance through new-found customers, not just investment! Proving market demand through crowdfunding is an increasingly attractive ‘tick in the box’ for future VC investment. Leapfrog any inexperienced competitors getting bogged down in intricacies involved in bringing an investor on board. Cons - Oversaturation is beginning to take effect on crowdfunding. There are dozens of crowdfunding platforms and thousands of startups jockeying for capital on each. Standing out to the crowd can feel like luck more than judgement. Not as hassle-free as expected - again due to the enormous popularity of crowdfunding, to successfully execute a campaign takes a lot of hard work and ‘man hours’. Often missing out by just a few hundred pounds can mean you get no return on your efforts.   (3) Incubate Then Accelerate Let’s agree on a quick fact right away: London’s startup ecosystem isn’t Silicon Valley. We don’t have the funny TV show, we don’t have the accelerators, and we certainly don’t have the weather. That isn’t to say there are no options if you’re looking for assistance beyond straight cash injections. London is home to some truly world-class accelerators and incubators: Techstars, Seedcamp, Wayra and FoundersFactory are just a few of many well-established options. Pros - Becoming part of an ambitious community is exciting. The mentorship and connections available at the top accelerators can be valuable. Cons - Often surrendering equity is required just to join - low valuations and low returns are inherent risks. With so many new accelerators, startup founders and increasingly feeling like they’re being ‘sold a dream’ when hunting for the best opportunities. At Centuro Global, we don’t consider ourselves as an accelerator or incubator - we’re striving to be something much better. By doing away with a reliance on ‘bootcamps’ and requiring participants to inhabit specific office space, we know we can offer the most flexible and effective service (business > beanbags…)   (4) Secure Angel Investment An ever-popular option, angel investors can act as individuals or groups called ‘syndicates’. This is the best option we’ve mentioned so far to start tapping into some ‘big bucks’ investment. With great tax-relief schemes in the UK, there’s never been a better time for high net-worth individuals to invest funds into promising startups. Pros - The best angel investors act as an advisor as well as a capital provider. Access to more substantial & flexible investment amounts without needing to sacrifice control or equity. Cons Can back-fire if you chose the wrong angel. When considering funds available, giving equity to an angel investor can be a lesser option compared to venture capitalists.   (5) Strap-In to a VC Funding Rocket Venture capitalists (VCs) can offer the most significant investment amounts short of IPO’ing your startup (and since you’re reading this, you probably aren’t looking to IPO any time soon…) VCs are funds managed by experienced professional investors, continually looking for the best opportunities to invest millions of pounds into. Pros - VCs possess the largest funds. Teams of professionals will scrutinise and improve your business with an eye to a quick and successful exit within 3-5 years. Cons - The determination for a quick exit means receiving VC funding can feel like being ‘strapped to a volatile rocket’. It will either take your business to unprecedented heights or crash and fail very quickly. VCs have stringent prerequisites to investment - very few startups meet the requirements for funding, and even fewer can demonstrate they know how to use it. This takes VCs out of reach for the vast majority of startups (6) BONUS: Not Mentioned Options: Bank Loans: Great for quick cash injections although not for the faint-hearted. Government Programmes: The potential for substantial funding if you have the patience and diligence to secure them. In conclusion,  there are numerous considerations and potential pitfalls to every funding option. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs can struggle to source investment and then trip up just before or after raising capital. Centuro Global specialises in helping startups attract funding and helps put proven models in place to make the most of whatever capital and equity you have available.   Find out more and apply today - http://bit.ly/CGRegister 
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Aug 2019

