A new report from the London Stock Exchange Group has revealed the continuing strength of Britain’s SMEs. The London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report has highlighted 1000 UK SMEs growing at over 50% a year between 2011 and 2015.
Significantly, 78% of the firms are based outside of London. 36 are in Greater Manchester, while Leeds and Aberdeen have 16 such firms.
There are now 25 SMEs in Northern Ireland and Wales in the report from last year, while Scotland’s companies are growing the fastest, boasting 83% annual average revenue growth.
In the report, 25% of the SMEs featured are in the construction, engineering and manufacturing sectors, demonstrating those industries’ ability to adapt and succeed despite challenging headwinds.
Also highlighted was the UK technology sector, with the report noting that "the UK tech sector has been growing fast than any other part of the economy for several years, with the number of tech-related companies rising by 31% since 2010. That is equivalent to 45,000 new businesses, or one company every hour of every day for the past five years."
Tech and digital businesses were found to make up 12.4% of the UK economy, the highest proportion in the G20 set of nations, with 1.46m people currently employed in UK tech and digital industries.
13 tech firms in all were featured in the LSE report, including video games firm Team 17, ticketing and queuing solutions firm Accesso, and utility bill paying app Glide.
Tech was also found to be shaking up a range of other sectors highlighted in the report. In retail, 62% of shoppers were found to have increased their buying after interaction with their favourite brands over social media. Online sales are projected to total £86.95bn by 2019, while 58% of consumers said that click-and-collect encourages them to use bricks-and-mortar stores more often.
The report said that "investment in new technologies, from 3D printing and robots to nano-technology is enhancing the manufacturing sector."
In his introduction to the report, the Chancellor George Osborne said: "UK high-growth businesses are leading the charge in rebuilding our economy. These companies are the backbone of the British economy. They create high-quality, well paid jobs, innovate and drive economic growth. This government fully understands the need to support ambitious entrepreneurs and ensure they can access the finance they need to grow.
Tech firms in the list included:
- Team 17
- 1Spatial Plc
- Acturis Group Ltd
- Focus 4 U Ltd
- Guestline Ltd
- Reflex Gaming Ltd
- Skyscanner Holdings Ltd
To coincide with the launch of the report, more than 40 company CEOs featured in the report opened the London market together with Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group and the Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The message from Rolet was that of growth, development and nurture – all underpinned by finance.
"High growth SMEs are the driving force behind the UK economy, developing the skills, jobs and growth we need. But ambition alone is not enough; their success must be highlighted and their growth properly supported with appropriate finance. That’s why today’s event is so important: demonstrating the strong alliance between UK Government, financial market participants, investors, entrepreneurs and companies to support these inspiring businesses." Rolet said.
"Today’s celebration is fundamental to London Stock Exchange’s core, the need to support UK high growth companies in their journeys from Start-up to Stardom and create an entrepreneurship revolution."