Fast-growing firms on the rise in UK

Barclays and Business Growth Fund research finds one in five British companies can be defined as ‘high-growth’

The recovering UK economy continues to deliver good news for small firms, as ‘high-growth’ companies were revealed to comprise one-fifth of all British businesses.

The Entrepreneurs Index report, commissioned by Barclays and the Business Growth Fund, found that the proportion of firms classified as ‘high-growth’ according to its criteria had risen from 17.4% in 2011 to 20.5% in 2012.

Companies were defined as ‘high-growth’ if they had revenues between £2.5m and £10m and had increased turnover by at least 33% over the preceding three years, with 10% year-on-year growth for a minimum of two years.

The business services sector saw a particular rise in high-growth companies, with fast-growing firms making up 22% of the total companies within the sector – up from 19% in 2012.

Using data from a wide variety of sources including Experian, Companies House, StartUp Britain and YouGov, the BGF report also found that start-up activity was on the rise in general, recording a 3.4% rise in the number of active companies across the first six months of 2013.

Commenting on the rise in high-growth firms, Stephen Welton, chief executive of the Business Growth Fund, said: “Now is the time for business owners to capitalise on the improving UK economic conditions.”

“We are hoping to see entrepreneurial ambition matching the increases in consumer and business confidence.”

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Julian Frankish, head of business economics and research at Barclays Business Banking, added: “The value of small business payments data we can analyse amongst our customers suggests very strong growth rates, which fits in with wider economic measures we are seeing.”


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