The ScaleUp Institute has held its third Driving Economic Growth through Scaleup Ecosystems programme, bringing together around 80 delegates from LEPs and Growth Hubs, City Regions and local councils, universities, business groups and scaleup business leaders.

This unique programme is brought to the UK by the ScaleUp Institute as a result of partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation and the 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme and is also supported by Innovate UK and the British Business Bank. It was held at Leeds University Business School

Dan Isenberg, DEG 2018, Leeds

The course was run and directed by Professor Daniel Isenberg (pictured above), the world leading expert on scaleup ecosystems, who created and designed this international programme.

Marcela Escobar, Manizales Mas, DEG 2018, Leeds

There were several guest speakers at the three-day event. These included Marcela Escobar from Manizales Mas (pictured above) who described the six-year development of the scaleup ecosystem in the city in Colombia which has become a reference point for its national government as well as the subject of visits and deputations from other countries.

Anders Hoffmann, Danish Ministry, DEG 2018, Leeds

Anders Hoffmann from the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities & Climate (above) described – via Skype – the policy instruments and impact of Denmark’s approach to fostering scaleups.

Maxine Adam, Innovate UK EEN, DEG 2018, Leeds

Maxine Adam (above), Programme Lead of the new Scaleup Programme being led by Innovate UK and Europe Enterprise Network, described the new initiative as “an ambitious programme for ambitious people” which has at the centre of the service a team of eight high-calibre scaleup directors who operate together as a board and provide each of the companies on the programme with a matrix of skills and connectivity.

Julie Hartley, British Business Bank, DEG 2018, Leeds

Julie Hartley (above), Managing Director of the new Regional Network Team of the British Business Bank, outlined its new investment funds and the way in which it will improve regional access to finance.


In a wide-ranging conversation moderated by Irene Graham, a group of Yorkshire-based entrepreneurs (above, from left: Nick Glynne, Managing Director, Buy It Direct Group; Rana Harvey, Managing Director, Monster Group (UK); and Gez Walsh, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Innergy Group) described their requirements for local support and advice and challenged delegates to make a greater priority of scaleups.

By the close of the third day, all delegates had presented their plans for local scaleup programmes for the next six months. But apart from the practical outcome of these plans, great value was generated through peer group learning and networking.

DEG 2018 reception

DEG 2018, LeedsDSC_2531DSC_2515DEG 2018 group shotDEG2018 table shot

“Programmes such as this are vital to supporting scaleups and recognising their huge contribution to delivering jobs, growth and greater choice for consumers,” wrote Andrew Griffiths MP, Small Business Minister and Scaleup Champion for Government in his introduction in the formal Driving Economic Growth programme document. “As the Scale Up Champion, it is encouraging to see a diverse range of institutions – the ScaleUp Institute, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK, Innovate UK and the British Business Bank – working together to deliver this education programme that will help to enhance the UK’s scaleup ecosystem.”

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