More than just a space, more than just a place
If there has been one hot trend in Bristol this year, it’s been the rise of coworking places across the city. We’ve had new entrants such…Read more
It’s been a little too long since my last regular Scale up Enabler update so here I am, making up for lost time and sharing the latest news in West of England scale up land. For those of you that missed the memo, in June 2018 Engine Shed made the role permanent, with some initial support from WECA (The West of England Combined Authority). This marked the start of a new era in which I work 50% on all things scale up (more on that later) and 50% as Associate Director for Engine Shed. The latter role sees me coordinate and support the project work that we undertake, explore how we articulate our social impact and invest into gathering intelligence and building our profile as a region. One of the priority project areas for Engine Shed focuses on the company and economic growth in the region and this role offers the perfect marriage of this work.
In the initial project, from June 2017 – June 2018 and supported by The University of Bristol, Business West, WECA, as Scale up Enabler I focused on understanding and articulating the challenges faced by scaleup companies locally. I used this intelligence to prioritise a mapping exercise of the organisations, services and programmes that exist to support scale up companies and to identify the gaps in this provision and the areas of greatest need. Subsequently I focused my efforts around office space availability, access to finance and leadership capacity. If you’re a detail person, you can read more about the progress I made and what that means in the Scaleup Yearbook which was published in August this year.
For those of you happy with the headlines, in short, I reflected on my progress and realised that the office space issue has started to self-correct with the arrival of three new grow on office spaces in the region. So, leaving the office space availability campaign to one side, I identified three priority areas for my work as Scale up Enabler in the coming months to:
I’ll be continuing with the values and approach that I developed in the first year – working openly and collaboratively to bring people and information together and enable collaboration so that our region can build its profile as a great place to scale a business as well as to start one.
Since June this year, I’ve been busy creating and publishing some tools to help us all to better understand and expose the scale up activity, and to share our learnings with other regions and countries. To name a few examples that might be useful to you:
And so that brings us to Scale up Month – we’re building on its success last year and we have designated November as a month to focus on Scale up activity and to celebrate scaling companies in the region. We will highlight and run all sorts of initiatives so keep an eye out for…
And if you’re in charge of a fast growth, scale up company in the region, and you would like to have a chat, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org