Endorsements






John Cridland
Director-General, CBI

“This report makes a compelling case for getting behind the UK’s high growth ‘scale-ups’ and I hope all political parties seriously consider its recommendations.

These firms are already having a transformational impact, we just need more ofthem to grow.

Helping them access the talent they need, develop their leadership and access new markets are the priorities.”
Professor Michael Porter
Harvard Business School

"Sherry Coutu’s ‘Scale-Up Report’ zooms in on one of the most pressing growth challenges faced not only by the UK but many other advanced economies: how do you move beyond creating start-ups, and prepare the ground for companies to grow and create meaningful economic impact? This focus on the quality and not just the quantity of entrepreneurship helps the report to gain new insights into what policy steps should be taken. Many of her recommendations focus on steps that can enable and leverage local networks and provide them with actionable insights to mobilize collective action; the mindset is one of using existing resources more effectively, not just providing more support. This is an helpful departure from the main stream policy advice in this area that often focuses on financial resources available to new firms but then fails to put these actions in the context of the regional clusters and networks that turn out to be an important enabler of of entrepreneurship as a key driver of national economic growth."

Leszek Borysiewicz
Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University

“This report clearly demonstrates the significant benefits that can be achieved through Government, business and universities working together to help close the scale-up gap.

World leading universities such as Cambridge play a crucial role in creating business through the generation of innovation, entrepreneurship, and funding opportunities, but it is the talent and expertise of our students and academics that will help these businesses grow.”
Peter Tufano
Dean, Said Business School, Oxford

"In all fields, getting started is essential, but not enough.

Races need to be finished, plays need final acts, and for enterprises, starting-up must be followed by scaling- up.

The Scale-Up Report focuses our attention on this less- well studied, but critical, element of the process of business formation and job growth.

By changing the public and private dialogue to celebrate not just start ups, but scale ups, this Scale-Up report will hopefully boost the UK economy."

Clive Selley
CIO, BT Group

“I’m delighted to see this comprehensive report on how the UK can help high-growth tech companies make the transition to world-class businesses.

The UK has a proven record in the creation of new tech start-up companies, underpinned by a world-class academic research.

Having said that, we have the potential to do even better when it comes to encouraging tech start-ups to grow.

The report clearly identifies the economic value to the UK and the concrete actions that government, industry and academia can take."
Matt Brittin
Emea CEO, Google

"This work raises the importance of scale-ups, our most high potential businesses, to Britain's future economic success.

By focusing our attention on these high-growth businesses, we can build on the progress made with startups and help more of those early stage businesses grow and compete around the world.

We here at Google look forward to continuing our work to support UK businesses to scale into global successes."

Ian Cowie
Chairman SME Banking, RBS/NatWest

“Sherry Coutu has delivered a powerful and unambiguous call to action to get behind Britain’s entrepreneurs and wealth-creators.

The clear message coming from this report is that a focus on fast-growing, scalable businesses will deliver tangible benefits to the economy including increased wealth, faster growth and more jobs.

At RBS, we too want to help our business customers to achieve their full potential which is why we’ve been delighted to be involved in this important work.”
Anya Hindmarch
Founder & CEO

"I wholeheartedly support the ’Scale-up’ Report.

Whilst ‘start-up’s’ are so important for this country, it is the scale ups that deliver the economic reward. It is also really hard to scale up and so if experience and support can be lent to the ‘scale- up’ candidates, then they will have an even greater chance of success. Support can also quite simply be about unblocking the way and freeing them up to just get on with it. I think a focus on scale-up’s could deliver real economic benefit. ”

Mark Hart
Deputy Director of the National Enterprise Research Centre and Professor at Aston University

“What is clear is that the UK does not have a start- up problem but rather a growth problem. Further, while established businesses at the national and local level are a key driver in the recovery they need to be encouraged and supported to do more.

This comprehensive report is a timely reminder of that challenge and the range of recommendations set out a proactive agenda for the public and private sectors to work in partnership to address the UK’s relatively weak international position in terms of business growth rates.”
Geoff Mulgan
CEO, Nesta

“Nesta’s research and experience over many years has shown the vital importance to economic growth of conditions in which young, innovative businesses can grow to scale.

Sadly those conditions are often missing, and too often the odds are stacked against them.

That’s why we welcome this report, and the focus it puts on the helping the radical insurgents and innovators to create jobs and wealth.”

Dale Murray CBE
Entrepreneur and Angel Investor

“Sherry Coutu’s report offers a detailed analysis of the scale-up problem, then a range of recommendations which could completely change the growth patterns of ambitious small businesses.

Why wouldn’t anyone support such an opportunity?”
Linda Rottenberg
Founder and CEO, Endeavor

"As co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, an organization that supports high-impact entrepreneurs running scale-up businesses all around the world, we know how crucial it is to move the entrepreneurship conversation beyond the ‘start-up’.

Scale-up companies have been shown to be the largest drivers of job creation and economic progress in the growth markets where Endeavor operates. Research efforts like “The Scale-Up Report” are critical to elevating the dialogue to highlight these entrepreneurs and their role in inspiring future generations to think BIG."

Julian David
CEO, techUK

“Sherry Coutu’s powerful and important Scale-Up Report explains why high growth companies are so fundamental for economic growth and what needs to be done to make the UK the best place in the world to scale-up a business.

