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.”

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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