There is much talk about the importance of scale up businesses at the moment and indeed their importance to the economy. These are the companies that grow rapidly, create added value jobs, focus on innovation and very often drive international trade. The reality is they are few and far between and many crash and burn as they climb the staircase of growth. This fact is borne out in the statistics – out of approximately 5.7 million businesses in the UK less than 1% employ over 50 staff and a staggering 76% don’t employ at all.
Scale up businesses are a run by a unique breed of individuals who need specialist advice from those who have been there and done and indeed have the license to offer the help. In the UK’s quest to identify more of these businesses – have we got the approach right? Do we focus too much on the technology of tomorrow and forget that its individuals with passion, vision and hard-wired genuine ambition that create these economically very important companies.
Our experience tells us that there are many aspiring entrepreneurs out there but many lack the genuine ambition, personal discipline and work ethic to drive growth and create a sustainable scale up. Having a commercially sound proposition is only part of the equation – human factors and mindset play an equally if not more important role. In the quest to find more scale ups we need to look more closely at the individuals and teams behind the idea and work out whether they have the genuine ambition to make things happen. Coupled to a compelling proposition this makes a sound platform for nurturing the scale ups of tomorrow.