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Access to Markets
Scale-up companies seek to develop new products and services and their domestic and international customer base, as quickly as possible. In the UK, many report difficulties in supplying to large corporates and the public sector and developing new markets takes time and money without immediate ROI. Making the leap into new markets given the risks can be challenging.
Scale-up companies cite numerous pains with regard to infrastructure in the North East, particularly in relation to digital transformation and establishing scalable systems and processes that support rapid growth across the business. Planning laws, lease terms and the availability of fast broadband are also cited as major challenges in addition to access to cutting-edge research facilities.
Leaders in rapidly scaling companies need to learn to cope quickly with changing demands and may need help to develop their managerial and leadership talent. An important factor cited by scaleup leaders is lack of capacity and experience in the senior leadership team. It is hard to grow a company hundreds of times faster than is 'normal' without the right training and support.
Talent and Skills
The North East has a major skills gap that holds back scale-up companies. Scaling companies have particular issues recruiting people with technical and business skills, whether taking on young people straight from education or attracting those with more experience from outside the region, enabling them to develop new products and services, navigate new markets and develop their business structures.