SMES IN BRITAIN: INNOVATION, GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) represent 99% of all private businesses in Britain, with over £1.75 trillion worth of revenue generated in 2014 alone. Their unique economic value, entrepreneurial spirit and capacity to adapt to the ever-changing business environment have made SMEs pivotal in the development of disruptive technologies. As a result, Britain is currently ranked the second most innovative country in the world. Serving as one of the UK economy’s primary growth engines, British SMEs also represent the largest source of employment, hiring over 15.6 million people, the equivalent to 48% of Britain’s total private sector workforce.
SME job creation is set to rise as Britain continues to enhance its digital and knowledge-driven economies. Although London is internationally renowned as a leading hub of SME-driven innovation, particularly in the fintech industry, activity is not solely concentrated in the capital. Similar sentiments were recently revealed in the 2015 UK Export Epicentres Report, which found that SMEs in the South-East and the North-East of England are trading at higher levels than London.
New technology and financial practices are radically changing the way in which SMEs are able to function and grow. Government-backed schemes have played a pivotal role in removing traditional barriers and facilitating an environment that promotes entrepreneurship. Around Britain, more than 50,000 SMEs have taken advantage of the UK’s Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme, which is estimated to have contributed an additional £1,300 annual gross profit for each business. Tax-incentivised programs such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) also provide new sources of capital for SMEs finding it difficult to acquire funding from the bank. On the back of Britain’s nurturing business environment, a recent study of British SMEs found that over 50% of businesses are optimistic that they will experience up to 10% growth over the next year, as a consequence of their leading service proposition. According to separate reports, SMEs based in the information economy, financial services, high-med tech and low-med tech industries are anticipated to be leading this activity.
IW Capital is soon to launch a SME Heatmap that provides a timely insight into the sectors and regionally specific financial forecasts that define the next five years of SME-based investment. By identifying the high performance industries that will fuel economic progression, the infographic will also map out the geographical locations championing the UK’s pioneering status as a nation of trailblazing entrepreneurs.
We look forward to updating you on the SME Heatmap infographic.