Sherry Coutu CBE was the guest speaker at the 91st Business luncheon organised by the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists at Apothecaries Hall in the City on Wednesday (10th February 2016). Sherry is a successful entrepreneur and author of the widely acclaimed report to government The Scaleup Report, the thinking and rationale of which led directly to the creation of ScaleUp Services Ltd.

She chose as her theme the importance and value to the UK economy of closing what Sherry has termed “the Scaleup Gap” –   those structural, cultural and economic factors that currently inhibit or prevent good start-up businesses in the UK from successfully scaling up into the larger established companies that truly shape the wider UK economy. Fixing the Scaleup Gap, transforming the UK business mindset into a more growth-oriented outlook such as exists the US,   Sherry says, would   add £ 225 billion and 150,000 jobs to the UK economy over the next 20 years.

The keys to this transformation lie in understanding those factors and applying already-known solutions. Closing the Scaleup gap is not so much a search for solutions as finding the will to implement what we already know.

Most striking among the points she made was the importance of educating our young people about the importance of business and entrepreneurship. Many business people will be familiar with the idea that the training cost involved in turning a newly-graduated student into a truly useful employee is sometimes many thousands of pounds. Sherry claims that an intervention made much earlier in a student’s education – when they are as young as 9 or 10 – can bring about an equivalent result   at a cost-per-student of under a pound.

To this end, Sherry spoke about her charitable educational initiative Founders4schools, a   free nationwide service that allows teachers access to business leaders who will visit classrooms, share their experiences and inspire the students to achieve success themselves. The initiative has three aims: Inspire the Students; Improve subject attainment levels; Increase STEM subject take up.

Sherry said:   “This solves one of the biggest business related problems plaguing the UK. Our service addresses the skills gap conundrum at one-hundredth of the cost of other solutions”  

Links to further information:

The Scaleup Report: http://www.scaleupreport.org/

Worshipful Company of Information Technologists: https://www.wcit.org.uk/

Founders4schools:     https://www.founders4schools.org.uk/

ScaleUp Services Ltd: http://www.scaleupgroup.co/