Why The UK & Its Startups Should Pay Attention To Trudeau’s Canada

TLDR: Justin Trudeau (Canadian Prime Minister) recently spoke about his efforts to improve Canada’s startup ecosystem. This article outlines some of his methods and ideologies, before arguing that adoption of concentrated and strategic funding, as well as more intelligent immigration policies similar to Canada’s, would stand the UK’s startups in better stead to compete internationally.    When Justin Trudeau was unveiled as a keynote speaker at Collision 2019, people were rightly excited to hear from the man who has championed the power of Canadian startups. Collision, Toronto, is North America's fastest-growing tech conference, boasting over 25,000 attendees and seeking to replicate the success of its familiar European event, Web Summit. It is fitting then that Trudeau spent the entire half an hour of his valuable time speaking about the importance of welcoming foreign talent and investments while making every effort to bolster Canada's national infrastructures.  With Trudeau recently announcing the government-backed $52million 'Scale-Up' investment platform for Canadian startups and Canadian unemployment at a 40-year low, you could be forgiven for assuming he's happy to rest on the smooth seas he has created for businesses and the broader Canadian economy. However, Trudeau indicated nothing resembling satisfaction concerning the Canadian startup ecosystem. Touching on everything from travel links to gender pay gaps, he excitedly rattled through his plans to take Canadian startups to the 'next level' and cement technology as a future-proof Canadian competitive edge.  So, why should we in the UK care? What lessons are there to be learnt and what advice is there to be heeded from a politician across the pond so proudly separated from the inspiring Silicon Valley giants?  In short; Trudeau offers principles and novel ideals that form a seemingly bulletproof path to success.    Empowerment & Inclusion Trudeau has made every effort to maximise skilled immigration throughout his tenure as Canada's Prime Minister. Often viewed in stark contrast with their isolationist US neighbours, Trudeau is proud to run a country that welcomes foreign visitors and settlers with open arms. This acceptance is of vital importance when considering the impact of low unemployment on startups. While undeniably a considerable achievement for Trudeau's Canada, high employment rates and job opportunities mean even more noise for startups to have to cut through when trying to entice the best talent. Trudeau does not shy away from this unpleasant truth -  again affirming at Collision his belief that "access to talent is at the core of successful businesses".  To aid startups in battling talent congestion, Trudeau looks to solutions around engaging universities as well as investing in local and broader Canadian tech talent to ensure startups have access to bright individuals, fast. The best solution for every Canadian is undoubtedly to have a better-educated population, capable of stepping up to homegrown opportunities in fast-growth startups.  Long term schemes are receiving adequate funding from Trudeau, but as with all generational shifts, improvements take time. This patience is where Trudeau's increasingly rare approach to immigration can pay supplementary dividends. Trudeau wants to mobilise his population while encouraging and enabling foreign workers to flourish within Canada. The Canadian Startup Visa is just one example of Trudeau's empowerment of immigrants.  Trudeau introduced his 'Global Skills Strategy' - recognising the value in attracting the 'best and the brightest' foreign citizens. Settling talent in Canada not only meets short-term talent requirements but also grows companies to ensure more jobs for the next generation of Canadians.    Infrastructure To Entice To reference back to Trudeau's Collision talk; he made an effort to touch on his government's improvements to welfare. An avid believer and supporter of younger generations, Trudeau has increased welfare benefits for young people, workers and new parents. He strives for a world where opportunities are open to all, no matter their age, background or social standing. Improving Canada's infrastructure has also been seen in more traditional physical 'brick and mortar' solutions. Trudeau has commissioned high-speed travel links across the unforgiving Canadian terrain, he's pushed better living conditions and environments within inner cities, and he's prioritising technology in the national curriculum. For example, learning coding languages has been introduced to early-education for Canadian children, as well as grants for extracurricular organisations looking to help teenagers pursue a career in tech.  