Are scale-ups the new start-ups?

For years, a key focus in the enterprise community (including central and local government, LEPs, and private sector support) has been on helping people to start their own business.

Resource for all these support organisations is tight and there’s a legitimate argument that, with more than half of UK start-ups failing within 5 years, focussing on businesses that are less likely (statistically) to make a significant economic impact isn’t the best return on investment.

Not to say that support shouldn’t exist for start-ups, it should and does (in no small way through Opportunity Peterborough and our partners across the city) but the significant effort should go towards supporting those companies that have the potential to contribute most to the economy.

But who are those companies?

In 2014, Sherry Coutu CBE – an Entrepreneur, Non-Exec Director, Investor and Advisor to Companies, Universities and Charities – produced The Scale-Up Report, a detailed look at what the UK needs to do to address the gap that a particular breed of company – the ‘scale-ups’ – is faced with.

According to the report, a ‘scale-up’ is an enterprise with average annualised growth in employees or turnover greater than 20 per cent per annum over a three-year period, and with more than 10 employees at the beginning of the observation period.

Analysis by various sources, amongst them Deloitte, RBS and Nesta, shows that these companies produce the largest economic benefit than any other group: hiring more staff, growing their turnover faster and inspiring other enterprises to develop.

So how do we support them?

The report highlights 6 key areas to address in the local ecosystem in order to support these companies to reach their full potential and have the economic impact they’re capable of. I’ll discuss those key areas in more detail in future blogs, but our focus now is identifying the companies.

Together with our partners, Opportunity Peterborough is pulling together a group of local scale-up companies, and those that are almost at the scale-up stage. We have some exciting things planned to help your business grow.

If this sounds like your company, we’d love to hear from you. All we need is for you to identify yourself and bring a willingness to engage.

Please get in touch:
01733 317417