Explore the ScaleUp Annual Review 2023

Select a section to expand and explore this year's review..


Grow London Global (Formerly Mayor of London’s International Business Programme)

Access to Markets

Impact for scaleups


Businesses supported since the programme started


Jobs created


New international deals


increased GVA


trade missions since 2016

Key sectors

Creative, digital, film, games & media Environmental Science & Technology Finance Life Sciences & Biotech

In 2023, the Mayor of London’s International Business Programme (MBIP) rebranded as Grow London Global. Grow London Global is a free 12-month programme open to London-based scaleups with an annual turnover greater than £1m and less than £40m, or those that have secured £1m of external equity investment, and that employ between 10 and 250 people.

Over the past seven years the programme has helped more than 1,400 ambitious London scaleups to expand their businesses internationally. Participants span sectors including fintech, cyber and enterprise tech, life sciences and sustainability with alumni scaleup businesses including household names such as Bloom & Wild, Monzo and Revolut. 

To meet the needs of the current economic and geopolitical environment, Grow London Global is an evolution of the MIBP programme with increased capacity to support more companies go global each year.  They also benefit from additional dedicated account managers with specialist sectoral expertise, and an even greater breadth of partners and connections whose knowledge and skills they can leverage. Grow London Global also offers a greater number of events and trade missions and carefully tailored programme content designed to meet the specific needs of each participating scaleup.

Trade missions introduce scaleups to global corporates and investors. They have helped more 1,000 London companies win trade deals worth more than £300m and raise more than £6.5bn of investment. Missions in the past year have included a Sustainability for Cities mission encompassing Rotterdam, Cologne and Berlin with participants meeting representatives from key companies including Bosch, Eurostar and Arcadis along with global real estate specialists Urban Land Institute and CBRE. A RetailTech mission in Paris involved BNP Paribas, Leroy Merlin and leading French luxury groups LVMH and Kering.  

Two US trade missions took place in the latter part of 2022. A FinTech mission to New York included JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and BMO while a US Life Sciences targeted the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets with participating scaleups meeting with IBM, AT&T, Audible and Rutgers University. 

During Birmingham Tech Week 2023, a new collaboration between the investment promotion agencies of the West Midlands and London was announced, with the aim of helping the region’s high-growth tech companies to achieve their global ambitions. The new partnership agreement, in collaboration with the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC), will see the programme extended beyond London for the first time, with 10 high-growth tech companies from the West Midlands offered exclusive spaces.

“The programme was integral in introducing us to advisors and stakeholders that helped GripAble build our American market entry strategy, and back it up with investors, ultimately leading to our US launch and in closing of an investment round”
– GripAble

“Fiskl would not have made as much progress had it not been part of the programme. Remarkable to see so many potential banking partners within a four-day online trade mission. Outside of the programme it can take up to 6 months to secure meetings with large banks and then another 18 months to develop the contract. Being part of the programme dramatically reduced this timeline”
– Fiskl

“The programme was a worthwhile experience and has produced incredible results for Enferm. We will continue to remain involved as an alumni as we progress our US expansion”
– Enferm


Sharing in Growth (SiG)

Access to Markets

Impact for scaleups


Value of contracts won


Participants noted increase in workforce knowledge and skills


introduced new or improved processes/practices


improved leadership and management behaviours


ROI after 12 months


NPS score

Key sectors

Engineering / Advanced Engineering Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing
Action through supply chains

Launched in 2013, Sharing in Growth’s (SiG) aim is to support scaling businesses in the UK’s manufacturing and engineering supply chains to improve their productivity and competitiveness and be better placed to win a share of global markets. Over the last 10 years SiG has collaborated with over 100 companies across a range of industries, initially focused on aerospace it now supports diverse busineses including  defence, offshore renewables, medical (NHS), Modular Methods of Construction (MMC), and nuclear sectors.

Supported by a team of 100 business coaches, scaling firms with turnover between £5m-£100m, are offered long-term, intensive and holistic leadership and management support. Over four years, a typical beneficiary receives around £1m worth of training and development. There is no upfront funding commitment, however businesses are asked to match the value of support in-kind.

The  programme is delivered over three phases: first, a whole firm diagnostics assessment; second a “develop” phase of high intensity training over two years; and finally, a “sustain” phase over 2-3 years to ensure that support is embedded. Throughout this period, alongside assistance from their business coach, scaling businesses receive support from a network of 19 specialist partners including the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte, Multiverse and the National Physical Laboratory. Launched in 2022, SiG also provides an online learning platform to supplement onsite coaching and increase the speed and impact of business transformation. It covers 10 key areas including operational excellence, lean leadership behaviours, quality, and supply chain management.  

The last few years’ complex economic challenges due to Covid-19 and the transition to new trading arrangements with Europe and beyond has made the key programme deliverables of accelerating productivity, diversifying and winning new customers vital. The programme’s independent assessment, published in 2021 by BEIS, showed significant impact and specifically on employment and turnover. Scaling businesses completing the programme, showed 30% more average turnover growth than the control group companies. Additionally, participants reported a positive impact of SiG on leadership attitudes and behaviours and business strategy. This resulted in improvements in wider workforce engagement, confidence and behaviour to implement changes within businesses. 

