Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Business Secretary launches ambitious vision to make UK scale-up capital of Europe
Grant Shapps outlines his vision for 'Scale-Up Britain' in a keynote speech to business leaders at Davos.
- Business Secretary throws open doors to new and alternative business voices in quest for growth – Scale-up Summit launched with goal of answering how we can create an Amazon or a Google in Britain
- UK ranked among 5 most innovative nations on earth by World Intellectual Property Office, ahead of South Korea, Germany, China and Singapore
- Shapps claims we are on the cusp of new Industrial Revolution, and the change we have seen over the past 50 years will pale into significance when compared to the next five decades of innovation
The Business Secretary Grant Shapps today (19 January 2023) set out his vision for ‘Scale-Up Britain’ in a keynote speech to business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, vowing to support the Chancellor and Prime Minister in the government’s growth agenda.
In his speech, hosted by the Confederation of British Industry, the Secretary of State noted that the UK now has a government which is making the right decisions for Britain and for our economic recovery.
Acknowledging the current global economic challenges, the Secretary of State said:
At difficult times like this, our instinct could be to turn inwards, think smaller, hedge our bets, and protect domestic industry by closing ourselves off.
But that’s precisely the opposite of what’s needed right now. Rather, we must open up more. We must think bigger, take strategic risks.
Mr Shapps continued:
Now for this government, ‘growth’ isn’t a goal, a target or a destination. It’s the cornerstone of everything we are doing. And that’s because it’s the single biggest enabler of everything we want to deliver.
How do we fix the NHS? Growth. How do we tackle the cost of living? Growth. How do we level up our country and make it fairer for all? Growth.
The Business Secretary noted that, in the last 50 years, roughly half of the UK’s productivity increase has been achieved through innovation, praising “entrepreneurs, disruptors, risk takers and innovators.”
With the world on the cusp of a new Industrial Revolution, Mr Shapps set out both the advantages and challenges facing Britain in the global economic race. He said:
We have never lacked great inventors, clever ideas, or promising start-ups. 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.
Mr Shapps highlighted the economic opportunities presented by the UK leaving the European Union, including winning back powers to back investment in Britain, coupled with other natural advantages enjoyed by the UK, including our position as a leading global finance centre, our universities and our regulatory environment.
The Business Secretary also highlighted that while we can learn from the success of other nations, we can also learn from their mistakes, ensuring that growth and scale-up in Britain reflects the high standards for which we are famous around the world.
I think we can learn a lot from Silicon Valley’s ambition and its record creating global tech brands. But we can also learn from the mistakes it has made.
Its unicorns have sometimes prioritised shareholder value above all else. Its culture sometimes falls short of the standards we expect from modern employers. And whilst it has made a few people unimaginably rich, the wealth isn’t shared by everyone with homelessness in nearby San Francisco a visible sign of this inequality.
So what I want to create is a Silicon Valley with a British edge.
In order to help the government to seize these opportunities, the Secretary of State announced the launch of a new Scale-up Summit, allowing ministers to listen to key frontier tech figures who have worked around the world.
Concluding his speech, Mr Shapps said:
To help us raise our game, we need to listen to a wider variety of entrepreneurs currently driving change.
So I will launch a Scale-up Summit to bring together key frontier tech, development and finance figures who have accelerated tech businesses from start-ups to scale-ups…who have worked around the world, from California to Tallin and who can help us replicate their success in the UK, from Catford to Teesside.
Latest News from
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
100,000 British small businesses benefit from government-backed Start Up Loans02/02/2023 11:20:00
The government’s Start Up Loans scheme has achieved another landmark milestone as the 100,000th business loan is granted.
Fresh funding to boost British exports of professional services overseas01/02/2023 15:05:00
New grants to be awarded to UK regulators and industry bodies to help them develop agreements with their international counterparts.
Corruption crackdown under new government anti money laundering laws01/02/2023 11:10:00
Overseas organisations owning UK land must have publicly declared their true owners, under world leading UK laws to crack down on dirty money.
UK Government backing helps launch world first self-driving bus01/02/2023 10:10:00
Passengers will be boarding the world’s first fully sized, self-driving bus service in Edinburgh from the Spring, after it was awarded a share of £81 million in joint UK government and industry support for self-driving transport technology.
Government cracks down on ‘fire and rehire’ practices24/01/2023 13:15:00
Government launches crackdown on controversial dismissal tactics through a planned statutory code of practice.
Business Secretary warns energy suppliers to end mistreatment of customers23/01/2023 13:05:00
The Business and Energy Secretary has recently called on suppliers to do more to protect vulnerable energy users
New Government figures shine a light on which suppliers are supporting households this winter23/01/2023 12:05:00
The government today publishes figures showing how many vouchers have been used across energy suppliers
Government to support British Industry in cutting fossil fuels with £32.5 million20/01/2023 11:15:00
Phase 2 of the Red Diesel Replacement Competition will support innovative projects in developing greener energy alternatives.