Steve Rotheram will offer backing via his £75m business support fund to assist digital firms who are on the point of scale-up. Tony McDonough reports
Entrepreneurs in Liverpool £2bn digital sector who are ready to scale-up their businesses are being offered access to expert support.
Backed by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s £75m business support fund, the Createch Scale-up programme will be delivered by Form, a growth consultancy for creative and tech companies.
Scale-up companies are recognised as being responsible for significant volumes of job creation in mature economies and, as a result, are the focus of considerable levels of support. The UK, along with other countries, faces a challenge of progressing its start-up companies to the scale-up stage.
Liverpool city region performs well in comparison to its peer cities in terms of numbers of start-up companies but lags behind its peers when measured against GVA (Gross Value Added) created and the numbers of jobs sustained. The programme is designed to help close this gap.
The funds are available to businesses within the creative, digital and technology sectors and will enable them to grow through engaging in tailored leadership programmes proven to help companies at the point of scale, maximising their growth to create new high-value jobs in the city region.
This programme will include components to support growth of tech-led and tech-enabled companies. These include elements designed to foster a digital, creative and technology business community by helping business leaders collaboratively solve their scale-up challenges.
It will also include a longer-term intensive programme of tailored business support to create sustainable growth amongst participants with the greatest ambition and potential for growth.
Form director Katie Peate said: “We equip leaders to build remarkable organisations based on our experience of starting and growing businesses of our own. This programme will have a tremendously positive effect on the sector in the city region, stimulating growth by maximising the potential of existing businesses.
“We aim to become a trusted guide to the organisations engaged in the programme and arm them with critical lessons and support to unlock growth. Now that we have been formally appointed, we can map out the programme in detail and prepare to open it to the market in the first half of 2020.” she added.
The digital, creative and technology sector is a key growth area for the city region economy with 22,000 people working in the sector in 2017 producing almost £2bn of economic output.
Mr Rotheram added: “There has never been anything like this fund available in the city region previously and its establishment is overdue. I am often astonished by the creativity in the region and I am committed to helping creative, digital and tech leaders deliver sustainable, inclusive growth for our region.
“This growth will, in turn, lead to a virtuous circle of improved productivity, greater opportunities and more high-value jobs being created for the next generation workforce we are creating here.”