Britain Urged To Move Focus From Start-Ups To Scale-Ups

Nov 20, 2014

The UK does a great job of helping tech start-ups, but needs to do more to help companies scale-up, a new report will claim.

The Scale-Up Report is backed by the government, investors, academics, CEOs and business leaders that play an important role in the growth of the economy.

The document will contain what it calls “easy high impact actions” that Britain can take to boost in the economy in terms of jobs, turnover and economic growth.

The actions were written down after extensive research, workshops, interviewing and private briefings with over 80 individuals in the field and the report references 51 case examples throughout to add to the evidence base.

Its author is Sherry Coutu CBE, who is a co-founder of Silicon Valley Comes 2 The UK (SVC2UK), a not-for-profit volunteer-led invitation-only series of events that aim to bring together early stage investors, successful “serial entrepreneurs, students and alumni with investors.

Coutu is also a non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange.

“The responsibility to become ‘a scale-up nation’ – to create an environment (ecosystem) where a greater number of companies reach global scale – rests with all of us who have an interesting in supporting economic growth,” she claims in the report.

“Getting our ecosystem to produce a greater number of scale-ups is more ambitious and challenging than producing a greater number of start-ups or celebrating entrepreneurs,” Coutu adds.

According to The Scale-Up Report, its 12 recommendations have the potential to add £1 trillion to the economy by 2034.

How The Public Sector Can Help

The recommendations are as follows:

  • central government should make national data on scale-ups available to enable better-targeted support
  • public bodies should be evaluated on the help they are offering to scale-ups
  • there should be more public funding programmes available for scale-ups
  • a Minister with an industry taskforce should be made accountable for reversing the “scale-up gap”
  • the Department for Education (DfE) and Local Enterprise Partners should help connect scale-ups with students as potential employees
  • scale-up companies should be assisted by local government, colleges and universities in finding the talent they need
  • the Home Office should offer a “scale-up visa” so organisations can bring in specific personnel from overseas
  • public learning syllabuses and initiatives that ensure understanding of what it takes to scale up should be made available
  • government should use its powers to help raises the profile of scale-ups
  • the UK Listing Authority, HMRC and the UK Border Authority should report on their regulatory efficiency broken down by Local Enterprise Partnership
  • government and industry must continue to work together to close the finance gap for fast growing companies
  • they must also work together to ensure access to infrastructure is given on a flexible and timely basis. 
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