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The ScaleUp Institute, with the support of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and Innovate UK, hosted a major three-day regional economic growth programme in Manchester which concluded on Wednesday 21 September. The three day course convened 70 stakeholders from more than 12 Local Enterprise Partnerships throughout the UK. Over the three days, attendees were trained in an innovative programme delivered by Professor Daniel Isenberg of Babson College.

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The programme, the second of its kind delivered in the UK, has proven success in stimulating and driving economic growth through building supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems. It also focused on how LEPs and local support networks can help deliver this and create ecosystems for entrepreneurial growth. By focusing on the core challenges that face UK high growth businesses seeking to scale, the programme enabled LEP stakeholders to identify practical measures and techniques to address these challenges and apply these steps to their local business environment.

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With strong coverage from the Northern Powerhouse, representatives of Local Enterprise Partnerships, Growth Hubs, Business Schools and entrepreneurs from across the UK attended the course, held at Citylabs 1.0 in Manchester.

Government endorsement and support

The programme highlighted how support should be given to local high growth firms in order to stimulate scaleup growth among busineses with the Minister for Small Business, Margot James MP (below), addressing the audience on the importance of the collaboration.

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Margot James said:

The ongoing work of the ScaleUp Institute, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative and Innovate UK will help inspire the next generation to scale up, export and take on the world. When the private and public sectors come together they can help shape national and local growth. Local Enterprise Partnerships, Growth Hubs, universities and councils, as well as government programmes like Help to Grow and Enterprise Capital Funds can all help. I want to encourage all aspiring entrepreneurs and ambitious business owners across the country to take advantage of the support that’s out there.

A huge success with participants

The Manchester programme was a rare opportunity for participants to spend time with, and learn from, their peers from across the country. All were committed to continue to working together in the future. The ability to leverage each other’s expertise and experiences would benefit their delivery of regional scaleup projects.

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Action plans and six-month deliverables

Each region on the final day presented their plan of action and what they would deliver over the next six months. Every participant region saw the value in focusing more closely on scaleups and developing their ecosystems.

In addition, a panel of five delegates from the first Driving Economic Growth programme (held in Birmingham in May 2016) attended the third day, telling of their experiences and challenges in implementing their action plans (see picture below).

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According to Irene Graham, CEO of the ScaleUp Institute:

“This is a vital time to work together to support the growth needs of our fastest scaling businesses. We are committed to working with both local and regional authorities and private sector partners to support their focus on the growth of our scaleup businesses and sectors.
“I have seen the real impact that this programme can make – both around the world and also in places in the UK such as Swindon and Worcester. It helps cities and regions develop collaborative and practical programmes that make a real difference to the needs of scale ups.
“We have had terrific commitments made to be more focused on our high growth businesses  from across the northern and southern regions. It demonstrates the passion the country has for growth and the determination to support our scale up businesses.”