Edited by Philip McCann and Tim Vorley
Chapter 7: Productivity and the UK’s deficiency in scale-ups
There is a consensus that scale-up companies have a positive impact on productivity. The UK is believed to have a deficiency in scale-ups which, in turn, is thought to contribute to its low productivity. The concentration of scale-ups in the South East and East of England and their under-representation in the North is also thought to contribute to regional variations in productivity. Discussion of the barriers to scale-up have focused on access to venture capital and the ability to recruit members of top management teams with scale-up experience. These are particular challenges outside of the South East. However, the debate has been based on an inappropriate definition of scale-ups. Moreover, many companies that have scale-up potential or have started to scale are acquired by larger companies and so drop out of the statistical base, exaggerating the UK’s scale-up deficiency. There is a lack of clear evidence on the effect of acquisition on the acquired companies.
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