In this blog, we are providing an in-depth exploration of Innovate UK’s recent Global Business Innovation Programmes (GBIPs), orchestrated by our Newable Senior Event Executive, Roli.

Roli’s experience and dedication have been instrumental in the success of these programmes. We have had the opportunity to ask her about her professional journey, the comprehensive process involved in organising these GBIPs, and the elements of her role that she finds most fulfilling.

Whether you are an event management professional seeking insights, a business contemplating the benefits of GBIP participation, or an individual interested in the operational aspects of Newable, we believe you will find this piece informative.



Tell us a bit about yourself, what is your role at Newable and what is your background?


I come from a strong background in operations and have a strong passion in delivering services. I possess project management expertise, having worked as a project manager for three years and earning my Prince2 qualification. I recently shifted my career path towards hospitality due to my passion for creating memorable experiences for people through events. Currently, I am a senior event executive at Newable and work on various external programmes and internal events. My primary focus is on managing and delivering the Innovate UK Global Business Innovation Programmes.



Tell us more about the Global Business Innovation Programme and how do you support this programme?


The Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP) assists innovative SMEs to collaborate and explore global markets, thus accelerating business growth. The programme selects 10-15 SMEs that are dominating in their respective industries and takes them to foreign markets to create connections and bring back knowledge that will help them grow and also benefit their industry in the UK. The programme involves a series of events, including workshops, which help SMEs put their best foot forward and make the most of their visit to the market.


As the event lead on the programme, I am responsible for planning all logistical elements required for the programme, which include booking venue spaces, arranging catering, engaging speakers, planning in-market transportation, booking hotels, and liaising with travel agents to book flights, among other things. I also act as a point of contact for delegates and provide general support while redirecting queries through the appropriate channels. During the market visit, I ensure that the programme adheres to the schedule and, most importantly, I have a duty of care to ensure that everyone is safe.



What was the organisation process for the GBIP’s?


The GBIP can be broken down into three stages:


  1. Pre-market phase – This is the most crucial part of the programme, which involves several moving parts. We have a rigorous selection process to ensure that we choose the most suitable companies to form the cohort who we know will gain great benefits from attending. I work closely with the Innovation and Growth Specialists (IGS) and Innovate Lead to make the most out of our visit to the market. This includes setting up meetings with in-market partners to help support the creation of international partnerships, arranging logistics and creating a daily agenda, and meticulously planning distances between locations to ensure we are utilising the time in market as best we can. It can be challenging to strike a balance that caters to everyone on the trip, but we do our best to accommodate everyone to help support them in creating innovative partnerships.


  1. In-market phase – With a solid plan from the previous stage, this part of the programme tends to sail smoothly. I ensure that there is some flexibility in the plan and budget to allow the group to be spontaneous, depending on how the trip goes. For instance, during SXSW, the cohort had built a close relationship with each other, however, due to the nature of the series of events running at the same time, this sometimes meant not spending a lot of time with each other and sharing their success stories. The IGS and I decided to get the group together for a farewell lunch. With flexible spending and proper planning, we were able to do this, this enabled the group to expand their support network by building a stronger relationship with like-minded SME’s also part of the cohort which has continued to grow when returning to the UK.


  1. Post-market phase – At this stage, I have limited contact with the delegates as they are now building on relationships with the international partners and like-minded SME’s they met during the visit, or working with their IGS to evaluate their business offerings based on the new experience and ideas they gained from the GBIP and how they would like to use this information to grow their business. During this stage, I also share any useful resources and presentations from the visit so the delegates can use these to refer back to if needed.


Following the GBIP, there is a post-visit event, during this session the delegates get the opportunity to reunite and share an update on how things are progressing following the visit and what innovations they are working on.




What did you enjoy most about organising the GBIP’s?


One of my favourite parts of the GBIP was the in-market trip. As a travel enthusiast, I love exploring new places and cultures. Visiting the market allowed me to do just that. Additionally, it was a great opportunity to spend time with the delegates whom I had only spoken to via email. It helped me get to know them better and foster relationships. I gained a better insight into their personalities and learned about their innovative businesses.




How did the GBIP go?


During my time at Newable, I have been involved with the planning and delivery of several GBIPs. My first in market trip was to Austin Texas, for the SXSW GBIP which was a great success. During our feedback session, the SMEs highlighted the positive impact the market visit had on their business. One delegate pointed out how well-organised the trip was and the benefit of not having to worry about where they needed to be. Overall, the trip went smoothly, and the SMEs appreciated the effort put in by the team. We also received positive feedback from the Sponsor’s Engagement Partnership manager which was also a testament to the team embodying the Get Going Newable value.



About Newable

For over 4 decades, Newable has been supporting thousands of businesses every year through the provision of MoneyAdvice and Workspace. An employee-owned business with a commitment to creating positive impact in all that we do, our team are on hand to help your business today.

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