High-growth firms on the rise

The number of small firms achieving growth is now at its highest level since the dotcom boom of the early noughties, with a “striking number” of fast-growth business now based outside London, according to recent research.

For its report, the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) researched fast-growing companies, which are defined as those with at least 10 employees and average annual growth of 20 per cent in employment, from 2012 to 2015.

The research indicates that a striking amount of these high growth firms (HGFs) are now based in areas outside London but the capital continues to have the largest number of HGFs overall. Meanwhile, excluding London, England saw its number of HGFs rise by 36 per cent, from 5,755 in 2009 to 2012 to 7,855 in 2012 to 2015. However, over the same period, the number of HGFs in London rose by just 15 per cent, from 2,105 to 2,430.

On a regional level, Liverpool saw the biggest increase in HGFs, up a hefty 56 per cent between 2009 and 2015, from 141 to 220, while areas in the South East saw more modest increases. For example, the number of HGFs in Oxfordshire only increased by 11 per cent, from 110 to 122.

A spokesman for the ERC said that the number of HGFs in the UK is now at its highest level in well over a decade, adding that it is particularly notable that both urban and rural parts of the English regions are seeing much more rapid rises in such firms than the capital.

He added that these HGFs are exactly the sort of firms the economy needs because they create a huge proportion of overall jobs relative to their small size.

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