The Scale-up Leaders’ Academy offers a programme dedicated to helping high-growth business owners prepare to scale up their companies fast. It offers a mix of events, coaching, peer-to-peer mentoring and action-based learning to guide companies to develop a clear strategic plan. Based on feedback, the programme has included six additional workshops in 2019 to allow founders to engage and inspire their senior team.
The Academy – organised by Gateshead-based Entrepreneurs’ Forum and evaluated by Newcastle University – has run three cohorts of the programme for leaders of established and fast-growing companies employing at least 10 members of staff. Each participant is matched with an experienced entrepreneur who provides mentoring.
The scaleup CEOs meet monthly over six months to explore topics such as strategy and planning and developing a high-growth mindset as well as people and talent. During the sessions the business leaders draw up plans to implement change within their business, committing to a number of actions on which they report back to the group. Interwoven with these are the new workshops led by a speaker who shares their expertise and encourages the teams to work together.
A total of 29 companies have now been through the programme. Evaluation of the 2018 cohort has found an average increase in turnover of 13.2%, a rise of 8.6% in employment and a 140% increase in operating profit. A quarter of scaleups participating have increased the level of their export sales over the past 12 months.