What matters most to growing businesses?

Growing businesses - or 'scaleups' - are vital to the UK economy. They provide jobs and boost productivity throughout the country and across all sectors.

Alongside the ScaleUp Institute and using its research, we've pulled together this infographic which outlines what matters most to growing businesses in the UK, including:

  • the issues scaleups most often face and where they need the most support
  • the places in the UK where you're most likely to find scaleups
  • the funding that's helped those businesses get to where they are in their growth

Scaleups are growing businesses in the UK. They generate jobs and growth and are a vital part of the UK economy.

This article outlines what the landscape is like for Scaleups in the UK and what matters most to them.

What is a Scaleup business?

  • 36,510 scaleups in the UK

  • 13,165 grew by employees
  • 30,650 grew by turnover
  • 7,350 grew by both

[Source ScaleUp Institute research]

Scaleup - noun:

An enterprise with average annual growth in employees or turnover greater than 20 per cent per annum over a three year period, and with more than 10 employees at the beginning of the period.

Synonyms: Growing business

The Scaleup impact

Scaleup companies boost productivity across all parts of the country and across all sectors Irene Graham CEO @ ScaleUp Institute

What do Scaleups need most?

  • Help securing talent
  • Access to markets
  • Access to leadership
  • Smart money - noun: Money which also brings knowledge, skills and customer and market connections with it. More than just cash.

People and Place matter most to Scaleups

Scaleup leaders most value locally-rooted resources to foster their growth. They want more local solutions tailored to their needs. Where there are national initiatives, they want those delivered locally in an easy-to-navigate manner. Irene Graham CEO @ ScaleUp Institute

But Scaleups aren't home birds. They're trading internationally and are hungry for more:

  • 64% of Scaleups are involved in international trade

[Source: ScaleUp Institute research]

The regional split

Scaleups in London and the south-east are much more likely to be using equity finance than those based elsewhere in the UK.

  • 36% use equity finance in London and the south-east
  • 18% use equity finance in the rest of the UK
  • London received 54% of all equity deals by number
  • London received 41% of all equity deals by value
  • But only 19% of high-growth businesses are located in London

[Source: ScaleUp Institute research]

Funding confusion and equity success

There is a direct correlation between equity investment and growth. The more equity investment a company receives, the more likely it is to grow at a very fast rate. ScaleUp Institute

So why aren't more businesses accessing finance

  • 3 in 4 Scaleups use external finance but debt outweighs equity
  • 17% of Scaleups are unsure about which form of finance to apply for and/or provider to apply to

Are you looking to grow your business? Find suitable options for your business with our simple six-step tool.

Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.

Making business finance work for you

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