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Solving ‘scale-up’ gap could create £225bn


Britain’s burgeoning tech sector is being held back by a skills-gap which, if solved, could add £225bn to the UK economy in the next 20 years, according to new research.

The Scale-Up report, which launches today, unveils a plan to help British startups grow and unlock the full economic potential for UK GDP.

Britain now starts more companies per capita than the US but far less of these start-ups are scaling into large companies, which contribute a disproportionate amount of jobs and growth to the economy.

Top tech stats: The gender wage gap, UK businesses’ lack of trust in data & more

‘National economic interest’

In the report’s foreword, its author Sherry Coutu insists “it is in our national economic interest to help local scale-up companies to overcome their challenges”.

This report investigates the potential boost to the UK economy if we could enable as many small companies to grow large by the implementation of support mechanisms as has been achieved in 20 other countries.

Entrepreneur and investor Coutu also argues that closing the ‘scale-up gap’ is the single most effective thing that leaders in government, business and academia can do to drive economic growth.

Figures from RBS suggest that closing the gap would create 238,000 additional jobs and an extra £38 billion within three years.

Where to focus

Coutu believes that the UK can create tech businesses the size of Facebook or Google, but suggests “we need to be more effective at identifying the companies that have the greatest potential”. She insists throughout that we must do everything we can to help those companies grow.

The report reveals five key areas that must be focused on to help ‘scale-up’ businesses grow:

  1. Talent shortages
  2. Leadership capacity building
  3. Accessing customers in home markets and overseas
  4. Accessing the right combination of finance
  5. Navigating real-estate moves more easily

The full  Scale-Up report is available online.

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  • James Hutchison

    Million or Billion? Several orders of magnitude.

    • Dylan Baker

      Hi James,

      It’s billion. Thanks for highlighting that.

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