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Latest from Newcastle Start Ups @TransmitStartUp #newcastlestartup #NEfollowers #tech #creative

We need to spread an entrepreneurial

The NELEP helps drives business growth through encouraging startup and scaleup support in the North East. In this Sponsor Spotlight, Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the NELEP, discusses his suggestions for spreading an entrepreneurial epidemic in the region to encourage business growth. Colin will also be speaking on 'Day 4' of Newcastle Startup Week.

Fulfilling the North East’s strategic economic aim of creating 100,000 ‘more and better jobs’ is reliant on increasing the density of scaleup businesses within the North East economy. To achieve this we need to do three things:

  1. Support existing scaleups to continue scaling

  2. Help existing businesses with the potential to

    scale to do so

  3. Increase the rate of scaling start-ups.

But as it’s Startup Week let’s focus on Scaling Startups!

The North East has a low business birth rate  compared to other regions and we also have a
lower than average rate of scaling Startups (companies achieving a turnover of
over £1million by their third year of trading)

Taking both things into account means that to be ‘average’
(btw, our aspiration is to blow average out the water) we need to double our
rate of Scaling Startups from approximately 120 every year to 240 – no mean

This is a challenge that we must step up to - but how exactly?

We pulled together a group of the finest minds from across
the region to consider how we can motivate more people with an entrepreneurial
itch, a good idea and the capability to start and grow a business take the leap
to start their own business. 

To inform the development of potential solutions we carried
out some research into people who have the desire to start their own business
and those who have founded a scaling start-up.

This found that:

  • Many people who have scalable business ideas and the capability to exploit the idea are in jobs that they are relatively happy in.  This therefore suppresses their motivation to step over the line and to start a business.

  • For those who have actually gone on to form a scaling start up (achieving a turnover of at least £1million in three years) there are several common characteristics:

    • Each business was self-financed at the point of formation but many secured investment to fund growth in later stages.

    • Each business started with at least one cofounder who brought a complementary skill to the table.

    • Founders were confident that demand existed for their idea before deciding to start their business.

In light of this, we’ve been developing ideas on how we can connect
with thosewith the capability, aspiration and concept for a high growth
potential business so they finally take the plunge. . We believe this can be
achieved in two ways:

#1: Entrepreneurial
Leave, changing the system to enable more people to explore their
entrepreneurial potential.
 Entrepreneurial Leave builds on  and idea by  the steering grou of encouraging spinouts from
established businesses. Entrepreneurial Leave will encourage organisations
large and small, public and private to offer their employees entrepreneurial
leave, which could involve employers offering their employees up to one day per
week to work on developing their business idea. This will not only motivate and
incentivise those with high potential capability and ideas to take steps
towards starting their own business, but will also benefit participating
businesses through:

  • Increasing staff engagement and motivation,

    • Attracting talent due to progressive/innovative


    • Stimulating higher levels of intrepreneurship

      and innovation,

    • Presenting investment opportunities.

    • Providing opportunities to viably outsource non-core


#2: We need to collectively
create a bandwagon that people feel compelled to join:
 A movement catalysed
through telling success stories and connecting more people with those
entrepreneurs who have built a scaling start up.  We need to stimulate behavioural and cultural
change through the amplification of existing initiatives that have already
begun to establish a start-up movement across the North East, such as Start-Up
Week, If We can You Can and the National Enterprise Week.

Spreading the entrepreneurial bug will spread far beyond
Startups and in addition infect existing businesses with creativity and the new
ideas that will lead to the generation of new growth curves.

The application of this approach in the North East is new
and different, however the concept of Entrepreneurial Leave has been tested in
Sweden. The World Economic Forum attributes the statutory right to take six
months off to start a business as one of the reasons Stockholm has become
Europe’s Start-up Capital. 

Interested in hearing more about this story? Hear Colin speak at our Scaleup Summit on Day 4 of Newcastle Startup Week.

You can also follow this story and access information on the support and finance available to make your dreams a reality at the or signup to their newsletter.

Lisa Van Heereveld| May 11, 2019 at 9:29 am | Tags:featured| Categories:News,Sponsor Spotlight| URL:

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