With Tokyo confirmed as the host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Mayor of London Boris Johnson is urging SMEs to get involved and sell to the Japanese city, reports Real Business. Speaking today in Canary Wharf, Johnson told 500 London-based small businesses they should use their skills, expertise and experience of the 2012 Games to win contracts around the globe.
“London is synonymous with outstanding innovation and expertise,” Johnson said. “Our small businesses provide the foundation of that reputation and my team are determined to help them trade on the international stage.”
Some 80% of people working in London work for SMEs, added Johnson’s colleague Kit Malthouse. Meanwhile, SMEs account for nearly 60% of employment in the UK and represent nearly half of private sector turnover, according to the Federation of Small Businesses.
The Rio 2016 Games are already proving fruitful for British firms. A group of UK tech start-ups are heading to Brazil later this week to explore commercial opportunities in Rio, Campinas and São Paolo. The ‘Great Tech Expedition to Brazil’ is one of the trade missions being organised as part of the Mayor’s Export Programme, which is being delivered in partnership with UK Trade & Investment and funded by the London Enterprise Panel. Further trade missions available to SMEs, held in partnership with UKTI, will head to Austria, South Africa and Kenya this year, and to Mexico in 2014.
“Last year the Olympics showcased the best of British, both in the Stadium and in the international marketplace. We should build on that success and encourage businesses to harness the expertise and experiences gained from the 2012 Games,” commented Parveen Thornhill, UK Trade and Investment’s Regional Director for London.