The UK’s tech secretary, Michelle Donelan, has set out plans to make Britain a ‘scaleup powerhouse’ in her speech at co-working space Plexal.
Setting out her plans for the UK in 2024, Donelan said a big part of this plan is to increase the number of tech unicorns in the UK to make up about 50 per cent of tech unicorns in Europe by 2030 – up from about a third today.
The UK’s tech sector is already the largest in Europe – worth over $1 trillion – and is the biggest home to tech venture capital investment. The UK is also home to the largest concentration of tech unicorns in Europe – including the likes of Revolut, Graphcore and Checkout.com.
“I believe the UK should account for at least 50 per cent of all new unicorns created by Europe as a whole, a true scale-up powerhouse, where opportunity and high skilled jobs fuel economic growth across the country – including outside cities,” Donelan said.
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“Now my ambition is that the UK should close the gap on the US, matching its current levels of VC investment as a share of GDP, by 2030 – about £5 billion per year extra.”
There are obstacles which need to be overcome, however. One of the biggest pain points which has been addressed by TechUK, an industry lobby group, is there is a lack of data centres in the UK – something the tech secretary is keen to promote the growth of.
Donelan also announced the introduction of a scale-up forum, comprising of industry leaders, investors and regulators. It will provide a support service for the ‘20 most promising science and technology businesses wanting to scaleup’ and help overcome issues which are in the way of their growth potential – in areas such as IP, employment and expansion.
More on scaleups
What scaleups have in common – Are there any personality traits that founders of scaleups share? What sectors are they in? And do Britain’s fast-growth businesses have other things in common?