News - 28 March 2019

1,025 D2N2 area businesses are fast growing ‘scale ups’ says study

There are now more than 1,000 ‘scale up’ businesses – those which have consistently grown job numbers or turnover by over 20% annually – in the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area, says a new study.

Private sector-led, not-for-profit organisation The ScaleUp Institute assessed scale up business numbers in England’s 38 LEP areas, using Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) data. Scale up businesses are defined as companies whose growth has enabled them to increase turnover (a company’s net sales generated by the business it does) or employee numbers, by more than 20% annually over three years.

There were 1,025 scale up businesses in the D2N2 LEP area (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire) identified in The ScaleUp Institute’s Insight Report – based on 2017 ONS data, the latest available – employing an estimated total of 72,000 staff and with a joint turnover worth £8.1billion.

Scale up companies in Nottinghamshire included:

And in Derbyshire:

Nationally The ScaleUp Institute study identified 36,510 scale up businesses, an increase of more than a third over five years ago.

Irene Graham, Chief Executive of The ScaleUp Institute, said: “Scaleups are the engine drivers of local economies; they are twice as innovative as large firms, employ twice as many apprentices, are twice as likely to be operating in international markets, and, significantly, they create high quality jobs.

“Their aspirations remain high. According to our recent ScaleUp survey eight out of ten expect to scale again in 2019, generating £1.5 billion more in turnover and creating an extra 7,000 jobs.”

Despite their ambitions scale up businesses face challenges including access to UK markets, leadership development and attracting employees with the right skills to join them, she added.

In 2017 the D2N2 Growth Hub, part of the D2N2 LEP which focuses on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), launched its own ScaleUp Service. Companies meeting the ‘scale up’ criteria get help with leadership and management coaching, workshops on identifying new markets and marketing opportunities, aid with accessing growth finance and get to network with other fast growing firms.

Noting the D2N2 Growth Hub’s provision of the D2N2 ScaleUp Service, Ms Graham commented: “This is encouraging and we will continue to monitor their impact,” said Irene Graham.

Diane Beresford, Deputy Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber – one of the delivery partners for the ScaleUp programme across the D2N2 LEP area – said: “It’s easy for firms to grow quickly from launch but then plateau because they don’t know how to take the next step or don’t have the time or resources to do it.

“The D2N2 Growth Hub, the vehicle through which ScaleUp is delivered, is all about helping businesses take that step to the next level of growth.

“Following the success of ScaleUp, the Chamber and delivery partner Nottingham Trent University have launched a new UpScaler project, backed by the European Regional Development Fund, to support high-growth businesses across the D2N2 region for the next two years.”

For more on the D2N2 Growth Hub’s ScaleUp Service see web link

To read The ScaleUp Institute’s Insight Report in full go to its website at

Media wanting further information about the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership can contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 957 8749 or email: 

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