During Collision, Trudeau goes as far as to claim that 'no government has ever invested as much in the tech sector' as has been during his current four-year tenure. The message couldn't be clearer; Trudeau's government is investing to ensure there is room for everyone to have a path to success in Canada.   Is It Working? In short: yes.  Canada's startups are basking in increasing amounts of foreign investment and growth. Contrast that with a consistent decrease in investment rates & funds for European and US counterparts, and it's fair to say that Canada's startup ecosystem shows enough promise to account for its lack of to-date maturity. A commonly cited example is that of Thomson Reuters. One of Canada's best companies recently moved back to Canada and has announced plans to hire over 1,500 new jobs there. Trudeau highlights that the return of Silicon Valley startups and organisations is a growing trend and one that Canada will reap the rewards from.  Trudeau hopes that the days of losing promising startups to the allure of the Bay Area are gone. With the return of Canadian startups comes with it an influx of new talent and capital ready to be injected straight into the Canadian ecosystem. A better quality of life, access to talent and space, positions Canada firmly above much of what Silicon Valley has to offer. Trudeau has been quick to capitalise on this returning promise; recently investing hundreds of millions into Canada’s VC infrastructure and even more into national AI research & development. In 2018 alone, VCs invested over $3.7billion across multiple Canadian startups. This level of investment is yet another sign that Canada nears the startup maturity it needs to compete with neighbouring tech monoliths (£10 billion market cap) as well as shoring up a future-proof national competitive edge. This growing startup potential is likely to flourish as Trudeau vows to continue moving funding and subsidies from traditionally successful oil & gas into sustainable and scalable industries within technology.    How Can We & Why Should We Implement Trudeau's Vision In The UK? Fortunately, Trudeau has shown that a government prepared to prioritise support for grass-roots and startups will reap the rewards sooner than one might expect.  Trudeau's vision works beyond its idealistic nature; absolute belief in diversity and its strengths is something to be commended, but no nation has the luxury of adopting investment approaches based purely on their utilitarian value. The rise of nationalism in the UK is a concern as startups are intrinsically reliant on cooperation and connections. More welcoming immigration policies would go a long way to reassuring UK startup founders that talent will be readily available. Further to this, a more comprehensive funding strategy from the British government to offer support to both early-stage ventures, as well as follow-on capital, is paramount. Reserving funds for expansion-series rounds is just as important as seed investment, but isn’t regarded as significantly right now. Funding for research and development projects focused on cutting edge commercial technology is just as crucial for the UK as it is for Canada. The UK is home to some of the world’s best educational institutions and tech-companies; London is the hub, but talent and innovation are spread far and wide across Britain. Funding to encourage and facilitate the collaboration of ideas without forcing arbitrary centralisation is vital to gain an edge in developing international markets.  Finally, watching back the video of Trudeau's speech, a sense of unashamed pride in his country's unique approaches is as inspiring as it is heartwarming. There is a growing consensus within London's startups that trying to replicate the freak success of Silicon Valley is, at best, outdated. Embracing Britain's startups and their ability to attract world-class talent must be a better way to grow.  Breaking the London-led, Silicon Valley eLite status-quo is undoubtedly a bold step, but for the brave few who achieve it, an unprecedented level of success could expand far beyond the self-imposed European bubble. Join Centuro Global today and gain access to the kind of "one-stop-shop" to startup growth that Justin Trudeau so greatly champions. 
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Aug 2019

