Scale Up Dinner with Stephen Lake

  • Thought Leadership

FWB recently co-hosted a small private dinner together with our friends at Coutts, bringing together Founders, CEOs and NEDs of scale up businesses, as well as investors in the space. Our speaker was Stephen Lake who is a very experienced CEO and entrepreneur with particular expertise in scaling growth technology businesses globally, digital and transformation and building profit with purpose and impact businesses. His experience includes taking a start up from pre revenue to a billion dollar IPO (iVillage), numerous VC backed businesses to exit, PE backed firms to exit (QinetiQ), transforming publicly owned data/tech corporations (QinetiQ and Ordnance Survey) and more recently building B Corp impact businesses (W2W which is a circular economy business).

Stephen talked about his experience in incorporating Purpose, Inclusion & Diversity as key components of a modern scale-up growth strategy. He structured his presentation into some of the key features of the scale up journey that have remained over the past 20 years, and some of the newer and emerging features. The evergreen side included:

  • the funding environment and focus (or lack of) on raising enough working capital to deliver the full growth potential.
  • hiring the right people at the right time (and the impact of a poor hire).
  • managing the right things (identifying the most important milestones and KPIs, instead of focusing primarily on the P&L).

The more recent features Stephen mentioned included:

  • the advent of impact goals and measurement within businesses -“profit with purpose”.
  • changing outcomes -not just minimising the negative impact of business but changing the positive impact beyond the normal customer proposition.
  • the effect of purpose on a business's ability to attract and retain the best talent. What is the aggregate employer value proposition beyond solely remuneration.
  • the importance of being a thought leader which can attract new and different clients.

For further information on our scale up events please contact Adam Brown

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