Accelerating growth in China: mentor programme

An exclusive 4-week growth accelerator programme, designed to get you set up for success in China.

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This scheme is provided by Santander

    • Dates: 4 – 25 September 2024

    As one of the top 7 markets for the UK, China is on the growth roadmap for many retail brands. But when it comes to taking your business global, understanding what opportunities exist in a new market is just one piece of the puzzle. 

    Not having the right knowledge and tools in your back pocket to tackle topics like which sales and marketing channels to use, brand localisation and IP protection can often stop you from taking that next step and realising your international trade dreams.

    What if you had an in-market mentor that could guide you on your road to global growth in China – and help you navigate the barriers to success?

    Santander are teaming up with key online influencer and Chinese market expert, Heidi Dugan, to offer you an exclusive 4-week growth accelerator programme, designed to get you set up for success in China. 

    More than just knowledge sharing, you’ll get actionable tips and exclusive market insights tailored to your business and goals. So, you can have the confidence to meet with the buyers and distributors that will put your business on the map in China.

    What’s included in the programme? 

    • You’ll work with, and learn from, Heidi Dugan, a key online influencer in China with 20+ years’ experience supporting overseas consumer brands enter the Chinese market.
    • You’ll be assigned some 1-to-1 time with Heidi to discuss your specific interests and needs for growing in China.
    • You’ll get the opportunity to pitch your brand to become part of Arete Group’s portfolio.

    As part of the programme, you’ll also participate in four interactive group sessions including presentations, interactive discussion, Q&A, and actions for each participant:

    • 4 September: Getting started – communication with business partners in China and pathways to getting started.
    • 11 September: Sales & marketing – brand positioning in China, options for marketing your brand on Chinese social media, and selecting sales channels.
    • 18 September: Protecting your brand in China – IP/trademark registration and enforcement, regulatory compliance and optimal logistics solutions.
    • 25 September: Go-to-market plan – creating a business plan in China based upon a unique pricing and sales strategy tailored to your business.

    Who is this opportunity for?

    There are two opportunities that stand out for overseas consumer brands looking to break into China:

    • Beauty and personal care – China’s beauty and personal care market is on track to become the second largest beauty market in the world in the next few years with a market cap of $78 billion. Beauty has long been the top selling category on cross-border e-commerce channels, with skincare and moisturisers amongst the most popular products. 
    • Health and wellness – China has a long tradition of health-conscious consumption. The increasing pressures of hectic urban life in China has resulted in a renewed demand for products that can act as a counterbalance and help maintain a healthy body and mind. This includes nutraceuticals, functional food & drink, sports nutrition, free-from, organic, and nutritious food ingredient suppliers. 

    The programme is suitable for brands that are new to market as well as representatives from brands already selling in China and want to stay up to date on the latest trends and best practice.

    Who is Heidi Dugan? 

    Heidi Dugan is the CEO of Arete Group. She is an online influencer who works with overseas consumer brands to raise their profile and generate sales in China. Heidi has 300,000 followers on Chinese social media, and a TV show with daily viewing figures of >6 million.

    For more information, please visit, or contact Alexander Phillips.
    Please note: 
    This event requires pre-approval to attend to ensure that your offering meets the relevant demand and/or criteria. This event is £175 for Santander Navigator Grow subscribers, £450 for Prepare subscribers, and £725 for Explore subscribers. Payment will only be taken once we have confirmed your place.

    In collaboration with: 

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