Centuro Global Battleground

The Centuro Global Battleground gives startups the opportunity to get in the ring and pitch in front of a panel of pre-eminent judges for a £100,000 prize.  Applicants will be narrowed down to 20 startups who will present behind closed doors to a panel of judges in September 2019. Please note these pitches will be recorded and shared online, providing you with further marketing opportunities. 3 of the 20 startups will then be selected to pitch in front of a live audience in October 2019, with one lucky winner taking home the £100,000 prize. If you have the mettle to get in the ring and face our panel, apply now!  Applications from all sectors, countries and industries welcome.  Pitching applications close 23 August 2019. Once a ticket has been purchased, you will be sent further information by email.  Viewing tickets also available - be in the audience for a new, exciting startup pitching event! 
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Event
Aug 2019

China-Britain AI Summit 2019

We are pleased to announce that we will be speaking at the China Britain AI Summit is being held in London on21st June 2019 at The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2 Savoy Place, London WC2R 0BL. Following on from previous successful summits, this platform presents opportunities between China and the UK creating global partnerships in the tech space making significant impact on the economy. The event promises to deliver panel discussions covering investment opportunities, the AI landscape in China and the UK and the role of smart technologies.
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Aug 2019

Tech London Advocates: Investor Showcase 2.0

Tech London Advocates hosted the largest private sector tech event of 2019 in London on May 2, 2019. The event was attended by over 600 people from the world of entrepreneurs and investors around the world. Some of the information shared by the panellists included a debate on the current trends with investment into UK businesses and how VC's are responding the lack of money available to start ups.   It was evident from all the speakers on the day that Brexit has had a significant impact on tech investment? It was reported that 39% of companies were now finding it harder to obtain investment in the UK as a direct result of Brexit. As an outcome of the challenges being experienced by the Tech world, TLA London will be creating venture capital working groups to help entrepreneurs raise more capital going forward.  
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Aug 2019

All Dressed Up and Everywhere to Go!

We are excited to announce that we’ve collaborated with fashion designer Raishma of Raishma Couture to support The Cherie Blair Foundation and The Hemraj Goyal Foundation in an entertaining evening of girl talk and fashion, an event not to be missed! The Cherie Blair Foundation The Cherie Blair Fouondation help release the potential of women entrepreneurs, so they can redefine the future. With our support, women and girls start and grow successful businesses – and reclaim the rights and freedoms they are too often denied.As a result, they earn a better living – but that’s only the beginning. Families flourish. Communities prosper. Attitudes shift. Economies grow. And women move the world in a whole new direction. http://www.cherieblairfoundation.org/ The Hemraj Goyal FoundationThe Hemraj Goyal Foundation is passionate about building a sustainable future for the children of today. The distribute funds to organisations with a clear vision, a vision for a world where children have the right to education, are free from suffering and abuse, women’s rights are empowered, and the disabled are offered a chance to fulfill their potential. https://hgf.org.uk/
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Aug 2019

Women Of MENA In Tech Conference

Join our Chairman Asma Bashir and many other inspiring speakers at the Women Of MENA In Tech Conference 2019, an inspiring, empowering and "One of A Kind " Conference! The event is open to ALL (WOMEN & MEN) In TECH (STEM). The Annual "Women Of MENA In Tech" Conference 2019 hosted in London at the iconic LONDON CITY HALL on Saturday June 22, 2019 is an all day conference including Keynotes, mentorship, panels and networking. As technology becomes more integrated in our society and creates a new paradigm, it is up to us to be intentional about equity, inclusion, and diverse representation in the space.The 2019 Women of MENA In Technology conference is first of its kind, bringing together speakers and attendees that have been powerful catalysts of change, and now will come together to connect and evolve ideas of bettering the technology landscape globally. Visit the link below for more information on tickets, Agenda, Speakers and Sponsorship.
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Aug 2019

Mayor of London announces historic trade mission to Pakistan

We are excited to announce that our Chairman, Asma Bashir was invited to accompany the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal and London and Partners, the Mayor of London's official promotional agency on their trade mission to Pakistan/India. Inspired by the great tech companies and incubators we've met and looking forward to better UK / Pakistan trade relations in the future.  
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Press Release
Aug 2019

How do you transform from a startup to a scale up?

Centuro shares key tips for start-ups looking to scale up. 
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Event
Aug 2019

North Americas Fastest - Growing Tech Conference

We are excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at The Collision Conference 2019 at the Enercare Centre, Toronto Canada from May 20 – 23, 2019.  Collision is the fastest-growing tech conference in North America. Now in its fifth year, Collision has grown to over 25,000 attendees. Following the lead of our European event Web Summit, Collision has become a crossroads for the world’s largest buyers and sellers of technology, alongside many of the world’s most disruptive emerging technology companies.Inc. has said Collision run “North America’s fastest-growing tech conference”; The Wall Street Journal that “the giants of the web assemble” at Collision; USA Today that Collision is “the anti-CES”. We hope to see you there.
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Press Release
Aug 2019

