Explore the ScaleUp Annual Review 2020

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Looking Forward: Enhancing our understanding of the scaleup ecosystem is vital

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is not reflected in the ONS data available to analyse, but warning signs for the UK economy are in the data which need to be taken seriously. Even without the massive economic impact of the lockdown the annualised rate of scaleup growth is slowing. 

The ScaleUp Institute, with ONS, will continue to analyse this data and provide a further update in early 2021 when the 2019 longitudinal datasets are made available. In the future, however we hope this data is released on a much more frequent basis so that we can more readily respond and act on emerging rather than historic trends.

The ScaleUp Institute’s overarching goal is to narrow local disparity over time and see the trend in movement of local areas progress upwards. Monitoring scaleup indicators enables us to evaluate and roll out interventions that work and to roll back those interventions that do not work. Using a consistent framework allows us to compare like for like, enabling us to learn what works best in one area and establishing if it could be useful elsewhere. It also helps in prioritising where resources, investment and particular focus will be of value.

This ONS data also emphasises the importance of getting broader, more ‘real-time’ information from sources such as HMRC. Our review, with Beauhurst, of ‘visible’ scaleups from Companies House data to create the ScaleUp Index – summarised next – comes from those filing accounts. However, given reporting thresholds, many scaling businesses do not yet file such reports and are not ‘on the radar’, which limits effective, timely engagement. Improved data access has been a key theme in our work since the Institute was founded.

Recommendations put forth by the ScaleUp Taskforce, in which SUI was engaged, are being taken forward in joint work between the ScaleUp Institute and the Government including Cabinet Office, HMRC, and BEIS, including pilots in 2019 on use of HMRC data to reach the leaders of scaling businesses at a local level. This joint work is welcomed and we hope leads to a future scaleup register that is more detailed and accessible across the public and private sectors. This remains a priority in our work with Government.

Previous Small High Growth Businesses – the scaling pipeline
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