New York (PRESS RELEASE – December 21, 2010) – British Airways announced that 250 small business owners are being awarded the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world to conduct vital business meetings. The initiative is part of the British Airways Face-to-Face program, which provides small business owners and entrepreneurs the critical tools for building business relationships abroad and stimulating economic growth through the power of face-to-face interaction.
“We are very excited for the 250 small business owners who, beyond the educational resources already provided through the Face-to-Face program, now have the opportunity to fly British Airways overseas to conduct vital face-to-face meetings for their business,” said Simon Talling-Smith. “Each of the winner’s stories is uniquely inspiring and our hope is that the program is a powerful catalyst in ensuring lasting and fruitful businesses for them.”
The Faces of Opportunity
Three of the 250 winning businesses will now compete to win a travel grant from British Airways, featuring 10 round trip tickets to fly anywhere in the world in the next year. The three companies, selected by a public vote, will present their business plans on February 2, 2011, at the British Airways Face-of-Opportunity conference in New York City. At the event, they will be judged by a panel of celebrity entrepreneurs, including Bill Rancic, Barbara Corcoran and Bethenny Frankel, for a chance to win the British Airways travel grant.
The finalists are:
Adam Braun, Pencils of Promise, New York, NY – Adam Braun founded the nonprofit organization, Pencils of Promise, designed to help communities build primary and preschools in the developing world. His initiative focuses on early education, female empowerment, and enabling a new generation of leaders to create profound good.
Chris Eilers, Dunn Bros Coffee, Minneapolis, MN – This specialty coffee franchise was founded in 1987 when Ed Dunn opened the first shop in St. Paul, MN. Since then, Dunn Bros. Coffee has been sourcing coffee beans from some of the best farmers in the world. Today, there are more than 85 stores throughout the Central US, roasting their coffee beans fresh every day.
Danae Ringelmann, IndieGoGo, San Francisco, CA – In 2008 Danae Ringelmann co-founded IndieGoGo, an online platform for anyone to promote projects, engage a fan base, and get ideas funded. IndieGoGo’s members, from over 90 countries, have successfully funded projects ranging from books to movies and events to charities.
“After viewing the submission of Dunn Bros Coffee, IndieGoGo and Pencils of Promise, it is clear that all three companies are strong candidates to expand their business internationally in the upcoming year with the British Airways travel grant and I look forward to learning more about these companies at the Face-of-Opportunity conference in February,” said Bill Rancic, best-selling author and first season winner of The Apprentice.”
“I am inspired by the talent and entrepreneurial spirit of the 250 British Airways Face-of-Opportunity winners,” said Barbara Corcoran, best-selling author, investor on ABC’s SharkTank and contributor to the Today Show. “I will enjoy giving one of them the added advantage of 10 international British Airways flights on February 2nd.”
“Running a small business can be very challenging. British Airways has just given 250 deserving companies a head start to growing their business internationally. Congratulations to the Face-to-Face winners,” said Bethenny Frankel, celebrated natural food chef, creator of the Skinnygirl Margarita, New York Times bestselling author of Naturally Thin and The Skinnygirl Dish and star of “Bethenny Ever After.”
Small Businesses Win Big with British Airways
The 250 small business owners also received an exclusive invitation to attend British Airways Face-of-Opportunity conference in New York City on Feb. 2, 2011, where they will receive firsthand tips and advice from influential international business experts while networking with venture capitalists, renowned entrepreneurs, media and other small business owners.
The conference will include an introduction by Simon Talling-Smith, Executive Vice President Americas, British Airways and keynote speeches by Rhonda Abrams, best-selling author and USA Today small business columnist and Bill Rancic, best-selling author and first season winner of The Apprentice. Conference attendees will be offered various breakout sessions that will focus on three main tracks: business planning, marketing and travel. Topics will include international relationship building, cultural protocol, building online communities, maximizing international business trips, money and financing and “Face-to-Face” – a session on networking and building rapport, among others. Additional details about the British Airways Face-of-Opportunity conference and confirmed speakers will be released in early 2011.
About British Airways
British Airways is one of the world’s largest international airlines. Operating one of the most extensive international scheduled airline route networks, together with its codeshare and franchise partners, the airline flies to more than 300 destinations worldwide. Also, one of the world’s longest established airlines, it has always been regarded as an industry-leader. British Airways flies its customers at convenient times to the best-located airports across the world.
British Airways is one of the world’s leading global premium airlines with its principal place of business is London with significant presence at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City. It also operates a worldwide air cargo business, largely in conjunction with scheduled passenger services. The airline operates the majority of its domestic UK, international and intercontinental flights from its home at Terminal 5, Heathrow.