D2N2 Growth Hub ScaleUp






Is your company growing at a pace that's hard to manage? Help may be on hand from D2N2 Growth Hub's UpScaler Project.

Delivered in partnership by Nottingham Business School (NBS) at Nottingham Trent University and East Midlands Chamber and with support from European Regional Development Fund, this exclusive and unique programme provides tailored and intensive high-growth business support.

UpScaler is a programme of specific, tailored high-growth business support for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the D2N2 area that are growing rapidly or have the potential to do so. Open to a limited number of high-growth enterprises.

Benefits of joining UpScaler include a diagnostic review of your business' unique scale-up challenges; access to customised and proven business support workshops and peer-to-peer events; and funding towards management coaching and hiring graduate talent.

The project is an exclusive, invitation-only scheme for established successful businesses that are scaling up; have the potential to scale; or are ambitious to grow with a proven market and management team in place. Through the UpScaler project, selected businesses will have access to free or heavily subsidised and a co-ordinated range of business support, including an intense diagnostic, leadership and management development workshops and access to a part-funded grant scheme.

Is my business eligible?

An exclusive number of eligible SME'S in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are being invited to join the UpScaler Project.

There are three eligible categories of high growth business:

  • Scale-up businesses - businesses with between 10 and 249 people, turnover between £1m- £45m and annual growth of 20%+ for the last three years.
  • Potential scale-up businesses - businesses with between 10 and 249 people, a turnover of £1m- £45m and that have achieved annual growth of 10%+ for the last three years or 20% + for the last two years.
  • Ambitious businesses – SMEs that do not fit the criteria above but can achieve some or all of the scale-up characteristics outlined below.

What are the benefits of UpScaler? 

  • A critical review of your individual scale-up challenges and opportunities
  • Leadership and management development programmes to enhance your skills
  • Tailored workshops focusing on innovation and business growth
  • Access to an executive peer-to-peer network – so that you can learn from others
  • Access to coaching to help you identify and achieve your growth goals
  • Access to talent and onward referral to support your future needs.

The benefit of such a diverse range of activities and participants is an active and dynamic support community that will help develop both the individual businesses and, collectively, the interaction and profile of those businesses. 

Characteristics of Scale-up businesses

A strong vision
Are your people involved in and can they understand how they contribute towards the success and future of the business? Can they see personal growth potential?

A solid team
Does your management team share a desire for growth? Do they embrace challenges and empower teams to provide solutions and innovation? Are they aware of their team's capabilities and seek external support where needed?

A documented approach to process
Can your business demonstrate consistent delivery of product and project? Do you implement contingency plans?

Investment in growth
Does your business have the reserves and appetite to invest in growth? Do you invest in both technology and people?

Barriers to achieving high growth

As a successful business, there may be many challenges influencing your ability to take the next steps and scale-up, such as:

  • Lack of clarity on actions needed to sustain growth?
  • Variable individual and team performance?
  • Working at full capacity, but not achieving full profitability?
  • Limited access to new customers and markets?
  • Inadequate processes and structures in place to support further growth?
  • Lack of appropriate skills, talent and capabilities – including in your management team?

Through a diagnostic review, our Scaleup Advisers can identify and tackle these barriers - helping you to take the necessary steps to grow your business.

What time and resource do I need to commit? 

There is no cost to businesses wishing to participate in the UpScaler Project. 

Time commitment :

  • 1-2 hours for the diagnostic review (required)
  • Over a 6 -8 month period (optional) 
  • 1 day per month to attend relevant workshops
  • 2-3 hours per month to attend the peer-to-peer forum
  • Participating companies also have to access to funding towards:
  • Coaching: grants of between £1,000 and £1,500 at a maximum of 50% of total project costs. The higher grant offer is available for all applications made between now and the end of June 2020
  • Graduate Talent: 20% towards the hire of a graduate for a period of up to 12 months

Is the UpScaler project right for my business? 

Are you an SME currently growing or looking to grow or scale-up?

Are you at a point where you need additional support to continue to grow?

Could you benefit from support that would help you to:

  • Identify and exploit opportunities to scale?
  • Become a successful scale-up leader who embraces and leads change ?
  • Achieve more from your team ?
  • Sell a wider range of products to more customers in more markets?
  • Delight your customers and improve business processes ?
  • Create the cash flow resources that could underpin scaling up?
  • Access the finance you need to grow?
  • Reduce the mistakes that could inhibit scale-up?

UpScaler Coaching Grant

In response to the crisis we have also revamped our coaching grant offer and we are delighted to announce that we have increased our coaching grant from a 40% contribution to a 50% contribution.  The higher grant offer is available for all applications made between now and the end of June 2020.

Within our programme we recognise that businesses don’t always have all the expertise they need within their current structure. To support this and remove some of the barriers to grow, we have made a specific grant fund within UpScaler available. 

There’s a minimum project spend of £2,000 and the programme will support between £1000 - £1500 of the project spend (50%).Within UpScaler we’ve a vetted coaching pool of business enablers.

Areas that we can support are wide and varied, we cover: strategy planning, change management, personal mentoring, process and systems improvement, developing high performance teams, business resilience,  stakeholder management etc.

Application process and next steps 

1. Apply : complete the questionnaire below or contact us. 

2. Check:  we assess your eligibility 

3. Review : we undertake a diagnostic review of your business

4. Plan: we produce an action plan which outlines actions and support most suitable for your growth.

Contact Us

To find out if your business can take advantage of the UpScaler Project please complete and return our Questionnaire (Word Doc) or contact us for a no-obligation discovery call:

T: 0333 006 9178

Email: info@d2n2growthhub.co.uk 

Please click here to view the national Annual ScaleUp Review 2018


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How to Write a Compelling Grant Application

29th July 2021 @ 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Online - Webinar

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Book an Appointment with an Adviser

Your business is unique but the challenges you’ll face in business aren’t, we can help get you through them.

Our free and impartial support is delivered by experienced and expert business advisers, giving you the right advice at the right time for your business. 

Contact us today to access a wealth of support, events, business growth programmes and expert advice.

Anthony Byrne
Account Manager
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