The Global Scale-up Programme (GSU) is a fully-funded public/private sector collaboration between The Growth Company and KPMG, Santander, business services company DWF and Manchester Airport. It guides Greater Manchester’s scaling businesses ready to expand internationally through a 4-stage process in cohorts of 10-15 participants.
It is tailored to the needs of each business participant who are assigned for 12 months a dedicated account manager whose role is to guide them through the programme. Participants begin with an onboarding during which they meet their fellow cohort members and hear from the programme partners.
This is followed by the International Growth Sprints, now delivered virtually over two half days, that bring the senior management together to fully develop their international ambitions and quarterly bootcamps where the businesses receive one-to-one support from market specialists within the partner network.
The final stage is the International Visits phase which during lockdown were all virtual but in-person activity is now being planned again for the end of 2021. For this phase, opportunities are curated overseas using GSU’s global networks and private sector partners. The GSU team works closely with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to establish strong connections overseas to create warm introductions to global ecosystems for each business coming through the programme.
To date 80 businesses have been supported by the programme with 30 in the current cohort. Participants have created 80 jobs and increased cumulative turnover by £60m; 27 businesses have entered 75 new markets and 22 have raised £31m in finance.
The Global Scale-up programme has been highlighted as One to Watch by the ScaleUp Institute for its role in breaking down the barriers to accessing international markets for scaling businesses in the North West, building on learnings from the Mayor’s International Business Programme in London. Following discussions at the 2020 ScaleUp Review launch, a new collaboration between the two culminated in the launch of REACH – the London and Manchester: Race Ethnicity And Cultural Heritage Virtual Trade Mission to North America – which is the subject of our ScaleUp Insight, Tales from two cities.
We will watch the progress and impact of the Global Scale-up Programme with interest.