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RiDO Business Centres Receive International Honour

posted 7 Aug 2012, 02:58 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 7 Aug 2012, 03:03 ]
Rotherham Investment and Development Office’s (RiDO) Business Centres are celebrating the renewal of their NBIA Soft Landings International Incubator designation as the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) has again awarded the coveted title to the Borough’s business centres.

The NBIA is the world’s leading organisation advancing business incubation and entrepreneur support, and through its Soft Landings programme, NBIA recognises incubators that are especially capable in helping overseas companies enter the incubator's domestic market. RiDO’s Business Centre are one of just 25 business incubation programmes from around the world that have earned the designation since NBIA began the program in 2005.

The Business Centres of RiDO, the regeneration arm of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, were selected for the programme because of the range of business services provided for overseas firms and its proven track record of successfully helping firms enter the British market, said Randy Morris, NBIA’s director of member services.

Business incubation programmes of the type supplied by RiDO Business Centres provide entrepreneurs in start-up and growing companies with the expertise, networks and tools they need to make their ventures successful. However, helping incubate overseas firms takes more than the standard set of incubation services. 

"The Soft Landings designation recognises an incubator's focus on welcoming overseas firms into its domestic market with translation services, help cutting through governmental red tape, access to capital, domestic market research and other programmes," Morris said.

Amanda Parris, centre manager for the RiDO business centres adds; “It’s not easy to gain or retain NBIA accreditation, as a panel of experienced incubator managers evaluate all Soft Landings applications. From the feedback we’ve received, the judges were impressed with the unique support our centres provide to overseas firms. 

“The RiDO Business Centres supplement our standard incubation services with assistance tailored specifically to overseas firms, including market research within the U.K. and linkages to European and other markets through the UKTI Consulate network.”

Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Development at Rotherham Council, comments; “It is terrific that the work that has been undertaken over the past twelve years in Rotherham, and continues to be provided around incubation and enterprise services, continues to be recognised by world renowned organisations such as the NBIA and UK Business Incubation (UKBI).”

Assistance for overseas companies Soft Landing in RiDO’s Centres is supported financially by the European Union. RiDO has attracted £842k investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007-13.

Through this project RiDO is also committed to helping assist Rotherham companies to explore potential international trade opportunities. They provide an advice and mentoring service in all areas relating to exporting and international trade including; researching markets aboard to identify potential opportunities; sourcing potential suppliers, partners and customers; helping to understand the business culture in target markets; identifying appropriate skills base within target markets; linking to UKTI and other outward bound international support services; and, supporting existing international business plans.

For more information on the RiDO Soft Landings Programme visit our website.