Government to hold a scale-up summit this year

Grant Shapps tells business leaders in Davos he wants UK businesses to ‘grow and mature into world-beaters’

The Government is to hold a scale-up summit this year to help create the UK’s version of Silicon Valley.

Business secretary Grant Shapps revealed the plan to British business leaders at a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“We have never lacked great inventors, clever ideas, or promising start-ups,” he was reported as saying by The Times. “Last year, the UK was ranked among the five most innovative nations on Earth by the World Intellectual Property Office, ahead of South Korea, Germany, China and Singapore.  

“What we must do better is convert start-ups to scale-ups. I want to inspire ‘scale-up Britain’. Building businesses that don’t just develop in the UK but stay to grow and mature into world-beaters. 

See also: 3 exciting roles at tech scale-ups 

“What I want to create is a Silicon Valley with a British edge. We must open up more, we must think bigger, take strategic risks, we must target high-growth sectors with long-term potential. We must form new global partnerships, inviting the world to come and invest in Britain.” 

In the speech, Shapps mentioned how the UK’s leading financial centres and regulatory environment can help it achieve its aim.  

The scale-up summit, he said, would welcome key technology leaders from around the world and encourage a business-growing culture. 

The UK is already the jewel in the European crown when it comes to funding for fast-growth technology businesses. In 2022 it raised a near-record £24bn with the tech sector in the country now worth $1 trillion.  

In June last year, the government revealed plans to boost the UK tech economy with a digital strategy document aimed at pumping life into AI, quantum computing and digital health sectors.  

More on tech scale-ups  

Business scaling strategy: How to manage growth 

VC investment in UK companies falls by a third 

Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...