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For some time now, I’ve been thinking about how we better support early stage businesses.  How we develop sustainable, profitable and meaningful businesses.  My experience has been driven by my time at the Centre for Creative Collaboration and , over the past five years seeing:

  • The aspirations of students and recent graduates to invent businesses that reflect their values and future vision
  • Businesses we supported in their early days go on to successful fund-raisings through crowd-funding and other alternative funding mechanisms
  • Advising over 200 creative and digital businesses (often called SMEs) on growth strategy and clearer pictures of their futures.  The businesses I worked with ranged from very early stage one person operations through to £100m turnover businesses employing several hundred people.

Many of the people I worked with shared the feeling that existing support mechanisms and schemes may have been adequate in the past but just don’t work now.  We have to change the way we think about Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (the so-called SMEs) and we need to re-think the use of the term “Micro” when attached to smaller organisations.  We have to look at supporting “Businesses of Appropriate Scale” (“BoAS”) and that will mean changing business support and generation methods, patterns of investment and, eventually, how larger organisations behave.

We have to deliver support that meets the needs of Businesses of Appropriate Scale; are customised and relevant, pragmatic and action orientated.  And we need to scale from the ground up.  That’s what our new venture, x-innovate, is about.

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