London Stock Exchange unveils “1,000 companies to inspire Britain” in 2015

147 of the companies from the 2014 index made the list again having achieved 250% average revenue growth in last four years

The LSE (London Stock Exchange) has released its second index of the UK’s 1,000 most dynamic and fastest growing small and medium-sized enterprises – the “1,000 companies to inspire Britain”.

Spanning a cross-sector of the economy, the businesses named on the list include well-known brands and leading fast-growth companies such as Notonthehighstreet.com, Cath Kidston, Itsu, Brompton, Orlebar Brown, Make It Cheaper, Metro Bank and Unruly.

The annual report examined the opportunities and challenges facing the celebrated companies, as well as the sectors and trends set to be the big players in the future of the UK economy.

The 1,000 businesses have, on average, more than doubled their revenue in the past four years, with the top 500 more than tripling their revenue – and have been identified as major contributors to the countries economic growth and job creation.

IT was identified as the top performing sector, with average annual revenue growth of 350% between 2010 and 2014, paving the way for Britain’s digital revolution. Out of the 1,000 firms, 75% were from outside London with Scotland, Ireland and Wales all seeing a 30% increase in the number of companies included – and the South East, the East and the West Midlands following London as stand out regions.

After IT, the retail sector saw an annual growth of 250%, followed by real estate (203%) and manufacturing (180%). Companies in manufacturing and engineering (123) and construction (87) made up 25% of the list.

The findings show there is still a big gender gap in top positions, with just 13.5% of company directors female compared to 86.5% male. The position favours the experience of middle age with 33% of directors between 40-50 and 32% between 50-60. Just 36 are between 20 and 30 and only 3 are over the age of 90.

The UK’s emerging status as a world-leading hub for digital innovation looks secure as the tech sector continues to expand more rapidly than any other industry. Responsible for 7.1% of jobs created and with 65 companies featured on the list, it’s estimated that the sector will add £12bn to London’s economy over the next decade.

The research also reported strong performance of more traditional sectors such as the food and drink sector which is still a great industry for nurturing start-ups, with 96% of businesses in the sector micro to medium-sized. An estimated 400,000 people are employed in the sector, which generated £300m for the UK economy in exports alone.

Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Group, said: “This report is a significant part of London Stock Exchange’s broader campaign to support UK high growth companies in their journeys from start-up to stardom and to create an entrepreneurship revolution. I’m delighted that a strong alliance between UK government, financial market participants, investors, entrepreneurs and companies has been created to support these inspiring businesses.”

Business secretary Vince Cable added:

“These 1,000 exemplary businesses show how small and mid-sized enterprises punch above their weight – more than doubling their revenue over the past four years to deliver growth and create jobs across the UK.”

The full report can be viewed here, with a searchable database of the companies and sectors.

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