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Business Groups, Associations and Networking for Expats in the United Kingdom

Submitted: July 2013

Networking represents an integral part of the British business culture. There are numerous groups, clubs, professional associations and other networks dedicated to business and individual professions in the UK. Typically, you will have to sign up to become a member of such a group and pay an annual membership fee. In return, you will get access to the group’s networking events, publications, online resources and consultation services. Detailed information on how to become a member, various types of membership and the respective fees can be found on the website of a particular network. Many of these groups also have regional and local branches.

Some of the major business groups and networks include:

Expats might also be interested in the country-specific business groups in the UK. The majority of countries have their Chamber of Commerce presence in the UK and most of these run membership clubs. These are primarily directed at expats from that country who are doing business in the UK and business professionals from the UK who wish to do business in that particular country. They offer support to the businesses and organise regular networking events.

The British Chambers of Commerce website offers a list of all international Chambers of Commerce located in the UK. Select your country from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page and the contact details for the respective Chamber of Commerce will appear. The search tool is available at: http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/business/international-trade/international-contacts.html.

UK also has a wide array of professional bodies and associations dedicated to individual professions, such as lawyers, doctors, teachers or librarians. Most of these are chartered bodies, meaning that they have been approved by the  Privy Council. TotalProfessions.com offers a useful search tool for finding associations and bodies dedicated to particular sectors at: http://www.totalprofessions.com/profession-finder.

The popularity of online networking sites for professionals has also grown steadily over the recent years. These networks enable both companies and individuals to create an online profile and join groups of interest. They can be useful for self-promotion, recruitment and making new contacts in your field. The most popular networking site for professionals is LinkedIn which has over 10 million members in the UK. Another widely-used networking site for professionals is Xing.

For expat groups in the UK, see Expat Groups.

 

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