Scale-up Institute leads the way

Scale-up Institute’s future focus and recent research

Just published research has aimed to identify the obstacles that confront young potentially hi-growth businesses. What clusters, LEPs, ‘accelerators’ and supply chains can contribute is now under the Institute’s microscope.

 At a meeting at Said Business School in Oxford to introduce a major report into Scale-ups and business growth, researchers from Said focused on recommendations about management skills; and the Judge Institute in Cambridge on recommendations in relation to financability – the two areas as closely linked.

While hi-growth SMEs generate 20% of all jobs growth in the UK, recent evidence from OECD shows that the UK has the lowest proportion of hi-growth SMEs: the biggest problem for the UK is not in starting companies, but in growing them.

Sherry Coutu, the founder of the Scale-up Institute focused first and foremost on the importance of leadership – eg by the founder, especially in relation to building a team. But she also underlined the need for more data – with which to guide policy and support for hi-growth ventures.

Work was also in hand, she said, to analyse the thirty or so clusters in the UK – those areas that contain quantities of similar businesses that have marked commonalities – and understand more about how they influence scaling up.

She also said that work was going on to rank the Local Enterprise Partnerships in terms of their support for growing ventures, and thus help them to enhance and adapt the support they offer them.

Work is also going on to detail the providers of programmes that support the development of young ventures – the ‘Seedcamps’ of scale-ups.

Finally, she drew attention to the need to get buyers (in corporates, institutions, public services etc) to make their supply chains amenable to young ventures, and thus support their scaling up.

Innovate UK needs to give the Scale-up Institute’s work immediate and continuing support.

John Whatmore, May 2016

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