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New York, Sept. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — British Airways today relaunches its Face-to-Face Program and offers U.S. entrepreneurs and small business owners the critical tools for building business relationships abroad and stimulating growth Face-to-Face.

As part of the Face-to-Face campaign, British Airways will award 250 small businesses the opportunity to travel to London and beyond through the British Airways Face of Opportunity contest. Any entrepreneur or small business owner with a clear business need for international exposure should visit www.ba.com/facetoface for the opportunity to compete for and win a free flight.

British Airways strongly believes face-to-face interaction with global stakeholders is a critical tool to help entrepreneurs and small businesses build ongoing, mutually beneficial business relationships abroad, effectively supporting U.S. economic growth and global expansion and exports.

British Airways Face of Opportunity Contest:

  • Beginning today, entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to expand or enhance their business internationally may submit a video or essay of their best “elevator” pitch at www.ba.com/contest. Entering the contest provides a chance to earn a free flight to London or anywhere in the British Airways network to facilitate face-to-face meetings with potential and existing customers and business partners.
  • Prior to the New York to London flight early next year, all 250 winners will have the exclusive opportunity to attend British Airways' Face of Opportunity event on Wed, Feb. 2, 2011, in New York City, 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.
  • Three selected winners also will have the chance to present their business plans to a panel of celebrity entrepreneur judges, including Bill Rancic, Barbara Corcoran and Bethenny Frankel, for a chance to win a British Airways Business Opportunity Grant, featuring additional free flights to London, or anywhere in the British Airways global network.

British Airways Face-to-Face Summary:

  • British Airways launched the first Face-to-Face Program in July 2009, giving more than 600 small business owners the opportunity to travel overseas and conduct face-to-face business meetings that resulted in deeper partnerships, contracts and revenue for U.S. cities.
  • The 2009 flights provided previous winners such as Morgan Newman, of IdeaPaint in Massachusetts, and Judi Townsend, of Mannequin Madness in Oakland, California, a chance to enter new markets and achieve continued growth and profitability in 2010. To learn more about past winners, visit: http://businessconnect.ba.com/success-stories.

British Airways Face of Opportunity Elevator Pitch Event (Sept. 14 and 15, 2010):

Bill RancicOn Tues. and Wed. Sept. 14 and 15, from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., small business owners may videotape their best elevator pitch to enter the British Airways Face of Opportunity Contest and the chance to win the opportunity of a lifetime – a flight anywhere in the world to help them grow their business internationally. Interested entrepreneurs and small businesses may visit Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal, New York City, on Tues., Sept. 14 beginning at 7 a.m., when Bill Rancic, entrepreneur, best-selling author and first season winner of The Apprentice, and Simon Talling-Smith, Executive Vice President, Americas, British Airways, will launch the British Airways Face of Opportunity Contest. Small business expert and best-selling author, Rhonda Abrams, and other special guests also will be on-hand offering speed consulting and tips to small business owners.

British Airways Advisory Board:

British Airways has built a coalition of trusted authorities and thought leaders from the small business community. The Face-to-Face advisory board has contributed to crafting the campaign, contest and conference content to ensure British Airways offers comprehensive resources to SMEs and entrepreneurs via the Face-to-Face campaign. Custom content for small business owners and entrepreneurs developed by the British Airways Face-to-Face advisory board members will be available on an on-going basis on the Face-to-Face microsite: www.ba.com/facetoface. The board will provide tips and counsel to winners and attend various events throughout the program. Advisory board members include: