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London Stock Exchange officials urge Liverpool businesses to consider ELITE

Liverpool City Region based SMEs are missing out on a huge scaleup opportunity, according to London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) officials.

There are currently no businesses in the Liverpool City Region on LSEG’s ELITE programme, which supports growing companies through a package of education, business support and access to investors.

Speaking at a Professional Liverpool dinner last week, head of ELITE UK, Umerah Akram, and head of UK small and mid-cap companies, Mark Fahy, addressed an audience of Liverpool-based businesses and advisors about the programme and its potential in the Liverpool City Region. In the North West, there are 10 companies on the programme and there are 90 in total across the UK.

Despite the lack of North West businesses involved in ELITE, however, a recent Tech North report revealed that investment in northern tech businesses was at a ten-year high. In turn, a recent report by the Scaleup Institute highlighted that Britain is on track to become a ‘scaleup nation’, with four out of five business leaders expecting growth to continue, despite the uncertainties around Brexit.

Speaking about this, Matt Noon, chair of the Professional Liverpool Corporate Finance Group and a corporate partner at Hill Dickinson, said: “It’s clear that the North West, and indeed Liverpool, is awash with talented, high growth businesses and investment is happening, particularly in the tech sector.

“But we feel there are many more Liverpool City Region-based businesses which could benefit from programmes like ELITE and we’re keen to promote this to both clients and the local advisory community. The programme offers real potential to further boost economic growth in the city and surrounding areas and, as the organisation representing professionals, we’re keen to drive this, not only for businesses but for advisors.”

Mark Fahy, head of UK small and mid-cap companies for LSEG, said: “There is huge opportunity to further stimulate business growth in the Liverpool City Region through the programme. There are opportunities to get involved in April and November each year, so businesses should get in touch if they’re interested in accelerating their growth plans and broadening their range of specialist advice.”

To become part of the ELITE community, a company must commit at the most senior level (CEO/CFO) for a minimum of 18 months, be revenue-generating (£5m+) and demonstrate progress to date and growth potential.

Speaking at the event at the Royal Liver Building, Umerah Akram said: “The ELITE programme is designed to help SMEs prepare and structure the next stage of growth through access to long term financing opportunities.

“Nearly 500 companies from 25 countries have joined ELITE to date,  generating €39 billion in combined revenues and accounting for over 170,000 jobs across Europe and beyond.”

The ELITE programme, which launched in the UK in 2014, is delivered by London Stock Exchange Group in partnership with Imperial College Business School and a range of advisory and investor partners.

For information on ELITE, visit www.lseg.com/elite