Nicola Quayle of KPMG discusses how KPMG is helping Greater Manchester to scale up within the Hub's Global Scale Up Programme.
What attracted you to the Global Scale-up Programme?
Expanding into international markets is absolutely vital for any business looking to grow, but where to start and how to find out what opportunities are out there is often the biggest barrier for business owners. We believe we have a role to play in helping make this journey as seamless as possible for any fast-growing business owner with big ambitions, and are very excited to be working with The Growth Company in supporting this really important initiative.
How will KPMG offer support in delivering the programme?
In addition to the mentoring being offered by our team who have bags of experience working with businesses from start-up through to multinational entities, our advisers can help support businesses who are looking to expand overseas by sharing knowledge around key issues such as the local tax environment, regulation, access to talent and ease of doing business. As part of a global network of member firms, we can use our network overseas to introduce scale-up businesses to global investors and corporates with an interest in meeting innovative British businesses.
What are the main benefits that KPMG brings to the programme?
At a local level, our team brings with it a wealth of experience from accessing and raising finance, through to advising on what good governance looks like and practical advice on things like how to submit an R&D tax claim. However, the overwhelming benefit we will bring to this programme is our network and connections. We can act as a connector, introducing global corporates and investors to scale-up businesses, opening doors to the right people who can help propel a start-up to the next level, as well as introducing innovative British businesses to like-minded entrepreneurs and making it easier for fast-growth businesses to make connections overseas.
What aspect of the programme are you most excited about?
Watching businesses grow, helping them to get ‘investment ready’ and developing their confidence to take the step into overseas markets - something which could ultimately totally transform their business and their future growth agenda.
How will this programme support the growth of Greater Manchester businesses?
There are some hugely exciting businesses being born out of the North of England, and investors and overseas markets are genuinely interested in ‘Brand Britannia’ right now. We are also fortunate to have a number of fantastic universities on our doorstep who are doing some truly transformative things, putting Greater Manchester and the wider North West on the radar for investors and corporate venturing arms. As the businesses on this programme begin to realise their overseas expansion plans, this not only helps to grow their business – leading to more jobs being created across the region – but also adds to the growing reputation of the North and the innovation springing out of it.
What opportunities does exporting offer SMEs in the region?
Becoming a more international company can create a more resilient, valuable business and one that can weather greater storms. Brexit has raised uncertainty around the new rules of the international game - whether around people, trade or regulation - and whilst that has created some malaise, the game must still be played. Business services and technology exports are particularly strong as demand for quality British goods has strengthened and UK exports have become more competitive. Having an overseas strategy makes sense for any business looking for growth, but it is particularly important for SMEs who run their businesses with very tight profit margins. Many of these businesses are often wholly reliant on their home market place but there is a lot to be gained to from reaching out to new customers and suppliers further afield.