The ScaleUp Institute visited the North East on the 5th and 6th December, spending two days working with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) to explore ways in which the region can boost its number of scale-up businesses.
Sherry Coutu CBE and Irene Graham are Chair and CEO of the ScaleUp Institute respectively; a private sector led organisation that works with policy makers, corporate partners and educational establishments to create the ideal environment for businesses to scale up.
Colin Bell, Business Growth Director from the North East LEP, said: “The ScaleUp Review on Economic Growth has been published this week by the ScaleUp Institute, giving recommendations for action that will improve the conditions for businesses which have the potential to grow, across the UK.
“The North East doesn’t only need more businesses, it needs more fast-growing businesses – they create jobs, drive economic growth in the region, and have a positive impact on the rest of the local ecosystem as they buy goods and services and attract talented people. The ScaleUp Institute is a leader in the field of ‘scaling up’ and we welcomed this unmissable opportunity for the North East to benefit from their expertise.”
A ‘scale-up’ is an enterprise that has more than 10 employees and has an average annual growth in employees or turnover of more than 20 per cent.
Recent data shows that UK companies lag behind the US and other leading economies in terms of scaling up – this is known as the ‘scale-up gap’. The ScaleUp Review on Economic Growth 2016 focuses on ways of closing this gap and builds on the recommendations of 2014’s ScaleUp Report.
Sherry Coutu CBE, entrepreneur, non-exec director, investor, advisor to companies, universities and charities and Chair of the ScaleUp Institute, said: “The North East ranks well when looking at key scale-up indicators, which is identified in our latest report. However, North East businesses feel that they could scale more quickly if they had more access to venture capital and mentors who have scaled themselves.”
Irene Graham, CEO of the ScaleUp Institute, said: “It is terrific to be here today with the North East team and key members of the local private and public sector to focus on what can be done, practically, to further support our scale-ups across the area in all sectors of the community. This builds on the work with the team earlier in the year and shows the LEP’s commitment to making the North East a great place to grow and scale a business. We are tremendously encouraged by this focus and determination”.
The ScaleUp Review on Economic Growth 2016 includes a number of recommendations for helping companies overcome barriers to growth. The recommendations include recognising ‘scale-up’ status as a formal business classification, and signposting high quality mentorship programmes which match mentees with mentors who have experience of scaling a business.
During a two day visit to the North East Sherry and Irene took part in a North East Growth Hub event focused on helping companies in the region to scale up and outlining the North East LEP’s approach to overcoming barriers to business growth in the North East.
Roy Stanley, local entrepreneur said: “A desire for growth is the biggest single factor in achieving profitable high business growth. Having experienced what the ScaleUp Institute has to offer through Sherry and Irene, I would say that this a great opportunity for businesses in the North East to gain an insight into what drives profitable high growth.”
Support for businesses in the North East and details of future events focusing on business growth can be found on the North East Growth Hub: www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk.
The ScaleUp Review on Economic Growth 2016 can be found at http://www.scaleupinstitute.org.uk/scaleup-review-2016/.