This is about taking the next step in re- building our economy. The start-up agenda has been a great success – especially in tech.

We now need to emulate that success with Scale-Ups. The prize is clear - more high- value jobs and a huge boost to growth.”
David Cleevely CBE
CEO, Centre for Science and Policy, Cambridge University

“This report provides timely recommendations for supporting companies which could transform economic growth in the UK.

It hits the nail on the head when it says we need to drop the term ‘SME’ for such companies. These are big companies which just happen to start small.

We need to recognise that potential for growth - and not current size - is the key issue.”

Stephen Welton
CEO, Business Growth Fund

“The Report once again highlights the disproportionate impact of these companies: their ability to grow quickly, to create new jobs, to innovate and to export.

This UK Mittlestand is beginning to enjoy the attention it deserves, but there is plenty of room to learn more about who they are, how they grow and the obstacles they face.

That is why I also welcome the Report’s focus on working with the government departments and bodies such as HMRC and Companies House to access the most up-to-date information as a further tool to help identify and assist the ‘scale-ups’ that can have the most impact on the UK economy.”
Guy Rigby
Managing Partner, Smith & Williamson

“A combination of a deep recession, technological innovation and globalisation have stimulated an entrepreneurial revolution in the UK. Much of this has been focused on start-ups, with over half a million new businesses currently being created each year.

This is excellent news but, until now, little attention has been paid to helping start-up businesses to ‘scale-up’, creating significant additional employment and added-value in our local and national economies. Sherry Coutu’s scale-up report is a first and offers a wealth of insight into the challenges faced by scale-up companies, as well as how these might be addressed.”

Victor Chavez
CEO, Thales

“If the UK could maximise the rate of growth of our Scale Up companies, the economic prize would be enormous and extend far beyond the tech sector.

Government, the business community and academia have a collective responsibility to support these rapidly growing businesses in delivering their full potential.

This report sets out in detail where we must work together and shows why a robust and holistic approach is vital.

Above all, the report demonstrates the need to act now on this great opportunity.”
Mike Blackburn
Chair of Greater Manchester LEP

“Many thanks for sharing the scale up report with colleagues across Greater Manchester and giving us the opportunity to input.

As chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, I believe that this provides a powerful argument for more focused business support services on firms with high growth potential in a local area.

It is a welcome contribution in the context of Greater Manchester’s recent devolution deal with Government and will support us as we look to deliver targeted business support to our local high growth firms. “

Frederic Michel
Global Director of Public Engagement, Telefónica S.A

"More than ever, Europe should have as a priority to help its vibrant start-ups to scale up.

This report is the first toolkit for policy-makers to win the argument and transform the decision-making process.

It clearly demonstrates that we have to accelerate the pace of reforms and mobilise all they players of the ecosystem. There is no time for complacency."
Russ Shaw
CEO, Tech London Advocates

"The outline of recommendations from Sherry in the Scaleup Report is exactly what the London and UK technology sector need to push for.

Startups in London and across the UK are gaining traction and momentum. Now, we need to review Sherry's analysis of scaleups and implement the recommendations in her report.

These companies form a critical and vibrant part of the UK economy, and, as a leader in the tech sector, I believe that we must focus on helping these businesses to succeed. Sherry's focus and commitment to this part of the UK economy is needed and forms an excellent blueprint for success."

Tony Clayton
Chief Economist, Intellectual Property Office

"Not only does this report pull together the evidence on economic gains from effective scaling up of knowledge based business based in the UK in a comprehensive way. It also sets out the ways in which resources can be mobilised, skills improved and successes indentified. It's not about 'picking winners' but about making sure firms that win early can go on to use their IP and innovative ideas to win internationally. It's another chapter in turning UK ideas into growth on a global scale"
Andrew Miller
CEO, Guardian Media Group

"At the Guardian we have used the many advantages technology gives us to scale up and transform our organisation into one of the world's leading quality news brands. Sherry Coutu's comprehensive and insightful report identifies the many challenges we all face if we are to unlock, harness and sustain the extraordinary opportunities that now confront us. I hope that it encourages political, business and technology leaders to come together and deliver the strategies, skills and structures that British businesses of all shapes and sizes need if they are to continue succeeding on the world stage."

Gerry George
Deputy Dean and Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Imperial College London

"The Scale-Up Report rightly broadens mainstream dialogue from finance to include talent, leadership, and ecosystem. The Report provides a thoughtful and systematic review with compelling evidence and clear examples. Openness to global talent with a scale-up visa, joining the dots between universities, private sector and local enterprise partnerships, and setting a supportive environment for funding scale-up initiatives are necessary and workable propositions. The UK needs to move swiftly to foster growth companies of scale and retain its global leadership in business. To Sherry Coutu and her team, well done!"
Chuka Umunna MP
Shadow Secretary for Business, Innovations and Skills

"This excellent report from Sherry Coutu makes clear that to secure the high-wage, high-skill economy that means people in Britain can succeed, we need to fix the broken rungs on the ladder that make it harder for ambitious businesses in Britain to step onto the global stage.

Whether making better use of the information out there about which are our most promising firms, or coordinating support at a local level, the report is packed full of straightforward recommendations that point not only to how Britain can pay its way in the world but how it can do so in a way that enables far more people than now can build the life they want – that is why Sherry’s insightful report is so important and a real clarion call for policy makers to act."