LSE picks top companies for support

New ELITE program to help high-growth UK companies attract investors

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has named the first 19 companies to join its two-year ELITE support and training program, intended to provide businesses with the tools they need to attract appropriate investors.

The initiative – run in collaboration with London’s Imperial College – will see founders and CEOs from the companies in question gain access to a ‘portfolio of business support tools,’ notes an LSE press release. The companies will also receive education provided by the university’s business school.

Companies that progress through ELITE will be guided on how to ‘adapt and shape their businesses for long-term growth’, as well as given key advice on how to increase their visibility to potential investors. The program is further backed by several major trade bodies, including the Confederation of British Industry and Tech City.

Nine of the companies chosen for inclusion in the program’s first cohort are from the technology sector, each earmarked for their high-growth potential, and include IT services firm Intrinsic and online snack-delivery outfit Graze. Companies in manufacturing, healthcare, retail and media were also chosen and, of the 19 selected, 13 are located outside London. The LSE says more companies will be added in groups over the coming years.

According to the LSE’s CEO, Xavier Rolet, the program was inspired by the success of an ELITE program at Borsa Italiana. To date, more than 130 companies have participated in the Italian exchange’s scheme, with several moving toward potential stock market or small bond listings.

‘Innovative businesses are often the most ambitious companies, but to get ahead they need new resources, new relationships and new funding, which many businesses find challenging or time-consuming to access,’ Rolet suggests. ‘ELITE will provide high-growth companies with the essential tools they need to develop and help foster a connected financial ecosystem, promoting the right type of funding for businesses at each stage of their journey.’

London’s Mayor Boris Johnson is also lending his support to the initiative. ‘Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of London’s economy, providing employment for more than 50 percent of working Londoners,’ he remarks in a press release. ‘It’s vital that ambitious young companies are supported as they grow so I warmly welcome the launch of ELITE, which is set to provide practical help and advice.’

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