Future 50: Entries extended for East Anglia’s high-growth business programme

Future 50 provides business leaders with insight, advice and networking

Future 50 provides business leaders with insight, advice and networking - Credit: Archant

There is still time to take part in the Future 50 programme that helps East Anglia’s high-growth businesses achieve their full potential.

With tough times potentially ahead thanks to the coronavirus, the support of Future 50 may make a hu

With tough times potentially ahead thanks to the coronavirus, the support of Future 50 may make a huge difference to the success of participating businesses - Credit: Archant

Is your business growing? Or was it poised to transform before the pandemic hit? In these difficult trading conditions, staying on track takes more support than ever – which is where the Future 50 programme for high-growth businesses comes in. Entries have been extended by two weeks, so there is still time to sign up and take part.

Future 50 has been running since 2009. It brings together leaders of businesses from across East Anglia, giving them access to events and expertise from the partners, as well as providing unrivalled opportunities to share experiences with other business people facing similar issues as their companies grow.

“Future 50 was brilliant for helping build our network,” says Jenna Ackerley of Events Under Canvas, who was in the 2017 cohort of companies. “For me, there’s nothing more important in business than your network. It means there’s always someone in the phone that you can turn to for advice or help when you have a decision to make.”

The successes scored by Future 50 firms have been huge. Businesses of all sizes have participated – from offshore giants Seajacks, now working on multi-million-pound projects all around the globe, to tech start-ups and farm shops. Regardless of their size or sector, a huge number of companies have reached the next stage of their growth thanks in part to the insights and advice offered both by the partners and the other members.

Future 50 Live at the Enterprise Centre at the UEA in 2017 Picture: Archant/Simon Finlay Photograph

Future 50 Live at the Enterprise Centre at the UEA in 2017 Picture: Archant/Simon Finlay Photography. - Credit: Simon Finlay Photography

Since taking part in 2015, Norwich energy consultancy Indigo Swan has more than doubled in size. “Being involved with Future 50 was a wonderful thing for Indigo Swan. We were still at a fairly early stage in our journey and it was a great way for us to get our name out at the time,” says chief executive James Groves.

“When you’re a young business perhaps the first thing you need is to get your name known locally and build the support of the local business community. For us Future 50 was integral to that – and from that base we were really able to grow.”

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Expert support

It is the partners who bring Future 50 to life. Along with media company Archant, publishers of this and other regional newspapers and magazines, five leading firms lend their expertise to the programme. Birketts is an award-winning full-service top 100 law firm. Foresight is a billion-pound private equity manager. Lovewell Blake is one of the UK’s top 50 accountancy firms, with specialist partners across the region. Norwich Research Park is a globally important research centre and home to world-leading institutes and an Enterprise Zone.

The specialist banking partner for Future 50 is Barclays. “We bring all that a British universal bank with more than 325 years of history and experience can offer. Through our national network of Eagle Labs, we support individuals, businesses and corporates to innovate and grow across a broad range of different sectors,” says Glen Webster, the bank’s area business manager. “But we also offer so much more through our local presence, events programme and connections, to enable Future 50 members to flourish.

“One of the key benefits of Future 50 is the expertise available not only from the partners, but also from peers within the cohort. While always a strong element, it will be even more relevant this year with such an incredibly challenging environment and it has impressed me greatly to see such resilience and, in some cases, evolving or re-positioning of the business model to provide products and services to meet business needs in the current climate.”

If your business is ready for Future 50, applications need to be submitted by October 15. “Successful participants will need a desire to be involved, a will to raise their profile and determination to embrace every opportunity that may be afforded them, as well as being open to innovate and even pivot an aspect of their business,” concludes Mr Webster. “The key will be the attitude of the whole business not just the founder or main directors.”

Applications for Future 50 must be received by October 15 and the programme of events will begin in January. For further information and to apply click here.



Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversifed by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank – all supported by our service company which provides full technology, operations and functional services.


Birketts is a full service, top 100 UK law firm. With a rich heritage spanning more than 150 years it has an enviable track record advising businesses, institutions and individuals in the UK and internationally. Operating from offices across East Anglia and London, the firm shares a common culture and approach to service delivery. It has an unrivalled reputation for providing high-quality legal advice and client service.


Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager with £6.5 billion of assets under management. Formed in 1984, Foresight is among the most active private equity houses in the UK market, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across a range of sectors. Foresight provides venture, growth and buyout capital tailored to the needs of each business, partnering with a range of companies from early stage through to mature, established businesses.

Lovewell Blake

Lovewell Blake is a top 50 firm of Chartered Accountants and Financial Planners with eight offices across the region. It has worked with outstanding local businesses for more than 160 years and is also at the cutting edge of cloud accounting technology, highly specialised taxation advisory services and diverse audit and accounting expertise.

Norwich Research Park

Norwich Research Park is a global research centre for life sciences, agri-tech, bio-tech, medi-tech, bioinformatics and food and health, with an active Enterprise Zone. It boasts a unique mix of world-leading institutes, a leading university, and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, that focus on turning the science into real-life applications. Its 230-hectare site is home to 150 businesses.

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