This week, the Government announced that the small business minister, Margot James, will take on a new ministerial brief as the nation’s ‘Scale-Up Champion’. And, we must admit, we were quite taken aback by this announcement. Although it was great news for the nation’s 5.5 million strong SME community, we were aghast not to have been considered for the title!
After all, last year we got to work producing a thrilling calendar of live pitch events connecting ambitious entrepreneurs with serious investors; raising a £100 million Race to Scale fund for established, high-growth scale-ups; and building our new online investment platform, all to make sure that Britain’s most promising SMEs don’t miss out on vital growth capital.
Our own disappointments at this oversight aside (we’re joking, of course), Margot James will be tasked with leading the scale-up component of the Government’s ‘modern industrial strategy’. This aspect of the strategy aims to help thousands of start-ups grow into established, medium-sized companies. We’re excited to see what the Government has in store and are as motivated as ever to play our part in the country’s ambition to further improve upon its global standing; while the UK ranks third in the OECD for start-up support, it lags behind in 13th place for the number of SMEs that manage to scale up! The challenge for the year ahead will be to ensure that capital is accessible to the most exciting businesses all across the country and we’re extremely happy to see the Government is very much on board.
As always, we’re hard at work seeking out the next wave of entrepreneurs creating disruptive products and services to invite onto the stage during our next round of live pitch events – the first of which will be taking place on Thursday 30 March. Our crowd of savvy investors can always spot a good deal when they see one, so that’s what we aim to facilitate, bringing SME investment opportunities to their attention both on stage and online.
Now that the Government has committed to finding out more about the potential Britain’s scale-up community holds, we can’t wait to be summoned to Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street or whichever esteemed location to take our rightful place and be knighted Scale-Up Champion in 2018!