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Mayor of London’s International Business Programme [Annual Review 2020]

Impact for scaleups


Businesses supported since programme started


jobs created


increased GVA


finance raised

Key sectors

Technology & Communications

The Mayor’s International Business Programme is now in its fifth year and has an established reputation for delivering a high-quality export programme. Launched by London & Partners in 2016 it has supported some of the fastest growing tech companies from London which are now recognised brands in their fields.

To be eligible for the programme businesses must be scaleups that are London-based and looking to expand internationally; they should employ between 10 and 249 workers and be generating revenues of at least £1m per annum, or the equivalent in funding (or a combination of both)as well as demonstrate scaleup growth with active projects, domestically or internationally.

The free 12-month programme is individually tailored towards each business, providing support and guidance for international expansion success. It offers practical advice and on-the-ground support, both in London and in global markets. Selected companies join in quarterly cohorts and get access to a range of support services, including workshops, events, access to trade missions and connections to an extensive network of mentors, alumni, investors and partners. They have been helped to expand in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

Notable alumni include four unicorn businesses: Revolut,, Babylon Health and Monzo and some very well-known names serving Londoners and global consumers today: Brompton Bikes, Starling Bank, Mindful Chef, Onfido, Mr & Mrs Smith, Soldo, sideways6 and Bloom & Wild.

In response to the pandemic in March the programme pivoted to provide its full suite of opportunities, services and knowledge-share events virtually; the Autumn Cohort Launch in September was entirely virtual. 

In May, the programme introduced virtual trade missions which offered a new way to digitally connect with prospective partners, investors and top corporates in new markets. Following the success of six such missions, the programme now plans to make virtual experiences a routine part of the MIBP strategy, in recognition of their accessibility and ability to open up trade opportunities at an earlier stage.

Mayor of London’s International Business Programme [Annual Review 2020] website