Number of fast-growth businesses in the UK has doubled since 2013

Britain closing the "scale-up gap" with a third of firms having recruited new employees over the last two years

There is now double the number of high-growth small and medium businesses in Britain compared to 2013, according to a new study by Citrix and YouGov.

One third of the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises have added employees since 2013 and approximately 1.675 million businesses have seen growth over the last 12 months, while 426,000 (8%) have grown by 50% or more in the same period.

The findings are said to reflect that Britain is closing “the scale up gap” – identified Sherry Coutu’s recent industry report -with more start-ups now defined as a ‘Scale up’ business; Coutu’s definition of a scale-up being businesses with 10 or more employees and annual growth in revenue or employees of at least 20% over three consecutive years.

According to the report, 10% of all British businesses achieved the annual growth expected of a scale-ups, compared to just 5% in 2014.

Citrix estimates that 23,000 of the UK’s 220,345 companies are high growth scale-ups companies, which drive economic growth, create more jobs and promote longer-term productivity.

The report also found that 60% of the businesses surveyed expected to be trading internationally by mid-2016, with 28% expecting revenue from international sales to increase, and 72% saying international business partners will be important to their businesses by the same date.

27% of the businesses surveyed said that technology had been useful in growing their businesses and 47% reported that technology had helped them to grow by allowing their staff to collaborate with customers without travelling.

Andrew Millard, senior director of international marketing at Citrix, commented: “Small and medium businesses are a critical engine of growth for the UK economy and this study illustrates the vibrancy within the sector over the last two years.

“Technology is clearly playing an important role in businesses overcoming some of the traditional barriers to growth and digital competency is becoming the new currency of growth. We hear on a daily basis how our customers are using technology to reinvent not only the way they work but the markets that they operate in.”

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