• Celebrity Entrepreneur lends her support to Santander’s commitment to help 5,000 more businesses enter new overseas markets in 2015.
• Santander’s Business Growth survey finds the number of business owners aiming to expand their businesses internationally has doubled since 2013.
Successful businesswoman, and celebrity; Myleene Klass is working with Santander this week to help promote enterprise and exporting to the nation’s Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Myleene was a guest speaker at the Santander Breakthrough Summit in Leeds – on March 25th – where she called upon the nation’s SMEs to think beyond the UK when it came to their expansion plans.
Talking about the event Myleene said; “It is really inspiring meeting other entrepreneurs and hearing their stories. Successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common, they never give up. That’s why it is frustrating that so many businesses that could be exporting; aren’t doing so, and that’s why I am really pleased that Santander is committing to help 5,000 more companies start exporting this year.
“There is clearly a growing appetite among UK businesses to expand overseas and seize the benefits that can come from international trade, and this is great to see. However, it is also clear that a number of UK businesses may be unnecessarily hindering these opportunities, and here it is important to seek out advice and support from a trusted business partner.”
After giving birth to her first daughter Ava in 2008 Myleene recognised a gap within the children’s retail market after struggling to find a “little black dress” for young girls. This inspired Myleene to design and launch her own children’s clothing range “BabyK” exclusively available through Mothercare, with the little black dress range becoming an instant sales hit. Seven years later “BabyK” continues to be a success, and is now an international children’s brand for both boys and girls up to age 8 years and can be found in over 32 countries.
Myleene says, "For Baby K I'm fully involved in every aspect, including the pitches, which is brilliant because it's like being on The Apprentice!" My range is my own vision; it's not based on trends. I march to the beat of my own drum. I've never followed what other people do."
Myleene is also the brand ambassador for Littlewoods, the UK’s leading online department store who she has teamed up with to create her own range of clothing, lingerie and swimwear. An item from Myleene’s swimwear and lingerie range sells every 15 minutes somewhere in the world.
To help more businesses access the advice and support they need to grow, including trading with new markets, Santander is launching a new package of support as part of its commitment to help ambitious businesses.
Breakthrough is built around the needs of ambitious businesses and gives them access to what they need to reach their full potential. It’s an innovative range of five key services which can help accelerate their business’ growth plans.
Through Breakthrough we are giving businesses more opportunities to meet inspirational entrepreneurs to learn from them, build business networks and connections, make the most of international opportunities and access growth finance.
Businesses will be able to access free masterclasses, seminars and round tables through Santander’s new Breakthrough Moments Box. This “pop up” business surgery will be visiting key cities in the UK to connect businesses to experts and advice to help them equip for growth and international expansion.
Increasing numbers of SME owners in the UK are looking to expand internationally and benefit from overseas trade, according to the latest Business Growth annual survey1 by Santander Corporate & Commercial. The survey found that 6% of business owners said the ultimate aim for their business was to expand it internationally, double the number (3%) from 20132 and also in 20123 (3%).
Appetite for exporting is a massive indicator of a company’s ambition. While 6% of all SMEs surveyed said that international expansion was the ultimate aim for their business, 22% of firms targeting an annual turnover of more than £5 million are aiming to become international businesses.
However, this year’s survey also identified that a quarter (26%) of the firms committed to expanding internationally do not currently have a website. Moreover, the majority (57%) of these export-hungry businesses do not have capacity to accept online payments.
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Notes to Editors
Research conducted by BDRC Continental among 500 companies with a turnover of over £50,000 – published November 2014
Santander Corporate & Commercial provides dedicated relationship banking support to businesses with a turnover of more than £250,000. It is part of Santander UK, a leading financial services provider in the UK which offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2014, Santander UK serves around 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees, 921 branches and 66 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.
Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a presence in 10 main markets. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.34 trillion in managed funds, 107 million customers, 13,225 branches – more than any other international bank – and 183,648 employees at the close of June 2014. It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America. It also has significant positions in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Poland and the northeast United States. In the first half of 2014, Santander registered EUR 2.756 billion in attributable profit, an increase of 22% from the same period of the previous year.
About Myleene Klass
It's hard to know which description best sums up Myleene Klass. Musician, TV presenter, author or model? Interviewer, columnist, pop star, designer, DJ or mother? Business women?
Behind the glitz and glamour of the once member of Hear’Say, Classical platinum selling artist, host of shows like “I’m A Celebrity US”, “Popstar to Opera star” and “Classic Brits” is a fierce business woman that knows her brand. As a trusted face Myleene has worked with and fronted campaigns for international brands such as Pantene, Cadburys, Coca Cola, British Airways, Sky and Amazon, just to name a few.
In 2007 Myleene caught the attention of UK retailer Marks and Spencer who signed her up to become of the faces of the brand's famous marketing campaigns and has adorned billboards and TV adverts alongside such luminaries as Twiggy and Erin O'Connor, as well as presenting her own show on M&S TV.
In 2008 Myleene launched the BabyK range of clothing exclusive to Mothercare. Today BabyK is an international children’s brand for both boys and girls up to age 8 years and can be found in over 32 countries
With fashion always very close to Myleene’s heart in 2012 she became the brand ambassador for Startrite shoes, the leaders in quality fitted footwear for children. Myleene collaborated with Start-rite to create her own range of shoes that combined traditional Start-rite styles with a twist of colour, fashion and personal detail. The result was a capsule collection of classic designs reinvented, providing special footwear for the nation’s children.
Myleene is the brand ambassador for Littlewoods, the UK’s leading online department store. She has teamed up with them to create her own range of clothing, lingerie and swimwear. With 1 piece of her swimwear and lingerie selling every 15 minutes, Myleene has been Littlewoods’ fastest selling celebrity partner to date. Andrew Roscoe, Littlewoods Group Brand Director has said “Our customers cannot get enough of Myleene’s collections; she designs with every woman in mind creating styles that women can feel confident in.”
With all of this under her belt as well 2 successful books titled “My Bump and Me” and “Things To Make and Do With Your Children”, it’s no wonder brand “Myleene Klass” continues to rocket to new levels and she deservedly receives accolades such as Glamour Magazine’s Entrepreneur Of The Year.
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