Innovate UK launches new peer networks for scaling businesses

Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee

Innovate UK has launched a nationwide peer learning initiative for scaleup business leaders, in collaboration with the ScaleUp Institute.

Innovate UK EDGE, the agency’s business growth & scaling service, has selected 200 founders, MDs and CEOs at innovative scaling businesses from its portfolio of clients. They have been selected to participate in 14 scaleup peer networks across the UK.

The peer groups, comprising members from different sectors, will provide a structured and confidential forum for the scaleup business leaders to address their most important business growth priorities and challenges.

They will also be able to draw on resources relevant for their needs such as expertise from the ScaleUp Institute’s global network and meet international business peers.

Source of support

The ScaleUp Institute’s annual business survey of scaleup leaders consistently highlights peer networks as a key source of support. Five in 10 state that easier access to a network of peers is vital or very important for their future growth.

Furthermore, in terms of public sector support, scaleups cite support from Innovate UK as most vital.

There are ten networks across every UK nation and region and four national networks exclusively for businesses participating in Innovate UK EDGE’s flagship Scaleup programme.

World-leading expertise

Small Business Minister Paul Scully MP said:

Ensuring businesses of every size and shape can benefit from world-leading expertise to help them grow will be a key part of this government’s vision for levelling up the whole of the country.

This programme from Innovate UK and the ScaleUp Institute delivers just that, providing world-leading insight and expertise that will complement our Help to Grow: Management scheme.

Launching the scaleup peer networks

Indro Mukerjee, CEO at Innovate UK, said:

I am very pleased to launch the scaleup peer networks, which will help capable leaders across the UK to grow their innovation-driven businesses at pace. I know how valuable the participants will find learning from ambitious and knowledgeable peers and look forward to seeing how their businesses thrive.

The scaleup peer networks are also a great example of Innovate UK’s deep investment in innovative companies, which helps these dynamic businesses succeed and become the engines of renewal and economic growth.

Innovate UK EDGE service

ScaleUp Institute Chief Executive Irene Graham OBE said:

Scaleup leaders consistently tell us about the great value they derive from learning from their peers. Strong, trusted peer networks between scaleups can have a powerful impact on their individual performance, and they must be fostered.

We are delighted that Innovate UK is now building these peer groups into its Innovate UK EDGE service and to be working with it on this exciting initiative to support some of the UK’s most innovative, scaling firms. These groups will work in tandem with local scaleup offerings so our scaling businesses have an escalator of support across their ongoing and developing needs, which is so vital.

Opportunity to network

Scaleup peer network members Peter Brady & Hayden Allen-Vercoe at Orbital Global, a digital services and technology company and also Innovate UK EDGE Scaleup Programme participant, said:

We feel incredibly privileged to have been selected for the scaleup peer networks initiative, which offers unparalleled access to the most incredible knowledge and business experience.

The opportunity to network with like-minded individuals with similar responsibilities and challenges is of great interest. The results are likely to speak for themselves and we anticipate accelerating our already rapid progress as a business.

Further information

Innovate UK EDGE is the UK innovation agency’s business growth and scaling service. Our bespoke, funded support enables innovation-driven businesses to grow at pace, reach scale and deliver on their industry and society-transforming ambitions.

About the ScaleUp Institute

The ScaleUp Institute is a private-sector led, not-for-profit organisation focused on collaborating with policy-makers, corporates, finance players, educators and government at a local and national level.

Our mission is to help the UK to become the best place in the world to grow a business as well as start one, and to enable our existing high growth businesses to ‘scale up’ even further.

The institute was founded in 2015 to help the UK improve its record in scaling companies. This lags behind its major competitors after evidence showed that a one per cent boost to the UK scaleup population would boost the economy by hundreds of billions.

The latest data shows that just 33,860 scaleup businesses generate £1.1 trillion in gross domestic product – this accounts for 50% of the amount from all small and medium-sized enterprises.

About Scaleup Week

Taking place across the week of 17 May, Scaleup Week is a celebration of the UKs vibrant scaleup business community.

This week of events is shining a spotlight upon the efforts being made both nationally and locally to support growth, and the businesses themselves which form a substantial part of the UKs economy.

The programme of main events is available at: Scaleup Week with wider activity taking place anchored in regions up and down the country from Scotland to the south-west.

Top image:  Indro Mukerjee, CEO at Innovate UK

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