Scale-up Leaders' Academy

Scale-up Leaders' Academy

Helping your business grow is the best way to grow the region's economy.

If you lead an established fast-growing business and have ambition to scale-up quicker, join our high-impact Scale-up Leaders' Academy...

What is it?

Spread over 6 months, the Scale-up Leaders’ Academy is a programme of support dedicated to helping high-growth business owners prepare to scale-up their companies faster through a mix of:

  • Practical workshops
  • Scale-up coaching
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring support
  • Action-based learning sessions

Who is it for?

It has been designed specifically for business owners who are currently running established growing companies with at least 10 members of staff, but want to scale-up faster. The cohort will be made up of 15 North East based entrepreneurs who meet this criteria.

Is there a cost?

The programme costs £2,000 + VAT for Entrepreneurs' Forum members (membership costs £495 + VAT).  Match funding may be available (subject to terms and conditions) to help with the cost.  This is thanks to the region's Local Enterprise Partnerships and ERDF Funding.  Contact for more information.

When will it be?

The next cohort will run from January to June 2018.

What will the programme include:

  • High-growth mind-set
  • People
  • Strategy
  • Execution
  • Cash
  • One Page Strategic Plan

Scale-up coaching will be ran by Ian Kinnery, a respected business coach, entrepreneur and European Coach of the Year, with participants exploring what it means to scale-up, preparing to face the challenges of business growth and building actionable plans that allow them to achieve their targets.

Peer-to-peer mentoring support for each member of the Academy will be through the Entrepreneurs’ Forum’s mentoring match-making service, with experienced mentors who have been there and done it all before. The mentors will be on hand for participants to act as a sounding board, to offer advice and bounce ideas off throughout the programme.

Action-based learning sessions will be chaired by Ian Kinnery. Here the cohort will meet to discuss openly the three things each agreed to achieve as a result of the practical workshops. They will review progress, support fellow participants, hold each other to account and share advice and experience.

Our promise:

  • We will help you to raise your growth aspiration and get prepared to scale-up your company by understanding what your scale-up journey will involve, the challenges ahead and some of the tools that can help you on your way.
  • We will explore the six biggest barriers to business growth, looking at the impact in each area once you are successful in achieving your growth ambitions.
  • We will work with you to examine what your organisation needs to grow quickly, what must change and how you can do this by developing an actionable plan that helps you to cope with the changes scaling-up will bring to you and your company.
  • We won’t show you what to do, but we will get you ready to scale-up and at the ‘starting-line’ with peer support around you and a clear idea of what you need to do, so that you can succeed in achieving your business goals and vision.

Your commitment:

  • You must attend all events and sessions.
  • You must be open and honest with yourself, the coaches and mentors and within the group.
  • During each practical workshop you must commit to three actions and send these to both the Entrepreneurs’ Forum and Ian Kinnery following the session.
  • You must be willing to provide data on your company’s performance and complete research and feedback forms throughout the programme.

Scale-up Coaching Sessions:

High-growth mind-set
Wednesday 31st January, 8.30am - 12.30pm

Wednesday 28th February, 8.30am - 12.30pm

Tuesday 27th March; 8.30am - 12.30pm

Tuesday 24th April, 8.30am - 12.30pm

Tuesday 29th May, 8.30am - 12.30pm

One Page Strategic Plan
Wednesday 27th June, 8.30am - 12.30pm

Together We Can Take on the World conference (10th May)

The package also includes a place at the Forum's showcase Spring conference on 10th May, for a day of inspiration and connecting with your peers. At the conference we will hear from entrepreneurs who have scaled businesses on a regional, national and international stage. 


Newcastle University will be independently evaluating the Academy’s performance, from initial participant diagnostics to ongoing research and analysis. This will give us a robust method of analysing success that is over and above measuring turnover and job growth.

To register your interest in the 2018 Scale-up Leader's Academy programmes, please get in touch