Explore the ScaleUp Annual Review 2020

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Enterprise M3

Embedding Scaleups in Local Economic Development - driving forward innovation


215 high-growth businesses supported

483 jobs created

77% average increase in turnover

£4.13m finance raised

Participating sectors

Creative, digital, film, games & media Defence & security


The ScaleUp Institute’s research connecting local economic growth with the number of companies scaling and the accompanying impact on productivity, job quality and innovation has been at the forefront of the LEP’s strategy. The LEP has focussed business support on high-growth, scaleup businesses to accelerate the cultivation of the scaleup ecosystem and subsequently magnify the ripple effect of expanding the innovation and entrepreneurial economy of the EM3. Data on jobs and turnover is starting to show the impact.

Local scaleups have been identified through a mix of activities including the list of regional businesses on the ScaleUp Institute’s map, referrals through relevant partnerships with the public sector such as councils, DIT, Innovate UK, Tech Nation and other Accelerators, and private intermediaries including banks and professional services. Recently as a result of its activity, EM3 has started to receive more word of mouth referrals from its high-growth community.

ONS data for 2017 shows that there are 1,200 scaleups in the Enterprise M3 LEP: 445 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their employees, 990 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their turnover and 235 are scaleups that are increasing both employment and turnover simultaneously.

The ONS data reflects that across the four-year period from 2014 to 2017 the density of scaleups has increased by 4.73 per 100,000 of population per year, which is above the median of +3.90 per 100,000 of population.


The EM3 Growth Hub’s core Growth Service model is to provide business support and advice to scaleups within identified priority sectors. This is delivered through a small full-time team with senior commercial backgrounds and over 15 sector experts who have experienced scaling. This team of “Growth Champions” provide guidance for scaleups in areas including access to finance, strategic planning, sales and marketing, business development introductions, accelerating connections to support upskilling and talent management, collaborations and connections to accelerate the next stage of scale up growth.

The dedicated Growth Champions focus on supporting business growth plans based on their unique requirements and circumstances. EM3 also offers a trusted expert services network and impact assessments to track the progress of scaleups in the local ecosystem.

The Growth Hub also provides a “stewardship” role ensuring scaleups are referred and signposted to other relevant support and connections. Enterprise M3 has developed close partnerships with local authorities, universities, private businesses and public sector organisations In addition, it runs workshops on topics including apprenticeships, retaining staff, branding and digital marketing.

Our sessions are enlightening, interesting and productive. We are very grateful to have EM3 as an objective sounding board, but clearly also palpably positive in that you fully “get” what we are trying to achieve over the longer term, and this is highly motivational for us during such testing times.
Andy Ashcroft, Koolskools


Over 220 scaleups have participated in the intensive support programme over the last 12 months out of a total of 712 businesses supported by the Growth Hub. As a result 483 jobs have been created – an average growth in employees 28%. Businesses supported by EM3 have also seen a 77% increase in turnover, with profits up by 76%.
EM3 has made over 1,600 referrals to growth services and support including to Innovate UK and Tech Nation. Over £4m in finance has been raised by EM3 businessses in last 12 months.


The Growth Hub strategy will continue to build on increasing the number of scaleup businesses in the region and developing further collaboration opportunities between sectors and peer to peer networks. The LEP will consider the potential to refocusing sector prioritises to align with the local industrial strategy which is likely to increase activities in sectors such as space and satellites, games and immersive technology.

Enterprise M3 matched Consentricare with one of their senior advisers. It was a sound choice; his experience and expertise helped us to drive our strategy and our business in the right direction for growth.
Bill Palmer, Consentricare


According to ScaleUp Institute analysis of data received directly from ONS for years 2014-2017, the following picture emerges on the local environment.

Local Authorities located within the Enterprise M3 LEP have a high density of scaleups, and the trend between 2014 and 2017 reveals that most of the local authorities showed an increase in the density of scaleup businesses, and half showed an above median increase in scaleup density.

Scaleups by Density: Excellent

The vertical axis of this matrix shows where local authorities located in this LEP stand compared to the rest of the UK: 13 of the 14 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by employment growth and 12 of the 14 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by turnover growth.

Scaleup Trends Over Time: Moderate

The horizontal axis of this matrix shows whether the density of scaleups has increased or decreased over time relative to the rest of the UK: 7 of the 14 local authorities are above the median in terms of improving the density of scaleups by employment in their community and 8 of the 14 local authorities are above the median for scaleups by turnover.

The ScaleUp Institute will continue to monitor this closely in the coming years to track whether local initiatives move the dial in the right direction for increasing the density of scaleups.

Page URL: https://www.scaleupinstitute.org.uk/articles/3097/

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