Growing-concerns for SMEs in Science Parks and Tech Hubs

It’s not what you think.

We’re in an era of massive change and business excitement. Amidst uncertainty, the UK continues to deliver some of the best, world-class new business ventures that are quickly garnering the attention of investors, funders and the rest of the global community. The SME community is scattered throughout the UK and bringing completely innovative, original offerings.

Where traditionally sole traders and small business owners fought hard to establish their independent selves in towns and cities throughout the UK, the birth of community hubs has unleashed a spectrum of new opportunity for those who are looking to launch a new idea to market, capture the attention of functional and industry specialists, successfully achieve business funding that helps their business grow, and ultimately, become the next innovative solution to an exhausted market.

The backbone initiative driving innovation in the UK

The UKSPA (United Kingdom Science Park Association) is an active body that aims to be the authoritative body on the planning, development and the creation of Science Parks and other innovation locations that are facilitating the development and management of innovative, high growth, knowledge-based organisations. From Technology Hubs to Research Centres to Science Parks all over the UK, their initiative is one that is geared to encouraging and supporting the “start up and incubation of innovation-led, high-growth, knowledge-based businesses.”

Through the development of community business hubs, they also aim to provide an environment where larger and international businesses can develop specific and close interactions with a particular centre of knowledge creation for their mutual benefit.

Our SME business imperative

It says a lot about an economy when 99.3% of all private sector businesses were accounted for by small businesses at the start of 2018. And if it’s that what the current state of play looks like – isn’t it in our (all of our) best interest to ensure that these emerging technologies, innovations, business leaders thrive in their new environment? We say absolutely.

And the emergency of critical technology hubs that underpin this development is vital to our ecosystem.

“Science and Technology parks perform a key function acting as an interface between business and centres of knowledge such as universities, government funded laboratories, hospitals, and in some instances corporate laboratories, with the purpose of helping to commercialise ideas that arise from the UK’s research base” says the UKSPA.

From business incubation programs for those starting out, to bridging the gap between academic and industry business leaders who are able to engage with and catapult innovations being born in hubs throughout the country, our job as a business community is to engage and support those who are driving our economy forward.

What do these innovation powerhouses look like?
German business researches identify this growth hub of SME culture as follows:

  • Family-owned, or exhibit a family-like corporate culture, and structure. In Germany, the SME community has employee turnover of less than 3% per year,
  • and three-quarters of staff feel that their ideas are valued, according to recent book, The Seven Secrets of Germany.
  • They include generational continuity in their long-term business plan and plan for the future.
  • They have a very clear, very defined long-term focus
  • They are, mostly, entirely independent
  • Because they are independent, they are incredibly agile and flexible according to market needs.
  • They hold a strong emotional attachment to their vision, their belief, their mission, their clients and their teams.
  • Their hierarchies are lean – which means that there is a clear, and concise culture of ownership across the board.
  • They are driven by their customer needs – and are completely focussed on delivering what their customers expect
  • They are truly innovative and are geared to recognising opportunity and need
  • They have a strong, genuine, culture of social responsibility and believe in empowering their immediate communities.
  • They are proud of their regional ties and build upon these – despite their rate of growth internationally.

Ready for Growth, but not yet equipped.

They may be at the cusp of growth funding, or capital, that will propel them to where they need to be – but chances are good that these smaller businesses, holding all the growth potential in the world, may simply not be equipped with the right leadership or teams to support their growth strategies. They have a product, they have a service, they probably have the funding, and are already grabbing the attention of the industry – but they may be finding themselves up against challenges to keep themselves, and their businesses to legislation, regulation and other business commitments. Governance comes into play, as does a quick-changing company culture – and that’s where many of these high-potential businesses start to feel the real concern. Funding comes at a price – perhaps not financial, but quite often, operational – which is why ensuring that your business is built upon an operational infrastructure that is secure and ready to support your growth trajectory should be your number 1 business focus.

And that’s where we come in.

For many years, we’ve helped businesses align themselves towards their growth strategy – ensuring that they’re ready operationally, and stabilised financially in ways that allow them to remain agile, and focussed on development. If you want to know more about how we do that, get in touch, and let’s start building your tomorrow, today.

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