The rise of the micro-multinational
Micro businesses in the UK are reaping the rewards of being ...
Nearly four in five UK micro-multinationals believe you don’t have to be big to be global
Micro businesses in the UK are reaping the rewards of being 'born global', according to new research commissioned by FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp (FDX), and the world’s largest express transportation company. Nearly four in five (78 percent) of UK micro-multinationals feel international trade is just as accessible for small businesses.
Micro-multinationals are small, entrepreneurial businesses that complement domestic operations by opening offices or hiring staff in one or more overseas markets. In the UK, 40 percent of micro-multinationals have opened offices in new markets in the last five years—one of the highest rates in the world—while three in 10 have increased overseas employee numbers. The UK is also leading the way in international recruitment, finding it easier than any other country to source talent in other markets.
“Our research shows that confidence in overseas opportunities is increasing in the UK, with more than half of those surveyed perceiving that being a micro-multinational gives them a greater advantage over single market SMEs,” said Martin Davidian, Managing Director, Sales, UK North and Ireland, FedEx Express. “By providing a greater understanding of the benefits available to UK micro-multinationals, we can help break down the barriers for entry and further strengthen the economy.”
In a worldwide context, 31 percent of micro-multinationals are growing at a rate of 11 percent or more, compared to just 21 percent of SMEs in the same position. Different skill sets, technological benefits and lower overheads were listed by UK micro-multinationals as the top three factors contributing to this superior performance.
Globally, all micro-multinationals believe having a presence in multiple markets makes it easier to sell goods cross-border, with more claiming it is easier to operate internationally now than it was in 2010.
“With a wealth of benefits for the taking, becoming a micro-multinational is certainly something SMEs should consider,” says Davidian. “Micro businesses have the agility to respond quickly to market changes, which is more essential than ever in today’s connected world.
“Innovation has always been stimulated by international trade, so as logistics experts, it’s vital we are primed to help businesses of all sizes take advantage of global opportunities. UK micro-multinationals are no exception, and equipped with the right support could change the face of global business as we know it.”
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.