Centuro Global | Key tips for start-up

Centuro shares key tips for start-ups looking to secure business investments. Venue Details  
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Aug 2019

Centuro Global to speak at business and networking growth London

We were invited to Speak at a business growth and networking event in London, co-hosted by Dynamyk Events.
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Aug 2019

The Master Investor Show 2019

We are excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at Master Investor Show 2019. The show will be taking place at the Business Design Centre, London on April 6, 2019. The Master Investor Show will bring together an unparalleled combination of sponsorship, exhibitor and digital packages to maximise engagement with attendees before, during and after the event For the latest news leading up to the event, please visit https://investoraccess.masterinvestor.co.uk/ . We hope to see you there.
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Aug 2019

UK Business Awards 2018

We are excited to announce that our Chairman, Asma Bashir has been invited to judge this years finalist at the UK Business Awards. Now in its 3rd year, the UK Business Awards 2018 is back once again to reward the organisations, teams and individuals who are creating the future of business. The UKBA is a vehicle for sharing best practice and enables the organisations who enter to promote professional improvement, learning, and personal development. To win or be shortlisted at the UKBAs is a great honour that identifies you as superior in your industry. The awards trophies are affectionately called ‘The Dons’ in tribute to our Chairman Don Hales who has been a prominent figure in the Awards industry for the last two decades and founded many of the UK’s most respected business Awards. To know more about the awards, visit https://ukbizawards.com/about-the-awards
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Aug 2019

CBI Annual Conference 2017

The renowned CBI Annual Conference returns on Monday 6th November 2017. The conference will be taking place in the heart of London’s most up and coming commercial district, Greenwich Peninsula, at the brand-new hotel InterContinental London – The O2.  Through the theme ‘A world of opportunities’ they will discuss key issues and drivers of change, such as globalisation and automation, that have emerged over recent months, focusing on what happens next for business, the workforce and society. The rest of the day will be made up of inspirational talks, challenging panels and exclusive interviews with A-list speakers, who will be giving their unique perspective on the topics of the day and answering delegate questions through live Q&A sessions.
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Aug 2019

Telegraph Festival of Business

We thoroughly enjoyed the seventh Festival of Business took place on Tuesday 7th November, 2017 at The Brewery in central London.This one-day Festival, attracted an audience of 500+ senior executives from UK SME businesses, to hear and learn from some of the best-known names in British business, alongside leading politicians and thought leaders, to ensure the continued growth of Britain’s small businesses.Partners of the event, includes: Amazon, LDC and Samsung Knox
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Aug 2019

Centuro Global to exhibit at the Business Funding show 2019

Asma Bashir - Senator United Kingdom We will be exhibiting at the UK’s only Business Funding Expo, The Business Funding Show. The Business Funding Show brings together leading players in the UK funding arena. The expo will be taking place at the East Wintergarden, London on 21st February 2019. the Business Funding Show (BFS) will bring together two key groups in the UK economy — entrepreneurs looking for funding and leading finance-providers. The event will host over 60 exhibitors representing various support and financial institutions providing Loans, Venture Capital, Private Investment, Grants, R&D Tax Credits and Advice on Investment-Readiness, Innovations, International Expansion and Scaling-up. All attendees to the event will have an ample opportunity to liaise with representatives of various leading financial institutions to discuss their funding options and secure the best solution in the most time-efficient way.  Up to 15 businesses will have the opportunity to pitch for funding from the main stage to the carefully-selected panel of funders. Our Chairman Asma Bashir will be amongst the funders critiquing start-ups pitching for funding.
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Aug 2019

WBAF World Congress 2019

Asma Bashir – Senator United Kingdom We are excited to announce that our Chairman, Asma Bashir will to be appointed as Senator for the World Business Angel Investment Forum on February 18th 2019. We are looking forward to interacting with key leaders from around the world to help ease access to finance for start-ups and scale ups. The World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) is an international organisation aiming to ease access to finance for businesses from start up to scale up, with the ultimate goal of generating more jobs and more social justice worldwide. It is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development by creating innovative financial instruments for innovators, startups, and SMEs.
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Aug 2019

