New CBI report finds that ‘scale-up’ businesses are key to UK productivity

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has launched a new report which claims that fast-growing medium-sized businesses – known as ‘scale-ups’ – are the key to UK economic success.

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The report, entitled Lifting the Trophy, has been produced by the CBI in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, the ScaleUp Institute and Aston Business School. It analyses data from companies across the UK and from interviews with over 30 scale-up businesses, highlighting new research on the impact of scale-up businesses on UK productivity.

Within the document, a scale-up business is defined as ‘an enterprise with average annual growth in employees or turnover greater than 20% per annum over a three year period, and with more than ten employees at the beginning of the observation period’.

Findings from the report include:

  • In 2013, 4% of firms contributed 17% to total UK productivity.
  • Between 2012 and 2015, over 18,500 businesses rapidly scaled-up their turnover – 650 of these were mid-market firms.
  • Eight out of ten of the UK’s most productive businesses are located outside of London.

The research also found that, within the scale-up business community, firms with high productivity levels are twice as common.

The report concludes that a relatively small number of entrepreneurial firms contribute significantly to the overall economic picture, and that the additional £59 billion generated by fast-growing medium-sized businesses between 2010 and 2013 was the difference between recovery and recession in that period.

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