A collection of small and medium sized British businesses, including top boat builders and specialists from the UK's £19 billion marine sector, came together to celebrate UK business growth and the launch of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Race.

The UK is ranked as the third largest economy for boatbuilding in Europe, contributing around 10 per cent of all global exports in the sector and directly employing almost 90,000 people. Last year, 110 apprentices started working in the industry.

The event, organised by the Business is GREAT campaign, took place on the GREAT Britain Clipper Race yacht at St Katharine Docks, London, ahead of the launch of the race on Sunday 30th August. The race will include 12 teams, visit 14 ports, and run across 325 days. Those taking part will be called on to apply many of the skills and traits they use in the workplace and when running a business: team work, leadership, communication, innovation and enthusiasm.

Business Is Great Clipper 2015-16

Attendees to the event included Broom Boats, Realsafe Technologies, Maurice Sedwell, Wicked Vision, Divine Chocolate and Westons Cider. The representatives from the small businesses networked alongside crew members from the world of sport and business who will be setting sail on the GREAT Britain yacht boat including: GREAT Britain Clipper Race skipper Peter Thornton MBE, former Olympians, Bill Lucas (Rowing London 2012), Charlotte Evans (Super-G down-hill Skiing Gold Sochi Paralympics 2014) and Aby Oyepitan (100 and 200 metres London 2012), plus former UFC fighter Dan Hardy.

Stuart Rock, Editor for the Business is GREAT campaign, said:

"We need to celebrate as British business goes from strength to strength, and that's what the event is all about. Bringing together small businesses, at this exciting event and venue, has allowed individuals to hear from inspirational speakers and network with other exciting small business leaders."

William Ward, CEO of the Clipper Race said:

"The Clipper Race is more than just another sailing event. This is where ordinary people come together to achieve an extraordinary goal through team work, communication, decision making and strong leadership. Effective teams display the same major traits as successful businesses so there is a lot that can be learnt by sharing our experiences. We are very proud to provide this global platform to promote British business overseas."

The Business is GREAT Britain campaign aims to celebrate and inspire small businesses and is run by BIS and UKTI. It provides relevant advice and information for small and medium-sized enterprises looking to grow, hire, export, lead and access finance. There is a single place for all businesses to go for help: www.greatbusiness.gov.uk.

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