Growth initiative launched by Goldman Sachs and Aston

Growth programme launch

17 May 2016

A new initiative aimed at driving regional economic growth is being launched this week by the ScaleUp Institute and the Goldman Sachs Foundation in a partnership with Aston University. 

The innovative programme, first developed in the US by Professor Daniel Isenberg of Babson College, will be implemented in the UK for the first time as part of Growth Hub Week. 

By focussing on how cities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local areas can join together to create the correct environment and conditions for entrepreneurial success, the programme has a proven track record of stimulating and driving economic growth. It also highlights how support should be given to local business leaders, specifically high growth firms, in order to stimulate scale up growth among small businesses. 

The initiative, which kicked off in Birmingham this week (16 May) with the full support of the local LEP and Aston University, will provide practical ongoing support over a two-year period through the design and delivery of Strategic Economic Plans. The inaugural course will involve 19 different LEPS and Growth Hubs from across the UK. 

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, run in partnership with Aston, will have direct input into the new growth initiative. The 10,000 Small Businesses programme is designed to provide high quality, practical education and business support to leaders of high-growth small businesses and social enterprises across the country. 

 Sherry Coutu CBE, Chair of the ScaleUp Institute, said:

“It has never been a better time to work together to support the growth needs of our fastest scaling businesses and we are committed to working with our local and regional authorities and private sector partners to support their focus on the growth of our scale up businesses and sectors. This course is a tool that can help develop the collaborative and practical programmes that can make a real difference to the needs of scaleups. I've seen the real impact it has had around the world and I am delighted that we are able to bring this to the UK in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation and their 10,000 Small Businesses  programme. I am thrilled that we have leaders and business representatives from 19 LEP areas joining us in Birmingham alongside a strong participant group from Scotland. It demonstrates the passion the country has for growth and the determination to support our scaleup businesses. I am also pleased at the support the Government, including Innovate UK, has given to this initiative'. 

Dina Habib Powell, President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and Global Head of Impact Investing said: 

“We are pleased to be partnering with the ScaleUp Institute to bring this course to the UK. This initiative complements the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme which helps entrepreneurs create jobs and grow their businesses.  We believe that by working in partnership with the ScaleUp Institute, this program will help provide the economic environment that is so necessary to allow small businesses to grow.   Having worked with over 1000 small businesses in the UK, we know that access to intensive business education and support services unlocks growth, leading to increased revenues and net new jobs”.    

Rt Hon Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise said:

"The support given by the ScaleUp Institute and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative is a terrific example of what Local Enterprise Partnerships and the full growth hub network can offer businesses. 

"It’s great that the first session of this new programme will be held in the heart of the Midlands Engine, which is home to some of the most innovative businesses in the country and worth more than £200 billion to the UK economy. 

"I’m looking forward to seeing how it will bring business schools, local leaders and business owners together with world-renowned expertise. Partnerships like this can help drive our economy, boost productivity and accelerate local growth across the country." 

About the programme

On 17th, 18th and 19th May,‎ the ScaleUp Institute in partnership with the ‎Goldman Sachs Foundation will bring the internationally renowned Professor Daniel Isenberg to the UK to run the inaugural ‎certified education programme on Driving Economic Growth through ScaleUp Businesses and Ecosystems. 

The programme will be themed around the core challenges facing UK high growth businesses seeking to scale as outlined in the 2014 ScaleUp Report and will bring together core regional clusters to focus on the growth and scaleup challenges affecting their specific area. 

The workshop will consist of interactive lectures, exercises, case discussions, and participant ‎application groups and projects. It will enable those participating to understand ranges of techniques and programmes used to drive scaleup growth both in the UK and internationally. It will enable peer to peer learnings and cross fertilisation of ideas in a pragmatic and practical way. 

Each participating region will have time to use the sessions to consider relevant application to their home area and consider key growth ScaleUp programme options to bring in to support their local business environment. Leading academics will facilitate the work.


Biographical information

Professor Daniel Isenberg is one of the world’s leading authorities on entrepreneurship ecosystems. He is a pioneer in developing practical methodologies for fostering entrepreneurship ecosystems leading to successful scaleup businesses. Babson is the USA'S umber one school for entrepreneurship (ranked as such for the past 23 years) @danisen 

About the ScaleUp Institute:

The ScaleUp Institute is a private sector-led organisation that is focused on closing the ‘scaleup gap’ by creating a supportive public and private sector ecosystem that enables scaleup companies to fulfil their potential.

The ScaleUp Institute will build on the research and recommendations published in the  2014 ScaleUp Report, collaborating with policy makers, corporate partners and educational establishments to make a real and identifiable impact.


The Institute is supported by the Goldman Sachs Foundation,  Business Growth Fund, Google, the London Stock Exchange, Olswang, Smith & Williamson, Innovate UK and a range of other advisory, finance, research and industry sector parties. 

A ‘scaleup’ company is defined as having more than 10 employees, with average growth in employees or turnover greater than 20% per annum for 2 consecutive years, there are in the region of 9,000 scaleups in the UK. 

The ScaleUp Institute was announced in June 2015 and is Chaired by Sherry Coutu CBE, its CEO is Irene Graham. 

About the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme:

10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help small businesses in the United States and United Kingdom create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, access to capital and business support services. The program is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to this combination of education, capital and support services best addresses barriers to growth. To date, 10,000 Small Businesses has reached over 6,200 small businesses across the U.S. and UK. For more information, visit

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For further overall information please contact:


Irene Graham, CEO, ScaleUp Institute:; M: 0788 999 1954