Explore the ScaleUp Annual Review 2022

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Enterprise M3


130 High growth, high innovation clients supported in 2022

42 beneficiaries of access to funding specialist

70 strong games cluster


Unlocking scaleup potential is central to Enterprise M3’s (EM3) ambitions for a low carbon, high innovation and high growth economy. This is underpinned by harnessing the power of regional and sectoral clusters and the local area has worked actively to support cluster infrastructure. 

A healthy cluster ecosystem demands a shift from competition to collaboration and the LEP has focused on creating networks and forging partnerships between potential cluster companies, local authorities, universities, colleges and other stakeholders. Guildford’s thriving gaming cluster was developed through networking and events – including a successful games festival – under the Guildford.games brand. A collaboration with online games retailer Steam to showcase Guildford games as part of the yearly festival has generated new revenue sources for the cluster and expanded their reach into new consumer markets. The Guildford.games cluster is recognised as an area of High Potential Opportunity by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The success of the Guildford.games cluster is acting as a model for shaping new support spanning other key local sectors in aviation, creative tech, space and satellite, and animal health. 

The emerging JetZero aviation cluster centred around Farnborough supports companies working in key areas including sustainable aviation fuel, advanced materials manufacturing and reducing emissions on flights. The LEP recently hosted a first session to foster collaboration and aims to develop this cluster significantly by April 2023. 

Driven by the Universities of Surrey and Portsmouth with contributions from the private sector including Surrey Satellite Technology, Space South Central is designed to accelerate growth and champion innovation in the region’s space and satellite industry. This emerging cluster is becoming a powerful combined force to attract new funding. The animal health cluster centred around the University of Surrey’s vHive innovation hub has also been recognised by DIT as a high potential opportunity. A Createch cluster centred around Runnymede and the Longcross enterprise zone is in the early stages of development. 

Across the wider EM3 region, growth barriers experienced by scaleups include access to finance, alignment of company structure and vision, and net zero readiness. The LEP works closely with universities and business schools, catalysts and other partners, like Innovate UK, Enterprise Nation and Newable, to address these challenges.

ONS data for 2020 shows that there are 945 scaleups in the Enterprise M3 LEP: 335 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their employees, 785 are classified as scaleups due to rapid growth in their turnover and 175 are scaleups that are increasing both employment and turnover simultaneously.

The ONS data reflects that across the four-year period from 2017 to 2020 the density of scaleups has decreased by -3.47 per 100,000 of population per year.


Enterprise M3 offers a range of support to the region’s scaleups, identifying scaling potential across its wider business support offer and signposting on to key growth programmes. 

Using the GROWTHmapper tool, developed by Oxford Innovation, the LEP gains valuable insights into companies’ strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement. This is combined with a one-to-one triage session to examine the results and the business’ plans in more detail. Scaleups are then referred on to a panel of six experts – all experienced entrepreneurs – for tailored one-to-one support based on the diagnostic. Expertise available to scaleups spans sustainability, bid writing, digital marketing, business strategy and growth, property, manufacturing and engineering. In-house Growth Champions provide up to four hours preliminary coaching to ensure participants maximise the time they have with specialist support. 

The LEP’s peer support programmes are specifically focused on female founders and tech business leaders. Both programmes run over three months and combine workshops with action learning. Available from October 2022, participants of the early-stage peer programme can access further actionable and scalable support through UMi’s business satnav app.  

Partnerships are a key strand of support and EM3 is working with the Chambers of Commerce and University of Winchester to deliver a Build Your Purpose, Build Your Business programme as part of its green innovation drive. This will help companies exploit clean growth opportunities. Targeted support for scaleups offering low carbon goods or services is available through Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE) in the form of workshops and grants and through the Greentech South network – the South West Hub of Clean Growth UK programme – which helps turn innovative, low carbon ideas into commercialised products and services.

The Help to Grow: Management gives scaling companies access to leadership support and funding to help integrate software into their business. Further support for scaling manufacturers is available through the Manufacturing Growth Programme. Scaleups also have access to funding specialists through Innovate UK.  

The LEP refers to regional and national programmes including Innovate UK EDGE, the Apprenticeship Hub, Finance South East, DIT and Royal Holloway University. Enterprise M3’s entrepreneur in residence collaboration with Southampton Science Park offers further support to high-growth companies. 

A range of additional public and private programmes operate in South East England – find out more on the scaleup support finder here.


In the last year, the LEP has supported 92 early-stage and 130 high-growth businesses through specialist support from their in-house Growth Champion and peer development programmes. 

Since its launch, the Guildford.games cluster has increased from 26 local business developers to 70 strong scaling businesses within the games developer sector. The annual games festival has attracted more than 2m views online in the last 2 years. 


EM3 is continuing to forge ahead with cluster development as a key priority. Evolving plans for EM3 include a renewed focus on sustainability and the net zero agenda and a new collaboration with the Chambers of Commerce to provide export support.

Longitudinal analysis 

According to ScaleUp Institute analysis of data received directly from ONS for years 2017-2020, 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 2017 and 2020 reveals that few of the local authorities showed an increase in the density of scaleup businesses, but few 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: 11 of the 13 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by employment growth and 12 of the 13 local authorities have an above median density of scaleups measured by turnover growth.

Scaleup Trends Over Time: Needs Improvement

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: 9 of the 13 local authorities are below the median in terms of improving the density of scaleups by employment in their community and 8 of the 13 local authorities are below 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.

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