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Scale-ups versus start-ups as the secret of national competitive advantage

scaleup國家競爭力的祕訣規模擴張 vs. 創業 The Scale-up Report on UK Economic Growth by Sherry Coutu CBE (released in November 2014) argues that “The responsibility to become ‘a scale-up nation’ – to create an environment (ecosystem) where a greater number of companies reach global scale – rests with all of us who have an interest in supporting economic growth.”

For those not familiar with the term, a scale-up is defined as “an enterprise with average annualised growth in employees or turnover greater than 20 per cent per annum over a three year period, and with more than 10 employees at the beginning of the observation period.”

Based on extensive primary and secondary research into UK and other leading economies, the five difficulties faced by companies trying to scale in the UK are identified:

  • Finding employees to hire who have the skills they need
  • Building leadership capability
  • Accessing customers in other markets / home market
  • Accessing the right combination of finance
  • Navigating infrastructure

The report provides 12 recommendations for national and local government, universities, schools, colleges, large corporates and the media to improve the UK ecosystem for scale-up companies.

Based on successful implementation of these recommendations, Deloitte estimates the long term impact of closing the scale-up gap to result in an additional £70 to £225 billion to UK GDP by 2034.

Underlying the report is the fundamental question, why has the UK not produced a Google or Apple? Read it in full and see if you agree with their answers.

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