Posted: Tue 1st Nov 2016
Better support for high growth small businesses with the potential to grow, and improved access to finance for SMEs outside London are issues the government must deal with, a group of MPs has said.
In a new report, the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said the challenges involved with growing the number of scale-ups in Britain are "both tests and opportunities" for ministers.
The new demands on the government to support high growth companies come as Enterprise Nation prepares for our first dedicated event to those businesses. ScaleUp 2016 in Birmingham on 3 November will see the founders behind the kind of companies the BEIS Committee says need backing take to the stage to share stories of how they've achieved phenomenal growth.
In its report, the committee said the government must identify the strengths and weaknesses of the entire finance ecosystem and target intervention where problems, such as in providing the resources for high growth small businesses wishing to scale-up, are found. The committee heard evidence of a particular problem of SMEs struggling to secure Â£10m-Â£25m in funding.
At ScaleUp 2016 a panel including experts from Barclays, crowdfunding platform Seedrs and Birmingham based finance provider Art Business Loans will debate these issues and provide solutions.
Tim Robinson, founder of Doddle will also share how he grew his business by 1,217% in one year helped by Â£24m in funding.
Further recommendations by the committee included improved access to information and advice on the finance options available to SMEs, which it said can be a more significant barrier to gaining the necessary capital then the availability of funding itself.
Iain Wright MP, chair of the BEIS Committee, said: "If the prime minister is serious about building an economy that benefits the UK as a whole, then improving access to finance for businesses outside London and the South East will go a long way to achieving this.
"The willingness of the government to intervene in this clear market failure represents a test and opportunity in the context of its next industrial strategy.
"The government must also make sure funding is available not just for entrepreneurs wishing to start their own business but also for established high growth small businesses with the potential to scale-up, for example by opening a new warehouse, purchasing new capital equipment to make them more productive and profitable or entering the export market."
Another highlight of ScaleUp 2016 on 3 November is a panel of export experts including Niamh Barker, founder of The Travelwrap Company. She turned an idea for improving her own travelling experience into a product that is sold around the world. The panel will be facilitated by Emma Jones, Enterprise Nation's founder and the government's international trade ambassador.
Tickets are still available for ScaleUp 2016. Find out more here and book a ticket below.