Scaleup programmes

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BizSmart [2021]

Leadership Capacity

Impact for scaleups


Number of scaling businesses supported in last five years


reported more than doubling of turnover in the past 3 years


Average increase in turnover 12 months after programme


Average increase in profits 12 months after programme

Key sectors

Healthcare Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink


Newly endorsed by the ScaleUp Institute in 2021, BizSmart was established in 2012 and is primarily based in Worcestershire, it helps scaling businesses navigate a growth journey by sharing with owners the tools they need to increase profits and value while making the businesses easier to manage. Flight Academy – its structured scaleup system – is tailored to business needs and focuses on the major challenges to scaling identified by the ScaleUp Institute. An online learning platform supplements learning through over 30 modules with 80 supporting video tutorials.

Within this programme its flagship service is SmartBoards, peer to peer communities involving groups of six participants from diverse backgrounds and non-competing sectors. Participants begin with four themed SmartBoost sessions dealing with leadership and vision, the principles of building for value, creating a laser focus through 90-day planning, and championing execution through a robust and consistent business ‘rhythm’. 

The 90-Day planning is a recurring thread through the monthly themed SmartBoard sessions in which a theme is introduced based on a module from one of the core ScaleUp Pillars. Members are prepped to bring a challenge for the board and then each has a spotlight session from which they commit to actions.

Once a quarter focus is put on members’ 90-day plans which are shared with the group. Ahead of these are separate planning workshops that members can attend with their senior leadership teams. The planning process is supported with a software package that captures the plans, aligns team members to the task and allows business owners to track progress. 

In the last 5 years, BizSmart has worked with over 450 business owners who have seen an average increase in turnover of 29% and a 36% growth in profits within the first 12 months of joining the programme. 

In June 2021 BizSmart carried out a survey which showed that businesses participating in SmartBoards had increased headcount by 31.6% and 43% had reported more than doubling of turnover in the past 3 years; 52% showed growth in the last year above 20% despite the pandemic.

Scaleups have consistently flagged a desire to have access to local networks of peers who can act as a sounding board and share experiences and expertise with each other. We are pleased to see BizSmart’s SmartBoards having a positive impact on local Worcestershire scaleups in supporting this need and look forward to seeing others build on the learnings to enhance support in their local ecosystems.

Since joining the first cohort of SmartBoards, Sign Solutions has experienced incredible growth, enabling us to double both turnover and headcount. Being part of SmartBoards has helped me to establish clear objectives, work through difficult challenges and implement impactful changes.
Clare Vale, Sign Solutions

The support has been extraordinary – it has enabled me to identify the areas that require attention and then given me the tools to make that change. The input from BizSmart has been outstanding but also the Peer-to-Peer learning and input has been so valuable.
Matt Busby, The Name Label Company

BizSmart [2021] website