Our Mission

Our Vision

Leeds and the City Region will become THE place for entrepreneurs with truly innovative ideas to start and grow a business.

What does this mean for an entrepreneur?

We will make Leeds a great place for entrepreneurs with new-to-the-world ideas to start and scale an innovative business. We will ensure entrepreneurs can:

  • Create valuable partnerships with corporates, investors of risk capital, universities and local and national government bodies
  • Be part of missions to solve societal challenges, for example in improving the health of our people, tackling climate change, widening access to transport and other services, or modernising and maintaining our infrastructure.
  • Access the research, mentoring and advice necessary to commercialise their ideas (or fail fast) and the investment, talent, networks, premises and markets they need to succeed.
  • Harness the power of data and analytics for innovation insights

What is our strategy

We will make Leeds a great place for entrepreneurs to start and scale to start and scale an IDE by:

  • Inspiring and incentivising them to develop innovative solutions to tightly defined global societal challenges, using the power of public sector procurement to enable early adoption and the opening up of new export opportunities
  • Lifting the level of ambition (from SME to IDE) amongst a much larger and more diverse cohort of entrepreneurs, significantly increasing the pipeline of investible ideas (or fail fast) and making Leeds an attractive proposition for the investment community
  • Managing relationships holistically throughout their journey from start-up to scale-up, underpinned by data to ensure timely support at critical points
  • Harnessing the power of data and analytics for them to generate innovation insights

As part of the program teams must identify two must win battles (MWBs) as part of their strategy, that will be critical in overcoming in order to reach their objectives. The MWBs as part of our strategy for the region have been created from points A and B.


Inspiring entrepreneurs to solve the big challenges facing our world today.


Supporting more entrepreneurs from more varied backgrounds, to turn their ideas into innovation-driven businesses that investors want to back.

How will we deliver

We are currently working through our delivery programme. Current activity includes:

  • Close ties established with the Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) development to ensure coordinated delivery on aspects of the LIS around innovation
  • Stakeholder communications engagement plan being developed to harness the existing Leeds City Region network to deliver the strategy and identify the backbone delivery organisation
  • Sources of funding being identified to enable us to deliver
  • Leaders and working groups identified for the MWBs and other strands of strategy

How will we know if it’s worked?

We’ll pick a number of key metrics to monitor the progress in meeting our objectives and ensure we capture and measure the full impact. We have generated a long-list and are currently creating a benchmark of current activity. Specifically we will be trying to;

  • Develop a more integrated and globally focused vibrant innovation ecosystem differentiated by its focus on societal challenges
  • Significantly increase the health of the entire IDE pipeline particularly at ideation stage to drive direct economic impact
  • Address the City’s globally relevant societal challenges and become early adopters of viable innovations to facilitate access to export markets
  • Increase the proportion of IDE entrepreneurs from under-represented sections of our population
  • Maximise the indirect economic impact of a strong IDE ecosystem