“Since the start of our partnership, the support of Sharing in Growth has helped Rockford to develop our business significantly, transform our culture, create a farsighted strategy and deliver operational performance in line with world-class practices. As a result, we have secured c. £30 million in contracts and grown our workforce by 50%.” – Peter Lion, Managing Director, Rockford


Santander Navigator

Access to Markets

Key sectors

Creative, digital, film, games & media Defence & security Environmental Science & Technology Food & drink Life Sciences & Biotech Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Professional services Technology & Communications

Santander Navigator is an end-to-end trade facilitation platform supporting aspiring, ambitious and established internationally trading UK scaling businesses operating in the Food & Drink, Retail & Wholesale, Life Sciences, Manufacturing and Tech, Media and Telecoms sectors to grow in new markets. 

Santander Navigator equips scaleups with valuable insights around sector, markets and business priorities and helps to identify opportunities within their sub sector along with Trade Checklists- step by step guides on how to access over 35 international markets. The platform enables real-time tracking of progress to market readiness and enhances scaling leaders knowledge, skills and capabilities to export via a range of additional features including:

  • A global Provider Directory of support at each stage of their export journey from market entry onwards.
  • Talent matching services, powered by Unibeez, to support scaling businesses recruit from a pool of over 30,000 students and graduates.
  • Logistics support, providing live quotes across land, sea and air with negotiated discounts.
  • Customs expertise, with discounted access to a partner CustomsClear platform enabling quick and easy clearance on goods entering the EU. 

Additionally users can interact with their peers via a Community Forum and an extensive array of Training, events and webinars to understand key challenges and opportunities in markets and sectors and Trade Missions connecting with in market opportunities with some of the biggest buyers and distributors across the globe. Recent opportunities include a China trade mission, accessing opportunities in South Africa and a UK-India Joint Venture workshop on co-creating in aerospace and defence. 

Access to the platform is free with enabling access to a range of core features and learning opportunities, with more in-depth support and features available for an annual subscription of up to £3,500. 

Since 2019, the Navigator has supported more than 1,000 businesses to enter a new market with most success being seen in the USA, India, and the Middle East and the larger proportion of businesses operating in the Food & Drink and Retail & Wholesale sectors. 45% of registered businesses have been introduced to its global ecosystem to help them overcome a challenge they are experiencing with their international growth. 

The ScaleUp Insititute has recognised the programme as One to Watch and will be closely monitoring its development and impact for scaleups in the coming years.


The Global Scale-up Programme

Access to Markets

Key sectors

Transport & Logistics Building & Construction Creative, digital, film, games & media Defence & security Engineering / Advanced Engineering Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Professional services Technology & Communications

The Global Scale-up Programme is a fully funded programme run by The Growth Company and delivered in partnership with the Department for International Trade, KPMG, DWF, Santander and Manchester Airport. Launched in 2019, the Global Scale-up Programme (GSU) guides Greater Manchester’s scaling businesses to expand internationally. 

Through a four-stage process in cohorts of 10-15 participants, the programme begins through an onboarding process during which participants meet fellow cohort members and hear from the programme partners. Each business is allocated a dedicated account manager to guide them through the programme.  This is followed by International Growth Sprints, delivered virtually over two half days in order to bring the business’ senior management together to fully develop their international ambitions. Quarterly bootcamps then give scaleups one-to-one support from market specialists within the partner network.

The final stage is the International Visits 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, Global Scale-Up has supported 250 scaleups and supported the creation of 115 jobs. Participants have entered 80 new markets since joining the programme. The programme has been highlighted as One to Watch by the ScaleUp Institute for its role in breaking down barriers to accessing international markets for scaling businesses in the North West, building on learnings from the Grow London Global programme (previously the Mayor of London’s International Business Programme). 

The ScaleUp Institute will continue to watch the progress and impact of the Global Scale-up Programme over the coming year with interest. 


Match-Maker Ventures

Access to Markets

Key sectors

Creative, digital, film, games & media Finance

Match-Maker Ventures (MMV) aims to build a world where business collaboration has no borders.  To achieve this, MMV matches growing businesses with established telecom corporations, accelerating the process of collaboration.

MMV’s approach is powered by robust networks and deep telecom industry knowledge. It leverages its network members who have executive experience in the telecom industry – called “Match-Makers” – to match scaling businesses with large corporates, managing the collaboration process from end to end. In the last year, MMV shifted its portfolio focus further on to scaleups to promote significant collaborations with corporate customers and continue to grow. Its ‘Lead Identification and Account Management’ function uses sophisticated analytical tools to identify business opportunities for its scaleup portfolio. To date these tools have mapped over 150,000 connections and MMV further increases scaleups’ visibility using its marketing channels. 

To manage the fact that selling to large corporates is not a direct process, participating companies are offered a phased programme. Scaling businesses are initially offered a market strategy and sales preparation that examines their business model, agrees on a sales approach and identifies the profile of the right target customer. They are also assigned a solution manager to support the joint activities. In the second phase, the network of Match-Makers then approaches priority companies, future partners, customers and resellers, to open doors and offer hands-on support to the company’s sales activities, from first discussions all the way to contract signature and scaling of the joint activities. 

MMV’s global network has a global footprint and is continuing to broaden its network especially in the telecom industry. It is also continuing to develop its presence in key strategic growth areas in Latin America and the Middle East. 

In 2022 MMV hosted 15+ deep dive sessions to support its portfolio of scaleups alongside their Deep Dive Festival aiming to facilitate business opportunities by giving scaleups the platform to share their value propositions and key business insights with industry experts to augment and accelerate business impact.