ScaleUp Institute response to Government’s new support package for high growth innovative firms hit by coronavirus

The Government’s announcement today is welcome in addressing the finance challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis to scaling businesses across sectors and all regions of the country.

Scaling businesses are vital to the UK’s economy, our innovative capacity, productivity and international success. They employ approximately 3 million people and generate a total turnover of £1.3trn of the £1.9trn of the entire UK SME economy, with an average turnover per employee of £380,000.

“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ScaleUp Institute has worked across Government and closely with Innovate UK and the British Business Bank on the specific needs of our scaling businesses and the finance options most suitable to their growth cycles at this critical time,” says Irene Graham, CEO of the ScaleUp Institute.

“A suite of solutions – from venture debt to grants to innovation loans – is necessary and so we are pleased to see that this combination of solutions has been brought together today.

“It will be vital that they are deployed across the country and reach scaleups in every region and sector. We will be working closely now with the British Business Bank and Innovate UK on how we fast-track our scaling businesses to the right finance option. As part of this, Innovate UK’s network of regional scaleup advisers will play a crucial role.”

For further information please contact:

Josh Robson: 07413 467 007

Stuart Rock: 07810 713 357




Note to editors

1. The ScaleUp Institute Covid Hub is available here:

Direct links to Innovate UK Dedicated ScaleUp Advisors and other Government programmes can be found here:

2. About the Scale Up Institute. The ScaleUp Institute is a private sector led, not-for-profit organisation focused on collaborating with policy makers, corporates, finance players, educators and Government at a local and national level. Our mission is to help the UK to become the best place in the world to grow a business as well as start one, and enable our existing high growth businesses to ‘scale up’ even further. The Institute was founded in 2015 to help the UK improve its record in scaling companies which lags behind its major competitors after evidence showed that a one per cent boost to the UK scaleup population would boost the economy by hundreds of billions. The 2019 ScaleUp Review is available here:

2. Scaleup businesses are defined as companies who have increased their turnover and/or employee numbers annually by more than 20 per cent over a three-year period. Scaling businesses represent those that are scaleups and those on that fast growth journey.

3. ‘Visible scaleups’ are those scaleups with annual turnover greater than £10.2m – the threshold for filing full accounts at Companies House. A full list of the UK’s visible scaleups is published in the ScaleUp Institute’s Annual Scaleup Index. In our 2019 Index it reflects £205m of Innovate UK grants leveraging £3bn in equity investment for scaleups. Innovate UK backed companies on average raised £11m in equity compared to £8.2m for non-Innovate UK backed companies.

4. The value that scaleups contribute to the national economy is significant, particularly in relation to other SMEs. Turnover is substantial in comparison; scaleups employed 3.4 million people in 2017, generating a total turnover of £1.3trn for the UK economy with an average turnover per employee of £380,000. According to the ONS, the total turnover for all SMEs in 2017 was £1.9trn.