A female founder who was denied support because her business didn’t have ‘hyper-scale potential’ has seen her company named, for a second year in a row, in the Financial Times 1000 list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies.

Join Talent, a hyper-growth embedded recruitment solutions business based in Scotland, has been listed as the 16th fastest-growing company in Europe this year, after being ranked 12th last year. This is after the company achieved growth of 6,148.50 per cent from the reference period of 2020 to 2022.

CEO and founder, Katrina Hutchinson O’Neill said: “When we set up the business initially, I was denied support from a female entrepreneur-focused support group because they didn’t consider us to have ‘hyper-scale potential’.

“We have defied those expectations, but how many others have been held back? Over the coming years I want to do everything I can to provide better access to support for other entrepreneurial women who come after me than I experienced – and I hope as a result they make even more of a success of it than we have.”

In their analysis of the rankings, the Financial Times noted that the return to growth after the pandemic has been hampered by high inflation and a cost-of-living squeeze, and that while many businesses have struggled or failed to survive, others have demonstrated resilience and been able to thrive.

Katrina added: “As a 100 per cent homegrown ‘kitchen table’ kick-started enterprise, all of us at Join Talent are incredibly proud to be recognised in the annual list of FT 1000: Europe’s fastest-growing companies for a second year in a row. After a successful period of growth over the last few years, we worked hard in 2023 through rapidly changing market conditions.”

The challenge has been tough, admits Katrina, but conversely she says it’s important for the strength of their leadership team. “Having a team who can be successful in growth in strong markets is important, but having a team of strong leaders who can also perform well in a tough market is a long-term company maker or breaker,” she says. “The team we have today are the leaders who have proven their individual and collective capability to deliver and succeed whatever the winds of the market may throw at them.”

The company has been focused on reinforcing their position in the market, aligning closely with client needs, and rising with agility to the changing dynamics of the market. This has included opening a new entity and operation in India, and expanding our presence in South Africa.

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