LAST WEEK Wakefield’s Conservatory Outlet joined London Stock Exchange Group’s ELITE. It was one of 16 new British businesses to join our innovative business programme and the fourth from Yorkshire.
The other ELITE Yorkshire companies are Barnsley based ‘Company Shop’, the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food; e-commerce firm, ‘Frillo’ from Kingston upon Hull and Leeds based technology company, ‘The Test People.’
The global ELITE community now totals over 380 companies, 150 advisors and 100 investors, which includes 73 UK businesses. And, London Stock Exchange Group remains committed to backing all of these firms because we know they have the power to innovate, drive job creation, boost tax intake and create wealth across the country.
So, how does ELITE support some of Yorkshire’s most ambitious companies?
ELITE introduces the leaders of fast growing UK companies to academics, entrepreneurs and business leaders and gives them access to a community of leading advisers and investors. Through the programme, ELITE company executives receive practical knowledge on the different sources of
finance, be that venture capital, private or public equity, to help them grow. More importantly, it’s a platform for companies to share their challenges and learn from each other, not just in finance but other areas such as reaching new markets, managing talent, developing their strategy and equity story.
Feedback from participating company founders and management has confirmed that being part of ELITE’s vibrant community has helped them attract talent and funding, develop expertise, deepen and broaden their contacts and grow in confidence as a business.
A recent success story for one of our ELITE companies in the UK was the merger between crowdfunded British wine retailer and ELITE business, Naked Wines with AIM quoted Majestic Wines. Apart from being a tremendous accomplishment for the company, the deal also reinforces ELITE’s ability to prepare firms for the next stage of funding growth, whatever the route taken. And, just a few weeks ago, four UK companies on the programme were awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
ELITE in the UK is delivered in partnership with Imperial College Business School and draws on its extensive partner and investor network to provide practical and technical insight, aimed at helping the companies prepare for further growth and investment. Companies take part in a series of modules and workshops designed to encourage and embed organisational change. Participants have the opportunity to build invaluable business relationships with their peers, enabling them to challenge each other as well as themselves.
What is evident from my experience of ELITE in the UK is that the country is home to hundreds of innovative, diverse and growing businesses from across numerous sectors. But, being a CEO of a growth business is tough, with many challenges. ELITE offers the opportunity for companies and
their leaders to not just be part of a training programme or accelerator scheme but become part of a vibrant community and support each other many years long after the programme is over.
We know there are many more ambitious Yorkshire companies that would benefit from ELITE.