The number of fast-growing ambitious businesses with leaders hungry for success is increasing across Thames Valley Berkshire – new insights from the ScaleUp Institute reveal.
There are now 685 companies in the sub region that meet the definition of scaleup because they have increased turnover or employment by more than 20% annually. Scaleups in the Thames Valley Berkshire area are employing a total of 82,000 staff and their turnover is worth £25.9 billion. This is according to new research by the ScaleUp Institute based on the latest 2017 ONS data.
In the area, the top five scaleups by employment growth are Hala Limited, Archway Services, Anesco, Jake’s Playbarn and AlertMe, while the top five for turnover growth are Displaydata, AlertMe, ESP, Neilson Financial Services and Teneo.
Across the UK there are over 36,000 scaleups, an increase of 3.7% from 2016.
ScaleUp Institute Chief Executive Irene Graham said: “Scaleups are the engine drivers of local economies; they are twice as innovative as large firms, employ twice as many apprentices, are twice as likely to be operating in international markets, and, significantly, they create high quality jobs.
“Their aspirations remain high. According to our recent ScaleUp survey eight out of ten expect to scale again in 2019, generating £1.5 billion more in turnover and creating an extra 7,000 jobs.
While they are ambitious about their growth, scaleups continue to face major challenges. In Thames Valley Berkshire they particularly highlight access to talent, access to UK markets, access to external support and advice and access to infrastructure as key issues. They also want easier access to support from Local Government, local professional services and peer-to-peer networks.
Within Thames Valley Berkshire support through the ScaleUp Berkshire Programme, run through the Berkshire Business Growth Hub, is focused on a cohort of leaders of ambitious SME scale-up businesses with an annual turnover of over £1million and 20% year-on-year growth. ScaleUp Berkshire provides account management services to these scale-ups helping them to easily access specialist scale-up support and a peer-to-peer network that provides an exclusive forum for scale-up founders to share ideas, learn what works and build mutually beneficial relationships with other leaders.
“This is encouraging, and we will continue to monitor the impact of the ScaleUp Berkshire Programme,” said Irene Graham.
Robin Barnes, Director and Enterprise Lead for the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP adds, “The LEP is focused on ensuring that the sub region supports business growth. The new ScaleUp Berkshire Programme seeks to address the barriers faced by scale-ups by providing expert guidance and assistance to shine a light on the scale-up community and support them to the next level of growth.”
The Department for Education, Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Careers & Enterprise Company should use their convening and promotional power to ensure that students at schools, colleges and universities come into contact with business leaders and that APIs to the National Pupils database and the destinations database (with suitable protections) are made available so that the impact of these interventions can be measured.
The public, private and education sector should continue to work together to close the gap on provision of high-quality flexible scaleup leadership programmes, including mentoring, peer networks and matchmaking of non-executive directors who have scaled businesses before. Better connections should also continue to be made between national programmes and local ecosystem leaders. The Small Business Charter, and other such mechanisms, should integrate an assessment of ‘scaleup engagement’ into their performance analysis.
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