MEDIA CENTRE

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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Blog
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 now: www.centuroglobal.com/contact-us
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Blog
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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Blog
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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Event
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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Blog
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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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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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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Event
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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Event
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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Event
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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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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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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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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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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Event
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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Event
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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Event
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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Event
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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Event
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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Event
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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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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Event
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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Event
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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Event
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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Event
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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