2015 has been a defining year for Britain’s entrepreneurs. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have firmly established themselves as the core drivers of innovation, employment and wider economic growth. Cited by George Osborne in his latest Spending Review as integral to the nation’s economic security, Britain’s private sector is looking forward to 2016 with warranted optimism. A recent business barometer, by financial services group Close Brothers, has revealed that 1.35 million small businesses are preparing to expand their operations over the next year; a statistic supported by projected UK growth rates outlined in our SME Heatmap – 2015. However, the regional prowess of rising business hubs across Britain reinforces the need for targeted government support for high-growth and high-performance industries, both within and beyond the capital.
It was welcoming to hear earlier last week that small businesses received approximately £12.1 billion of central government spending in the last financial year. This represented 27.1% of central state buying, exceeding the initial target of 25% set by Parliament. Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matt Hancock, noted that this figure positions the government on track to reach its long-term goal to increase this figure to 33% by 2020.
Community support is vital for the growth of British enterprise. On 5th December, small businesses around the country celebrated ‘Small Business Saturday’ – an annual grass-roots initiative designed to encourage awareness of local enterprise. The day was a welcomed success. Around 75% of local councils took part in the event, and it is estimated that a total of £623 million was spent with small businesses on the day. The awareness generated from the social media campaign was also impressive; there were over 100,000 Tweets supporting the event, reaching out to approximately 25 million people.
As we look to the new opportunities on offer in 2016, IW Capital is soon to launch The High-Growth 16 Report, an in-depth infographic listing the top 16 SMEs to track in the New Year. The report has been developed on the basis of standout performance highlights and leadership traits that define their anticipated success on the UK SME scene, with a specific focus on innovation and growth.
We look forward to updating you on High-Growth 16 in January 2016.