This has been an uncertain year for many in the UK. The economy has been rocked by unforeseen and unexpected upheavals. At the start of the year, as we emerged out of the worst of the pandemic, there was optimism. The only cloud on the horizon was the threat of Covid-induced, supply-side inflation. It was expected to peak in spring in low single figures, and start to fall back. So much for forecasts.
What strikes me reading the results from this year’s Helm member survey is the resilience of the scale-up economy our members represent. In the face of an unexpected war in Europe, the residual effects of Covid, political upheaval and spooked financial markets, Helm members’ growth expectations remain buoyant. In fact, they are more positive than last year.
In the face of 2022’s rollercoaster of events, it is uplifting to see how Helm members' resilience has allowed them to bounce back and look to next year with a positive perspective. Members are bullish and confident about plans for growth. There remain challenges and threats ahead, notably in the area of people management, but they aren't enough to dampen members’ expectations.
There is a dip in expected exit activity, but that may just reflect financial markets. No one wants to sell at the bottom of a market, so members who may have had plans to sell are delaying for a year or two.
It remains a testing environment for everyone running a business, and scale-up founders have to face challenges they aren’t always equipped to deal with. It’s at times like this that the support of a community of like-minded individuals proves its worth. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the members who contributed to this survey and who continue to contribute to our community.
Together we are stronger and as a community we will continue to thrive as we head into whatever 2023 has to offer.
– Andreas Adamides, CEO, Helm