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In March, Santander’s SME support programme, Breakthrough, took nine fast-growth businesses to New York to spend five days with a selection of global business leaders.

Santander’s Breakthrough programme is aimed at helping high performing SMEs to fulfill their full growth potential. In March, it took nine UK companies from a range of industries to the US to access an exciting opportunity to network with a selection of experienced global business leaders and exporters, including representatives from the New York City Mayor’s Office, the US Department of Commerce and Stateside Solutions.

Participants also took part in a session with executives from Sovereign Bank to equip them with a better insight into American banking rules and regulations and attended an exclusive networking reception at the Deputy Consulate’s residence.

Said Melanie Powell from the Breakthrough team: “The outcome from this trade mission was very encouraging. The businesses we supported were able to engage with potential suppliers, partners and customers to discover real evidence of opportunities in the marketplace. They were also able to benefit from talking to each other, sharing the exploration of a new international market – something which can help the challenge feel much more manageable.”

Participants had a schedule of one-to-one meetings with specialists tailored to their own sector and industry, including premier craft beer distributors and music industry professionals. Discussions with marketing, public relations and events professionals also gave the businesses insight into how they can effectively publicise their brand as they expand into the US.

“We will be following up with the businesses where appropriate to ensure we can help them to get the most out of the visit and encourage them to fulfil their potential,” added Melanie.

”One of the businesses which took part in the Trade Mission was able to use the visit to design and refine their entire US strategy, and see it as a viable marketplace for the future.”

To find out more visit: www.santanderbreakthrough.co.uk

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John Carroll - Helping businesses achieve International success. Head of Product Management & International Business, Santander UK