It is important that when programmes are established for scaleup businesses that, from the get-go, they are assessed, monitored and measured for impact as well as for learnings.
It is pleasing to see one programme which has done just that is the Mayor’s International Business Programme. Run by London & Partners in partnership with several private sector firms, it was established in 2016 to help scaleups access new markets. Cohorts of companies are selected from the tech, life sciences and urban From the outset, it has focused on making sure it continuously measures the results of its actions.
Trade missions are central to the programme’s activities, connecting high-growth cohort companies with potential customers and partners across the world. In 2016, the programme supported 213 scaleups, running eight such trade missions to San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Cologne, Barcelona, Helsinki and China.
This trade mission activity is supported by a series of mentoring sessions and workshops to shape and prepare international expansion strategies. There is a strong emphasis on peer-to-peer networking as well as creating opportunities to meet large corporates as potential customers. Special reports are also published.
The evidence is beginning to emerge:
- More than seven out of ten (71%) of the first x 213 companies who have been on the programme have since created over 400 jobs.
- Almost half of them signed new deals (49%) and entered new markets (45%).
- Over one-third of them (36%) secured further funding as a result of the visit.
- And more than one in six (18%) opened new offices.
The early signs of the Mayor’s International Business Programme shows what can be achieved by supporting scaleups in a targeted way on a specific area of need. A fourth cohort of companies has been announced. More trade missions are planned in 2017 including one to six European capitals in March.
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