Report shows increase in number of UK scale-up businesses

Report shows increase in number of UK scale-up businesses

A report from accountancy, tax and investment firm Smith & Williamson has shown an increase in the number of scale-up businesses in the UK.

The study, entitled Dream bigger: the scale-up moment, found that young entrepreneurs are the main driver of growth in scale-up businesses, with more than 40% of these businesses being founded by people aged 34 and under.


Scale-up businesses, which are companies that have increased their staff or revenue by 20% for three years running and started out with ten or more employees, are a main driver of economic growth and could help to solve the UK’s productivity issues.

The number of start-up companies that are scaling-up successfully increased by 12% in 2016, with this rise being partly due to the government providing support to help businesses boost their growth.

The report looked at the main traits of scale-up businesses, with younger business owners being found to be using new technologies to their advantage.

Half of high-growth businesses said that advancements in technology have been critical to the growth of their company, compared to only 18% of slower-growth businesses.

More than 30% of scale-up businesses cited having an innovative business plan as the main key to their success, compared to just 27% of respondents from non-scale up companies and 21% of entrepreneurs from micro-firms.


Commenting on the study, Smith & Williamson Scale-up Lead John Morris said: “It’s been fascinating to gain insight into how such extremely successful companies think and feel. We have uncovered considerable differences between scale-ups and the rest of the business community, in both mentality and approach. But, 91% of businesses want to grow further, and I am convinced almost any of them can emulate scale-up business success – provided they have the right growth toolkit.”

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