Scale-up UK a growing reality » SMEInsider

Scale-up UK a growing reality

The UK is set to continue its status as a ‘scale up’ centre. The 2016 survey of ScaleUp CEOs, reveals  that 83 per cent  of scale up leaders expect their growth to continue despite the uncertainties created by Brexit.

However, despite the flourishing environment for scale-ups, challenges remain. 88% of scaleup CEOs agreed that  that they would be able to grow their business faster if it were easier to develop the leadership talent at the firm. Meanwhile, scaleup leaders also place great importance on local support: “more than seven out of ten said they would be able to grow faster if were easier to find effective mentoring and professional support schemes near them.”

The survey also showed a growing desire to see local universities and business schools develop executive education programmes tailored for scaleups and their teams.

The key conclusions are:
  • We are on track in increasing the number of scaleups with a rise to 11, 575 nationally in 2015, but further concerted effort is needed if we are to reach our target of £225 billion (net) GDP by 2034.
  • The UK Government has excellent data sources which if harnessed to even greater effect, can ensure better tailored support to scaleups and those businesses with high growth potential.
  • Progress has been made locally, however, more still needs to be done to address disparities.
  • We have ambitious scaleup leaders who want to scale to even further heights. These leaders continue to most need help on talent, leadership and access to markets. Meanwhile, finance and infrastructure remain an important complement to these needs, with specific actions required to address local disparities and to unlock further institutional investment.
  • Large corporates, business schools and universities, alongside local authorities can help scaleups with talent, leadership development and sales opportunities at home and abroad. This support is very much welcomed by scaleups and, although progress has been made, more support is needed

“We must close the scaleup gap”

“I am pleased to report that there is an increasing proportion of scaleup companies per capita in most communities across a variety of sectors in the UK,” said Sherry Coutu, CBE, chair of the ScaleUp Institute. “Closing the scaleup gap helps citizens by driving local jobs and opportunities. However, as the review highlights, we have found regional disparity in the number and density of scaleups per capita on a community-by-community basis across the UK. In some communities there has been a widening of the scaleup gap, while others enjoyed decreases in the scaleup gap. To make Britain work for all, we must close the scaleup gap throughout the country in coming years.
“A key factor enabling us to drive down this regional disparity lies in using data held centrally by government to draw attention to the communities closing their scaleup gaps, so their achievements can be celebrated, and so that the techniques they used to remove barriers that hinder their scaleups can be shared with leaders of communities suffering from a shrinking number of scaleup companies. I am confident that the recommendations in the review will make Britain work for all of us.”