Show me the money options to finance your business growth

We will be hosting our very first event, Show me the money: Options to finance your business growth.  Every company reaches a point in their life-cycle where a financial injection can really accelerate growth. Whether a seed investment to get your idea off the ground or sourcing finance to fund a new venture, this event will explain the various options available for startups and scaleups. We will be joined by a panel of experts including Crowdcube, demystifying the world of crowdfunding, Funding Options, explaining the array of debt financing options, as well as Forward Partners, an early stage venture capitalist, highlighting what VCs and Private Equity firms look for when investing in a business.  Registration starts at 6 pm, with a 6:30 pm start for the panel session. The event will be followed by networking drinks, giving you a chance to speak to some of the other attendees and speakers.  We sure you register on this page and we look forward to seeing you there! 
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Aug 2019

StartUp 2018: The biggest start-up show of the year!

We attended a great event hosted by Enterprise Nation. The event is geared towards helping start-ups grow their business. The event was packed with over 100 expert speakers and inspiring entrepreneurs across 10 stages! Highlights included:  • Inspiring keynote speakers including Morning GloryVille founder Sam Moyo, The Office Group co-founder Olly Olsen and The Gym Group founder John Treharne • Show me the money zone: advice on raising and managing funds • Business essentials zone: register a company and get advice on IP, insurance, and mental health • Building an online business zone: get advice on how to grow online • The Digital stage: learn tips and tricks on SEO, blogging and more! • Facebook and Instagram zone: grow your business on these social media channels • Youth Enterprise zone: hear from inspiring millennial entrepreneurs • Build a brand zone: advice on logos, company names and brand personality • Start me up zone: insight from industries of food, fashion, technology, beauty and handmade businesses • Make me famous zone: hear from PR experts and journalists on how to get noticed • Adviser zone: visit the adviser zone for one to one business advice from experts. Find out who you can meet here • Exhibition area: grab your goody bag and visit the exhibition zone for lots of start-up freebies
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Aug 2019

Asma Bashir speaking at the WEF entrepreneur awards

Speaker profile at WEF - Speaking at the Women Economic Forum arm of the global network ALL Ladies League (ALL), the Women Economic Forum (WEF) is an multinational forum platform enabling women and leaders from all walks of life worldwide to expand business opportunities and enhance personal influence through networking across borders while being inspired by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, authors, thought leaders and celebrities. 
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Press Release
Aug 2019

Judge appointed for Great British Entrepreneur awards 2019

Asma Bashir – Judge & Mentor We are excited to announce that our Chairman, Asma Bashir has been appointed judge of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2019 as well as the official coach and mentor to their start up accelerator program for scaling businesses. Founded in 2013, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain. It celebrates the incredible stories that have taken entrepreneurs to where they are today, regardless of size or turnover. The 2019 programme sees the Awards held in five regions – Midlands, Wales & the South West, the North, Scotland & Northern Ireland, and London & the South East. Central to the ethos of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards is being more than just ‘an awards ceremony’ – its sense of community, a thriving eco-system of support all year round, providing opportunities for winners and finalists to connect and showcase their business.
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Press Release
Aug 2019

Intellectual property – how to protect yours as a start up or scale up

Many owners of start up and scale up businesses overlook the importance of protecting their intellectual property. Zain Ali (pictured) of Centuro Global explains what to do and why. Click the button below to read more.
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Press Release
Aug 2019

London Entrepreneur Represents UK At World Business Angels Investment Forum

London based Entrepreneur, Asma Bashir, is encouraging international investment into UK start-ups, having represented UK businesses at the World Business Angels Investment forum, held in Istanbul last month. Having taken place on 18th February 2019, the World Business Angels Investment Forum is the globe’s largest annual gathering of early-stage and investment markets, hosted by the World Congress of Angel Investors, which is dedicated to guiding investment into promising start-up and scale-up businesses worldwide.
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