Investment & Scale Up

Driving Economic Growth through developing the Scale-up Ecosystem

Engine Shed is committed to doing what it can to stimulate long term, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Some of that growth will come from what we call “Scale-ups” – companies which have consistently high growth (either in terms of people or sales). Businesses, in fact all organisations, that grow will deliver economic growth whether directly through taxation or indirectly through employment.

Economic activity is more valuable if it lasts and is inclusive – i.e. it employs a diverse range of people. Diversity is good not only because organisations run better with diversity – at all levels in the organisation – but encourages employers to tap into communities they might otherwise not, which then has wider positive effects. So it makes sense that we do what we can to create a business environment where it is easier for organisations to grow, or scale up.

We work in partnership with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and the Growth Hub (the online resource for helping businesses find that support that they need) to employ a ‘Scale up Enabler’ for the region.

This project inputs directly into the Growth Hub which helps to support Scale-up businesses – in fact we see the Growth Hub as the prime ‘point of contact’ for Scale-up businesses in the area.

What does this mean in practice?

Briony Phillips, Scale up Enabler and Associate Director for Engine Shed has mapped out three priorities:

  • To invigorate the investment ecosystem in the region and improve access to finance – we will run the Quarterly Investment Briefing (with support from Smith & Williamson, TLT LLP and KPMG) and build the UKBAA Angel Hub, we will facilitate the Investor In Residence service at Engine Shed.
  • To inspire founders and aspiring scale ups – we will share inspiration through a series of Scale up Briefing events and a growing bank of case studies. We will support peer to peer networks.
  • To invigorate and build the profile of this region as a home for successful scale-up companies – we will share resources, data and maps to expose the great work that happens here and we will gather and share intelligence to minimise duplication and maximise collaboration. We will make support more accessible.


To read more about this work, and our activities, you can explore the Scale up Generator website which was launched in August 2018: We would hate to do this in a silo and Briony is keen to hear from anyone about challenges, barriers and opportunities for creating a better business environment, for organisations to scale up. Briony will work openly as much as possible, you can follow her work via twitter @BrionyPhi1

We are working closely with the Scale Up Institute in London, on this project – and they have some useful context here.

This work is only possible thanks to an initial experiment from June 2017 – June 2018 run by Engine Shed, Business West, The University of Bristol and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). This work explored the barriers, or gaps, are, in our business “ecosystem” particularly for those businesses experiencing or contemplating high growth and identified activities that fill those gaps, implement those interventions or ideas or find others to fill the gaps, as appropriate. This work is captured in our Scale up Yearbook, published in August 2018 to tell the story of the Scale-up Enabler’s work and opportunities for the future.

Discover the outputs of this Growth work using the links below:

In Residence Services

Engine Shed hosts two ‘In Residence’ services to help entrepreneurs and leaders ask the questions and access information which will help them unlock their growth. These In Residence services invite founders and business leaders from across the region to meet with property and investment experts at sessions facilitated by Engine Shed.

Click here to book

The Bristol Angel Hub in partnership with UKBAA


The Angel Hub, a partnership between the UK British Angels Association and Engine Shed is designed to bring the early stage investment community in the West of England together, to share good practice, to learn, and to discover new investment activities and opportunities.

Click here to find out more about the Angel Hub.

West of England Growth Map

A snapshot of the Bristol and Bath startup & scale up support ecosystem, developed by Engine Shed and West of England Growth Hub and designed by RocketMakers. It highlights a selection of the organisations that support founders, employees, network builders, newcomers and interested people working in and with startup and scale up companies.

Download the map now

Scale-up Generator Website


The West of England Scale up Generator is a partnership between the West of England Growth Hub and Engine Shed. This website brings together information about the support available to help companies to scale up, the challenges that they face and the activities that exist to stimulate greater investment.

Click here to visit the Scale up Generator website.

Scale up Yearbook

This short document explains the work that we took in partnership with Business West, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Bristol to explore, invigorate and inspire the scale up community in the region between June 2017 and June 2018.

Click here to read the yearbook.

Room hire

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How to find Engine Shed

Engine Shed
Station Approach
Temple Meads


+44 (0)117 903 1100


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