Scale-up Britain – uplifting innovators
Business Secretary Grant Shapps has outlined his vision for ‘Scale-up Britain’ in a keynote speech to business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The speech marks another milestone in the Government’s commitment to economic growth and acknowledges the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in driving the country forward.
Mr Shapps noted that in the last 50 years, roughly half of the UK’s productivity increase has been achieved through innovation, explicitly praising ‘entrepreneurs, disruptors, risk takers and innovators.’ Full details of his ambitious plans to make the UK the scale-up capital of Europe, can be found on the Government’s website.
But what does this mean for entrepreneurs? Although no specific initiatives or policies are mentioned, the speech signals that there could be more opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next level in the medium to long-term.
Further to this, the Business Secretary asserts that the world is on the cusp of a new Industrial Revolution, acknowledging the challenges as well as setting out the advantages for Britain in the global economic race.
‘We [the UK] have never lacked great inventors, clear ideas or promising start-ups. Last year, the UK was ranked among the five most innovative nations on earth by the World Intellectual Property Office, ahead of South Korea, Germany, China and Singapore’.
Amidst calls to think bigger and take strategic risks, Mr Shapps went on to call for the UK to ‘convert start-ups to scale-ups’ stating ‘I want to inspire ‘Scale-up Britain’. Building businesses that don’t just develop in the UK, but stay to grow and mature into world-beaters’.
During his speech, the Secretary of State highlighted that we can learn from the success (and mistakes) of other nations, naming Silicon Valley’s ambition as something to aspire to as the country aims to become a hub for globally recognised tech brands.
In order to help the government to seize these opportunities and promote their growth agenda, the Business Secretary announced the launch of a new Scale-up Summit this year. The summit will aim to amplify the voices of entrepreneurs at the top of their game, allowing ministers to listen to key frontier tech, development and finance figures who have accelerated tech businesses from start-ups to scale-ups around the world with the aim of replicating this success in the UK.
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