If ever you needed proof that scaleups are the driving force for economic success, look no further than the latest announcement from Scottish Enterprise.
The Scottish government’s enterprise agency has announced an enhanced service for companies with the potential to turnover more than £100 million.
It’s called Start2Scale and provides an intensive, tailored service focussing on the key drivers of growth: international sales, investment and talent acquisition and development.
I will be speaking to Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, for a future column – he was the minister who announced the new programme.
“We know that stimulating the development of, and supporting, more high growth companies with the ambition and potential to grow their turnover to over £100 million is one of the most powerful drivers of growth,” he said at the launch of Venturefest yesterday.
“According to a UK scale-up report, boosting just one per cent of our scale-up business population could create 238,000 jobs and £38 billion of GVA across the UK within three years and we want to see Scotland pursue such an objective.”
Interestingly, this new programme is based on feedback from Scottish Enterprise’s service users who have indicated that companies enjoying rapid growth face a unique set of challenges, something I’ve been trying to highlight in this column.
SE’s managing director Adrian Gillespie said the important thing is to match support to the type of growth.
“We already actively work with around 180 fast growing companies on this journey,” he said. “This enhanced service aims to build on that support, recognising that these important group of companies have specific needs. We aim to increase the number of companies we work with to 250 during 2018.”
I’ll be talking to Scottish Enterprise about this and other ways they help scaling companies in future columns.