Oxfordshire SMEs demonstrate UK’s second highest turnover growth, research shows

Oxford Urban Gateway

Oxfordshire SMEs demonstrate UK’s second highest turnover growth, research shows

A group of 177 businesses in Oxfordshire has experienced the UK’s second strongest growth in combined turnover in the last three years, according to new research by BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor.

BGF’s research calculates growth through changes in turnover and employee size among Britain’s private companies with revenues between £3m and £150m, a category of 13,286 businesses, 16 per cent of which are based in the South East.

Oxfordshire businesses in this group have experienced turnover growth of more than 21.4 percent – or £743 million – in the last three years. This is the second highest turnover growth in the UK after County Londonderry in Northern Ireland which boasts the UK’s highest combined turnover growth with 25.6 percent.

These businesses have also grown their employee numbers by 16.4 percent since 2015, making the county the UK’s fastest growing employer and accounting for 5,264 jobs – an average of 4 per day – in the last three years.

James Austin, an investor at BGF, said: “For the first time, we can see a picture of the SMEs that make up this group across the UK, and the activity, productivity and progress that they are bringing to the economy. It’s encouraging to see such strong growth in Oxfordshire – it’s imperative that we work to safeguard these businesses by providing them with the support they need to grow. By unlocking capital to accelerate growth among businesses like these will have a major and genuine impact on industry, the economy and society.”

The data has been released as part of BGF’s ‘Ready for Business’ campaign, which will see BGF confidently advocate for continued growth, committing to entrepreneurs and investing in the age of uncertainty.

Oxford-based Adestra, a leading provider of innovative marketing technology software and services, was backed by BGF between January 2016 and January 2019.

Brad Shore, former director of Adestra, said: “Oxfordshire has been a great home for Adestra, with such a strong community of high-growth technology businesses. It’s important that the UK continues to improve access to finance for businesses like ours – having investment and support at such a critical stage of growth was invaluable for us.”

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “These figures from BGF reflect Oxfordshire’s ability to nurture genuine innovation and take it to a world stage.

“Our economy is undoubtedly a strong and adaptable one. We have an excellent record of supporting small businesses and are recognised globally as a place that can support innovation-led growth, greater productivity and major ‘place potential’ as we move towards an ever-increasing internationally-focussed economy. We believe business in Oxfordshire can continue to thrive post-Brexit, on both a national and international scale.”

BGF’s ‘Ready for Business’ report is available to download. The research looks at publicly-reported data. Given current reporting thresholds, this group of companies is likely to be much larger – BGF’s proprietary database indicates that there could be an additional 4,000 companies, increasing the size of this group by 30%.

BGF, the UK and Ireland’s most active investor, was founded in 2011 specifically to address a long-standing gap in equity funding directed into companies that have outgrown friends, family or angel funding but are not typically large enough to be courted by traditional private equity. BGF has invested £1.9bn in more than 270 companies since 2011, three-quarters of which are based outside London and the South East.