Good news. The European Commission has approved our bid to pilot support to a small number of Scale-up businesses in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. This will provide an exciting opportunity to work with some of the most ambitious and high growth businesses and help them on their journey.
Now the work starts
Lots to develop and put in place, but the aim will be to have up to 6 high-calibre scale-up advisers with the knowledge, experience and connections to help a business significantly scale. The advisors will work intensively with around 30 ambitious SMEs with the potential to scale, understanding their needs and helping them overcome the barriers they face.
The aim of the pilot will be to identify SMEs with growth-oriented ambition, a verified business plan and a commitment to implement it and a desire to expand into new markets. For businesses to scale then they must look at the global opportunities right from the start and build that into their thinking. Businesses are increasingly “born global” and so understanding which countries to focus on, how to do business in those countries and how to find the right partners is vital. The Enterprise Europe Network, with partner organisations in over 65 countries, is ideally placed to help business understand the opportunities and build the partnerships necessary to succeed.
Businesses going from start-up to scale-up will go through a series of stages and face a number of challenges. The pilot will almost flip usual business support and move away from the provision of distinct services to putting the business at the centre and supporting them on a journey, working to their individual needs and, most importantly, going at the pace the business wants to go at.
The pilot will also test out ‘Scale-up Labs’, designed to be a dynamic virtual environment where selected partners from across the Enterprise Europe Network from different countries come together to support an individual business in real time. So this is not just about drawing on the expertise and resources in the UK, but tapping into the whole of the global expertise offered by the Enterprise Europe Network.
Finally, the pilot will map, working with the Scale-Up Institute, the scale-up focused support currently available in the UK. This mapping will provide a resource so that businesses as well as local, regional and national stakeholders have a good view of the support available to help businesses scale. As the pilot develops we will provide further blogs on the progress being made.