The International Business Development strand aims to support the development of UK screen content businesses that focus on revenue generation through export and international expansion.
This funding will provide grants for growth strategies that begin in 2024 and span three to five years (see below for information on the tracks within this strand), to support companies that have identified opportunities to develop and expand in terms of turnover and scale of Intellectual Property (IP) creation, exploitation and acquisition, with the express aim of enhancing the company’s international revenue, activities and profile.
The aims of this strand are to:
- support the transformation of UK screen content businesses through international activity
- stimulate business innovation, entrepreneurship and risk-taking in the UK screen sector when trading internationally, and in particular to seize new global export opportunities as part of the UK Government’s Global Britain objectives
- support the corporate development and growth of independent companies already operating in the UK screen sector across the four nations of the UK by helping them to capitalise on opportunities in the global marketplace
- assist ambitious, promising companies to reach the next level of their development, and to help them attain investment readiness, based on compelling strategic plans for corporate growth through international activity
The International Business Development strand will achieve these aims by:
- assisting UK companies to develop a strong presence in the international marketplace
- facilitating increased development of quality UK projects and talent aimed specifically at the global marketplace and at global audiences
- supporting the creation of new international business partnerships and alliances
- supporting the development of new international revenue streams and increased levels of private sector investment
- assisting UK companies in developing and implementing targeted development, production, sales, distribution and marketing strategies which exploit new opportunities in the global digital and online realm
The International Business Development strand offers two application tracks:
International Business Development – General Track: for eligible companies from any of the screen sectors looking to expand their revenues, audiences and reach through internationally-focused growth strategies over a three-year period
International Business Development – Film Transformation Track: for eligible applicants with a track record in the independent film sector, who wish to embark on an internationally-focused transformational business strategy related to independent UK film over a three to five-year period
The Film Transformation Track is offered in recognition of the specific challenges facing the sustainability and growth of the independent UK film sector (also reflected in the findings of the recently published Economic Review of Independent Film), largely as a result of worldwide shifts in economic and consumer dynamics arising from the emergence of new technologies and the proliferation of non-traditional distribution channels. These ongoing challenges require the industry to review its traditional business models and find new and innovative approaches to the business of developing, financing and exploiting independent UK films, which will be the core focus of the new Film Transformation Track.
In order to be considered for the Film Transformation Track, the applicant company would need to demonstrate:
- an internationally-focused business transformation strategy relating specifically to the development, production and/or distribution of independent UK film
- the ability to capture additional value from the production/distribution/exhibition value chain through focused international activities
- the ambition to develop a sustainable film-focused business and not simply the pursuit of one-off IP extension and monetisation opportunities
- how its business transformation plan will promote sustainability and innovation specifically within the independent UK film sector
A company will be eligible if it is a limited company registered and centrally managed in the UK and is either a:
- micro business or small company according to the definitions used by the UK government; micro (less than 10 employees and an annual turnover under £1.8 million), small (less than 50 employees and an annual turnover under £8.5 million)
- medium-sized company (less than 250 employees and an annual turnover under £43 million) if this is due to the need to engage time-limited roles for the specific requirements of the production of a game or animation. You can read more about the government’s action plan for small and medium enterprises on their website
The eligible company is also not a company in which more than 25% of its shares are held, directly or indirectly, by any one or more of the following third parties:
- a non-UK corporate entity
- a television broadcaster/SVOD platform or operator
- a video games publisher
- any company defined as a large company under the Companies Act 2006 (for example, if the company has either a turnover of more than £36 million, a balance sheet total of more than £18 million or more than 250
- has at least two years of accounts filed at Companies House
- has at least one director who has been a director of the company for more than two years
- is engaged in creating, acquiring and/or exploiting IP in at least one of the following categories: feature films intended for theatrical and/or online release in the genres of fiction, documentary and/or animation, programmes intended for broadcast television, video-on-demand services, or other forms of online release in the genres of fiction, documentary and/or animation, interactive narrative video games intended for distribution on commercial digital platforms with the intention to generate revenue
You’ll be asked to provide a corporate ownership chart detailing all direct and indirect ownership interests, and corporate domicile of all related entities.
The eligible company should also have:
- a company credit (or equivalent experience) on at least one project that falls within these categories, which has had commercial distribution, exploitation and/or release in the UK or internationally, within the last three years; or
- (in the case that the company is less than 4 years old) a slate of projects in third-party funded development which have not yet been commercially distributed but are expected to be so in the next three years
- achieved a minimum £35,000 gross profit average over a three-year period including the current year forecast and the past 2 historical years (gross profit is defined as revenues less cost of sales, before any other company overheads such as salaries and wages, rent, and other expenses)
Talk to us today if you would like to apply for this opportunity.