Number of small businesses achieving growth at its highest, says ERC

The number of small businesses achieving growth has reached its highest level in the UK, according to the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC).

There are now nearly 12,000 “high-growth” small and medium-sized businesses, with research showing that this is the highest level since the dot-com collapse of the early 2000s.  

Regional differences

The research revealed that a “striking” amount of high-growth firms (HGFs) are now based in locations outside of London.

Though London is still the top city for HGFs, the increase in the number of these companies increased by just 15 per cent in the capital from 2009 to 2012 and 2012 to 2015. Other areas of England saw an increase of 36 per cent over the same time period.

Liverpool was found to have had the biggest increase in high growth firms, with the number rising by 56 per cent from 141 to 220 between 2009 and 2015.

Areas in the South East, such as Oxfordshire, experienced more “modest increases.”

Highest level

ERC Deputy Director Professor Mark Hart commented on the research, stating that the number of HGFs in the UK is now at its “highest level in well over a decade”, and that it is “particularly notable” that urban and rural parts of the UK are seeing a more rapid increase in the number of these companies than London.

He added: “These are exactly the sort of firms we need more of in our economy, because they create a huge proportion of overall jobs relative to their small size in the business population.

“We need to learn the lessons of what’s working to support fast-growing businesses in these areas so we can replicate it more widely.” 

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