Region’s local economic partnerships are top in the UK for scale up business growth

Scaleup Landscape

The top five Local Economic Partnership for growth in turnover scaleups were Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley, and Enterprise M3, according to the Scaleup Institute, the private sector, not-for-profit company focused on making the UK the best place in the world to scale up a business.

Gloucestershire and Buckinghamshire Thames Valley, along with Thames Valley Berkshire were also in the top five Local Economic Partnerships for growth in employment scaleups.

Fast growing companies are key to helping overcome the economic challenges created by Covid-19. The ScaleUp Institute’s analysis of the latest ONS data showed that in 2018 there were 33,860 scaleups in the UK. This uses the OECD high-growth (scaleup) definition of firms growing their employment numbers and/or turnover by more than 20 per cent a year over a period of three years, with at least 10 employees at the start of the period.

The areas for highest growth are Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Thames Valley.

This number has fallen over the year – a risk it signalled in our 2019 review. This was driven by a 7.8 per cent fall in scaleups growing by turnover which now number 27,285. However, the total number of scaleups is still 25 per cent above the figure in 2013, compared to 16 per cent  growth in SMEs over the same period.

Scaleups remain the most innovative and international of our SMEs. They contributed £1 trillion to the UK economy in 2018 – accounting for 50 per cent of the total contribution by all UK SMEs and are now 54 per cent more productive than their peers. Their performance was particularly striking in the construction industry, producing 161 per cent more turnover per employee than other businesses in the industry despite their numbers in that sector decreasing. They bring benefit to the entire economy because they operate across all sectors and geographies and remain significant drivers of local employment.

The ONS data shows that there was a 6.1 per cent increase in scaleups growing by employment – to 13,965. Importantly, there was also a 1.2 per cent increase in scaleups growing by both turnover and employment – to 7,390.

Scaleups employed 3.5 million people in 2018, up from 3.4 million in 2017.

Gloucestershire is home to 400 fast growing companies,

Oxfordshire is home to 455 fast growing companies, employing a total of 38,845 staff and generating £5.2 billion in turnover, according to the ScaleUp Institute’s analysis of the most recent official data.

Swindon and Wiltshire host 315 fast growing companies, employing a total of 31,165 staff and generating £18,785,808,384 in turnover.

Greater Birmingham and Solihull are home to 900 such companies, employing a total of 115,742 staff and generating £11.1 billion in turnover. Worcestershire hosts 325 fast growing companies, employing a total of 24,930 staff and generating £3 billion in turnover.

Coventry and Warwickshire are home to 430 fast growing companies, employing a total of 52,376 staff and generating £8 billion in turnover.