Greater Lincolnshire is now home to 430 fast growing companies that can help the area overcome the economic challenges created by COVID-19.
Their importance to the local economy is underscored by the fact that they are employing a total of 29,556 staff and generating £3.4bn in turnover, according to the ScaleUp Institute’s analysis of the most recent official data.
These 430 are part of an innovative and productive scaleup community across the UK of businesses that have grown their turnover or employment by 20% a year over a three-year period.
However, with headwinds created by COVID-19 and Brexit these scaleups need effective support to remove a range of barriers that could challenge their long-term growth and the role they can play in helping Greater Lincolnshire flourish economically.
ScaleUp Institute Chief Executive Irene Graham said: “Scaleups have remained resilient in the face of the COVID-19 emergency and continue to be critical to local economies with many still planning to grow.
“But this is no time for complacency, with scaleups citing challenges on accessing markets and appropriate finance dialing up, as they face into the uncertainties that COVID and Brexit create. We must double down on efforts to create a supportive environment or risk losing the benefit of their enterprise and productivity.
“And that would be a huge loss as scaleups are 54% more productive than other businesses, twice as likely to offer apprenticeships, are more than twice as innovative, and, significantly, they create high quality jobs.
“Now is the time to also bring on those firms that are in the ‘pipeline’ – whose performance puts them just outside the definition of a scaleup – of which there are 230 in Greater Lincolnshire.
“In Greater Lincolnshire scaleup leaders particularly highlight access to markets in the UK and internationally, access to funding for innovation and R&D, and access to tax breaks as key issues. We recognise that Greater Lincolnshire offers a number of services for scaleups, which we will continue to monitor in how they are addressing their concerns.”
The ScaleUp Institute has also carried out research with Arup to understand what factors most influenced the local growth of scaleups. Using a range of variables and regression analysis this research has shown 3 key local factors make a vital difference: access to equity finance (growth capital), access to skills and the existence of sectoral clusters.