Sam Smith, CEO, finnCap Group:
As highlighted in so many ways during the Scale Up Institute’s Scale Up Week, the question that does the rounds at finnCap Group’s offices (which I’m delighted to add are becoming increasingly populated of late) is how do we make the UK the best place in the world to scale up a business?
This is our challenge.
As we build back better it is important to not only build back in a more purposeful way, but to also build back with more ambition than we had before. If we want to encourage companies to grow, to disrupt, to make meaningful change and create the businesses of tomorrow we need the best role model companies to shine the light on what is possible and that is where government can help.
Companies that have gone through the scale up journey and continued to grow are vital and we need to celebrate them.
There was a 37% increase in scale-ups in the UK in 2020. Just a couple of statistics from Scale Up Week tells a story of growth:
- Scale-ups generate £1.1trillion – 50% of the SME economy in this country
- 75% of scale-ups have invested in innovative tech
- 78% are outside London and 60% are international businesses with plans to export more in 2021
These are the key attributes. So how do we have more role model businesses that have been on the growth journey, that have not sold out too early, and that continue to grow into substantial businesses on a global scale?
I believe we need more tech companies listing. This will encourage more analyst and market participants to write on tech companies and really understand and process the new world we inhabit. With this, new listing rules will help. Valuation metrics for fast growth companies are different and we should be encouraging a different way of thinking about valuation.
The government can reach out to these companies and encourage them to stay in the UK. Furthermore the government can encourage and promote the listed world as a great way to not only partially exit, but also to grow the business in the right way and leave a great legacy.
To encourage corporates to think bigger a real demystification of the financial landscape and financial growth solutions needs to happen. At finnCap this is in our DNA – advice at an early stage is absolutely crucial, to ensure that fast growth companies get the right investment and choose the right growth option for their needs.
And lastly, we need to promote ambition and ambitious companies as something to be proud of - the government can also help here. finnCap is proud to be one of those voices championing our best and brightest businesses, ensuring they go far.
Accelerating ambition is a priority for finnCap and we believe in thinking big. We believe in the business of tomorrow, delivering their ambitions.