Region is national role model for business

By Gill Harris on 14 January, 2019


The West of England has been cited as a national role model for the way it supports businesses.

A report by the ScaleUp Institute heaped praise on the region after the West of England Growth Hub, run by the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, appointed Briony Phillips as a “scaleup enabler”.

Briony works with Engine Shed to increase the opportunities for businesses across the region.

The Annual ScaleUp Review 2018 said her appointment had “driven increased interest in scale-ups and helped to ensure that the support provided responds directly to the challenges that growing companies face”.

Briony said: “As a region with vibrant entrepreneurial activity and support, the West of England is the ideal place to innovate and pilot a new approach to scaleup support. Armed with an understanding of the challenges faced by the scaleup business community and the breadth of support available, I have been able to target and help overcome specific barriers to growth such as office space availability and access to finance. To have this innovative approach celebrated by the ScaleUp Institute is a great accolade.”

The report said: “Significant achievements during the year include the mapping of the regional ecosystem in the ScaleUp Generator, identifying existing services and programmes and categorising them against the challenges faced by growing companies and the development of the ScaleUp Company Map which highlights 700+ invisible scaleups and around 100 visible scaleups. In addition, the Scaleup Enabler has held more than 50 scaleup meetings to explore the challenges faced by growing companies.

“Acting as a catalyst, the Scaleup Enabler has brought the local investment community together to ease access to finance and pressed the case for more local infrastructure which has led to three multi-occupancy office spaces coming onto the market in Bristol.”

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “This is a terrific accolade for the West of England. We are an economically successful region where businesses start, grow and thrive in high numbers.

“Developments such as the ScaleUp Generator website are a great add-on to our Growth Hub site; offering fast growth businesses more information on where to go for support and finance. The government is also rewarding our success with a further £1.35m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport to support creative businesses in the region.”

Pictured above: Briony Phillips 
(Jon Craig @JonCraig_Photography)