Scale-up Leaders' Academy alumni - Steve Rawlingson

Steve Rawlingson founded Samuel Knight International (SKI) in 2014.

After securing seed-stage support, SKI faced serious scaleip challenges in its third year when it saw exponential growth. Revenues increased 400% to hit £10m but back at the offiice, support functions needed to be strengthened.

He said, “It looked like we were going to be a ‘could have been special’ business. I had grown it too quickly and was in a bit of a pickle.”

To learn more about sustainable growth, Steven joined the Scale-up Leader's Academy

Starting with an intimate team of four, in 6 years, SKI has grown dramatically into a 70-person team, with an estimated turnover of £17m - firmly moving towards their 5-year plan of achieving £100m turnover. In 2019, SKI secured further investment to finance the next phase of growth, including developing larger headquarters in Newcastle and building SKI’s presence in the US.

The Scale-up Leaders' Academy allowed me to reassess and learn how to keep the four key plates of my business - people, strategy, execution, cash - spinning in the right way.

Every day I was practising what I was learning on the course. They really changed my mind-set and helped me get the business back in line. I learned to think like a CEO. I can’t tell you what it did for me.


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