The United Kingdom is ranked as the third nation in the world at starting businesses yet is ranked as thirteenth when it comes to scaleups. I learned this at The North East Growth Hub’s Scaleup North East Launch at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Newcastle’s Stephenson Quarter, behind the Central Station and just next to where the new North East Futures University Technical College is springing up. (There were a few too many capitalised words in that sentence – sorry.)
The UK then is doing well in getting businesses off the ground yet lags its competitors in making these larger concerns. The North East region has 700 scaleup businesses, with around 75,000 employees yet it is not keeping up with other regions. This is why the initiative has been launched and it was encouraging to see the conference room packed with people interested in getting involved with the programme. Of course there were many that I knew yet it was refreshing to see many people that I did not.
Scaleup businesses are the key engine for job creation and while the North East Local Enterprise Partnership has created more than half of its target number of 100,000 new jobs there is always more to be done. When asked, those businesses looking to scaleup need access to skilled talent, new markets, high quality leadership, finance and supporting infrastructure.
This is what the 3 year, £7 million, Scaleup North East programme is set to deliver, dedicated support to help transform the local economy by helping the scaleup ecosystem to grow faster and be more scalable.
I have signed up to help if I can, in particular around the areas of leadership and culture.
If you are interested in being a scaleup then you must be based in the NELEP area, been trading for 3 or more years, have 5-250 employees, a turnover of less than £50m and be trading in an eligible ERDF sector. More details can be found here.