Commentary by Luca Peyrano, Head of Continental Europe Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange Group
ELITE is a pioneering initiative giving companies which are ambitious for growth access to investment and the best advice – and now it’s truly pan-European.
1000 Companies to Inspire Europe is a celebration of some of Europe’s most exciting and dynamic fast-growing businesses. But London Stock Exchange Group also runs another successful initiative, backing innovative, high-growth companies across Europe and beyond, known as ELITE.
ELITE is our pioneering international business support programme, which helps ambitious companies prepare and structure for the next stage of growth. Launched by Borsa Italiana in 2012, it was rolled out across the UK in 2014 and across the rest of Europe in 2015.
ELITE introduces the leaders of ambitious companies to business school resources and gives them access to a community of leading advisers and investors. Through the programme, ELITE company leaders gain access to knowledge and sources of funding, be that venture capital, private or public equity, to help them grow.
250+ – The number of advisers and investors involved in ELITE
Speaking to the ELITE company founders and CEOs, feedback on the programme has confirmed that being part of ELITE’s vibrant and extensive community has helped them attract talent, develop expertise, deepen and broaden their contacts and grow in confidence as a business. Not least, there have been 120 M&A/Joint Venture deals completed by ELITE companies, 21 that have issued bonds and 15 that have announced their intention to list on the public markets.
The ELITE community now totals more than 400 companies, 150 partners and 100 long-term investors. Partners include Europe’s leading banks, brokers, law, PR and accountancy firms, all of whom have the resources and knowledge to help support ELITE’s fast-growing businesses.
What is evident from our 1000 Companies to Inspire Europe report and all the work that we do on ELITE is that Europe is home to hundreds of diverse and growing businesses from across numerous sectors. But we know that financing remains a hurdle for many who are looking to expand, alongside factors such as hiring, training and retaining talent.
“Being part of ELITE’s community has helped businesses attract talent, develop expertise, broaden their contacts and grow in confidence”
ELITE is delivered in partnership with local business schools across all the ELITE company countries, many of whom help shape the design and facilitate the delivery of the 24-month programme. Companies also have access to a unique online learning portal, where they can receive their tailored education training and engage with the entire ELITE network.
Access to business education, entrepreneurs, investors and advisers, all help stimulate company review. The companies take part in a series of modules and workshops designed to encourage and embed organisational change and support development. What’s more, participants have the opportunity to build invaluable business relationships with their peers enabling them to challenge each other as well as themselves.
ELITE is not just a training programme or accelerator scheme, but the opportunity for companies and their leaders to become part of a vibrant community, in which fast-growing firms can thrive long after the structured engagement is over.
Visit www.elite-growth.com to find out more about the programme.