INNOVATIVE and forward-thinking companies in the East of England could win a share of £90million of funding and a financial reward of up to £100,000 each, in a scheme launched by HSBC Commercial Banking. Business Thinking 2010 is a new initiative from t

INNOVATIVE and forward-thinking companies in the East of England could win a share of £90million of funding and a financial reward of up to £100,000 each, in a scheme launched by HSBC Commercial Banking.

"Business Thinking 2010" is a new initiative from the Bank to help support and fund business innovation in the UK.

Winners can secure up to £5million in lending and a £100,000 financial reward.

Businesses with turnovers in excess of £2million can visit www.hsbc.co.uk/businessthinking to put forward their vision and ambitions, how it intends to achieve them and how the prize would help.

The competition has three phases of reward for successful entrants.

Phase one will see up to 54 companies across the UK shortlisted as regional finalists, who will have the opportunity to participate in international Thought Exchange in China, the Americas or Europe, as a guest of HSBC.

They will then refine their business cases and pitch a panel of experts to win up to £5million in lending and a reward of up to £100,000.

One of the 18 regional winners will win the overall title at a gala event in Hong Kong and receive a further financial reward of up to £100,000.

Ian Urquhart, HSBC regional commercial director for the central and eastern region, said: "We know the most successful businesses are those that innovate and invest to get ahead.

"We firmly believe that for many businesses in the East of England, trading internationally could help them drive their way out of the recovery to success, which is why we are giving so many finalists the chance to meet like-minded companies in other countries and find out about doing business overseas."

INFORMATION: Business Thinking 2010 entrants must fulfil the following criteria: they must have been based in the UK and have operated for two years or longer, have a turnover of £2million or more, be able to provide profit & loss and balance sheet information for at least 12 months, and projected financials for a minimum of two years. To find out more, visit www.hsbc.co.uk/businessthinking or call 0800 328 3211. Closing date for entries is midnight on 25 June 2010.