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An e-invoicing company based in Vauxhall, which helps companies process high volumes of invoices, has won one of HSBC’s valuable Business Growth Grants. This award, worth £50,000, will help propel the international growth of Netsend.com.

The HSBC Business Growth Grant aims to seek out and support UK businesses that have the potential to stimulate growth, and was open to customers of HSBC and non-customers alike. In addition to the two £50,000 Overseas Trade Grants, HSBC will award two £50,000 Business Growth Grants to companies using innovative ideas to grow within the UK.

Netsend.com pitched to an expert panel of judges to showcase what sets them apart from the competition, and how the grant will be used to expand the company through new overseas opportunities, including expanding its offering to Europe and offer its product in foreign languages.

Stephen Price, HSBC’s UK Head of Commercial and Business Banking, said: “We had some fantastic applications for the £200,000 of Business Growth Grant, and the standard of competition among the ten finalists was incredibly high. Netsend.com offers a service that has real potential and they are keen to tap into new markets, which is good news for them, and the UK economy. I wish them the best of luck for the future.”

Netsend.com was formed six years ago and runs on a highly developed, flexible software platform which allows businesses to manage their accounts online. Netsend.com build a branded website for each client which is controlled and run by the client, providing their customers with secure access to their own accounts online.

Patrick Dodd-Noble, Managing Director of Netsend.com said: “We are really pleased to have won this grant, and I’m delighted the judging panel saw the potential in Netsend. It’s a great opportunity to help speed our work in developing our export markets. The grant will help with localisation in the various overseas markets and speed up our roll out.
“Netsend can be made available in any country as it is a truly international product. We already have clients in Europe and we are currently trialling it in Japan. We are looking to develop the way Netsend works in new overseas markets and translate it into more languages where it is not already running. The volume of invoices sent out in Europe alone total 30 billion per annum and currently only 5% of these are sent electronically, so the market is vast.”
Lee Allen, Netsend Chief Executive commented: “This grant will give help to increase our exposure in Europe. We are being asked to supply Netsend to multi-national companies world-wide, and this grant will help with localisation and how Netsend works in the various overseas markets, speed up our roll out and translation into more languages. I see exciting times ahead!.”

The judges for the final presentations were HSBC Commercial Bank’s Surath Sengupta, Head of International, and David Flower, Head of Service and Sales. The independent judges were Martin Cook from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Karen McQuade, founder of The UK Food Hall Ltd and winner of the ‘Start-up Stars’ competition in 2009.

David Flower, commented: The Netsend team have developed an excellent software platform to enable them to invoice their customers electronically, thereby reducing paper usage, postage costs, speeding up invoice delivery and helping with credit control. They are now working with their existing customers to expand further into Europe where the opportunity is huge. I wish them every success.

Karen McQuade said: “Netsend is a business which provides a helpful service. With companies becoming more aware of the environmental impact of high paper usage in printing, and the transport costs of posting high volumes of documents, Netsend is able to improve the carbon footprint of such companies dramatically. They have impressive plans for the future which should lead them to seeing significant growth in uptapped markets. I wish them future success.”

SMEs make a substantial contribution to the total value of exports and HSBC is in a unique position to support UK businesses who are, or who are looking to, trade internationally. With international trade being key to future UK growth, HSBC is launching a new multi-billion fund specifically for SMEs that trade with other businesses across the globe. The ‘HSBC International SME Fund’ will provide at least £4billion of lending to SMEs with a turnover of up to £25million and will be available in the coming weeks.

In response to the needs of SMEs, HSBC has also added two innovative products to its funding portfolio. The International Business Overdraft, which offers a reduced interest rate for each overseas country a business is trading with, up to a maximum of 3% for the first 12 months.
The Employer Business Loan provides a reduction in interest rate of 1% for each new employee taken on, up to a maximum of 3%. Alternatively, businesses which employ someone in the following six months receive 10% of the interest paid as cash back, up to a maximum of 30%.
To reinforce the bank’s strategy to be the leading international trade and business bank, HSBC is also increasing the number of International Commercial Managers by at least 40%, and will look to approve at least 80% of applications for finance from SMEs. HSBC is making a clear commitment to UK business and the UK economy.

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