Visionary entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our region

Mel Hird is a director of Fresh Thinking Advisory. 

The team at Fresh Thinking Advisory has the best job in the world. Every day we meet entrepreneurs who need funding to help grow their businesses and achieve their visions. Along that journey, they drive innovations, create jobs, and support other companies in their supply chain. They are the lifeblood of the economy. 

High-growth companies are a catalyst for economic growth and development in Yorkshire. They drive prosperity and new opportunities for people that live and work in the region. 

While every company in the Yorkshire Growth Index is unique, they share similar characteristics that all businesses can champion. 

High-growth companies are businesses that experience rapid growth in revenue, market share, and employment over a short period of time. The management teams can sustain growth over several years to establish a clear market position. 

Innovation in products or services often drives these companies. They can be the first to market with a product or, indeed, improve on an existing concept. The effect is to fill a gap in the market or disrupt an existing industry. Any entrepreneur who has tried to break the status quo knows that this is never easy and requires a clear vision and relentless effort. 

A scalable business model is also key. These companies often have business models that can be scaled quickly and efficiently, allowing them to expand rapidly without sacrificing quality or customer experience. It also makes them attractive to potential funders that can facilitate the investment required for rapid growth. 

Access to capital is essential in any high-growth company. Yorkshire has an established and active deal-making community. It plays a vital role in providing the capital required to scale up. It’s important to find a funding partner that is flexible enough to share the journey. Any high-growth company is going to have bumps in the road or need to pivot quickly to make the most of opportunities. 

Across the Yorkshire Growth Index, we see high-growth companies that are characterised by their ability to rapidly expand and dominate their respective markets, driven by innovative products, strong leadership, scalable business models, access to capital, and a willingness to take risks and pivot quickly.

As a business community, Yorkshire has a duty to nurture these firms. High-growth companies can have a significant positive impact on our region’s economy. They create jobs at a faster rate than other types of businesses, which can reduce unemployment rates and increase disposable incomes. 

Our ability to trade globally is driven by innovation and productivity. We see these businesses adopting innovative practices and adopting new technologies to drive productivity and competitiveness. 

No business is an island. They have a symbiotic relationship with the local community. A growing business requires new talent, but also people will leave that business and seed new ideas in other companies across the region. Overall, innovative, high-growth businesses raise the bar for everyone. 

The UK economy must transform, and it must do so swiftly. To advance the nation, the government is looking to high-growth industries like technology, life sciences, and clean energy. However, according to official statistics, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have an essential role to play, as they are responsible for 61% of employment and 7% of total revenue. 

It’s important that we champion innovation and drive in every business. Initiatives like the Yorkshire Growth Index play an essential role in recognising success and inspiring other companies in the region to consider how they can accelerate their growth.