The Scale-up Institute organises the challenges faced by scale-up companies into five categories. We’ve used this framework to share our regional interpretation and observations. Click 'view on map' to see the support that is available for each challenge in the region.

Skills and Talent

Talent and Skills is often identified in the West of England as a significant challenge however, it has barely been mentioned in the scale-up interviews that have informed the scale-up project work.


The Scale up Institute describes this challenge as being focused on selling into 'both government and large corporate companies' which is more difficult due to complicated procurement processes and the time taken to win a contract - and that's only after spotting the relevant contracts to bid for.

Leadership Capacity

The leadership capacity challenge is felt most acutely by those founders not associated with an incubator or support system. Whether they are grappling with their own leadership development or recruiting their key senior hires into the business, this challenge has a few different interpretations which are explored here.

Infrastructure - office space

In the original Scale up Institute definition, infrastructure takes into account challenges that are both digital and physical. In the West of England, we suffer with an acute shortage of suitable, affordable and available office space so this has become the focus for this work.

Access to Investment

Long before the appointment of the Scale up Enabler in June 2017, access to investment has been recognised as a challenge for founders in the West of England. With close geographical proximity to London, it's often assumed that founders will court investors there and this takes them away from running their business at a pivotal time, for often an extended period.