Grant Shapps is set to outline a new plan to ‘scale up’ British businesses in Davos this week, City A.M. understands.
In a video seen by City A.M. ahead of Shapps’ trip to the Swiss mountain town for the World Economic Forum, the business secretary says: “When I pack my luggage, I won’t just be taking a warm jacket. I’m going to be taking a vision for how we take this country and we scale up Britain.”
Shapps describes his ‘scale up vision for growth’ as Britain being recognised as the “best place in the world, not just to start a business, but once you’ve got that business up and running, to grow it, to scale it up.”
Numerous commentators have suggested that whilst the UK is good at start-up firms, it is less known as a place for those to grow into genuinely world-leading businesses.
Venture capital insiders complain that many promising British firms fail to receive adequate funding on this side of the Atlantic, and often find themselves drawn into an American orbit.
The relative lack of success of some high-profile recent floats on the London market has also done little to bolster the capital’s reputation.
Shapps is set to outline more of his vision at a lunch organised by the CBI in Davos on Thursday.
There has been criticism from some that two reviews designed to make the UK a more appealing ‘scale-up’ destination – the Hill Review into listing rules and the Khalifa review into the fintech industry – have not yet been turned into concrete action.
The World Economic Forum is lacking some of its usual star power this year, with Olaf Scholz the only leader of a G7 country in attendance.
“I know it might feel like a conference in the remote Swiss Alps, but actually it matters a lot to hardworking Brits,” Shapps will say.