In the past year 81 scaleup leaders have received intensive support from Inspire Elite to develop three to five-year strategies for growth, and since inception the programme has supported over 460 businesses. The programme of peer-to-peer networking and workshops as well as one-to-one guidance from dedicated account managers and senior management team mentoring remained online for most of 2021 but returned to “in person” events from September.
Inspire Elite was launched originally by provider Inspire in Swindon and Wiltshire after directors attended the ScaleUp Institute’s first Driving Local Economic Growth through Scaleup Ecosystems course. It is now delivered in Bristol and the Heart of the South West.
Recent focus has been to support scaleups in preparing for post-Covid recovery – to be investment, people and infrastructure ready and able to take advantage of an improving economy and the liquidity built up by consumers now ready to spend. Over £10m has been raised across the 2021 cohort in addition to Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and bounce back loans. Additionally, businesses have been supported by highly experienced, successful NEDs for 3 of the 4 quarterly 1:1s on a pro bono basis.
Inspire had identified that business leaders were still struggling to define their strategy in writing and that this could be an inhibiting factor for attracting funding. In response, in May the organisation launched a new Knowledge Accelerator: two interactive workshops combined with 1:1 follow up support designed to enable a business leader to create a clear strategy for growth or for attracting investment.