A small number of high-growth businesses can make a massive impact

Mid-sized businesses in the UK are a small community, widely overlooked and hidden, which have a massive, disproportionate impact on the country’s economy. In fact, they account for 22 per cent of economic revenue and 16 per cent of total employment – remember, we are talking about 10,000 companies: that represents less than one per cent of firms in the UK.

Of course, the UK isn’t the only nation with such an army of high-growth champions. But we treat them differently. In Germany, Mittelstand firms are celebrated as the engine of the economy, responsible for a sizeable chunk of the country’s exports. Here in the UK, government and media tend to focus on the country’s smallest and largest firms – neglecting the precious middle.

“Our type of businesses are the lifeblood of the country, but there simply is no money available from government to support us (we have looked long and hard) and the banks are significantly more cautious and require more security than ever before,” commented one of the UK’s 10,000 Champions jimharlow, MD of Qlog.

The CBI’s Future Champions report made the case that the economy could grow significantly over the next ten years, if the challenges facing mid-sized businesses (MSBs) in the UK can be overcome. Whether or not we can push our forgotten army of champions further will depend on ambition, confidence, and appetite for taking risks.

The growth challenge is big for MSBs, with an apparent lack of government support and economic despair across Europe. The good news is, we are growing with you and determined to champion your contribution. Real Business is the UK’s most active network of high-growth, mid-sized businesses and it is our job to bring together the magic 10,000 to face the growth challenge in a hyper-competitive global economy. Today we welcomed our own magic 10,000th Twitter follower on @real_business.

Our Real Business community is growing, even against the backdrop of difficult economic circumstances. Mid-sized UK firms face finance challenges, export challenges, digital challenges, management challenges, and have even more potential waiting to be unlocked.

Our mission at Real Business is to bring together mid-sized business leaders via realbusiness.co.uk, on Twitter, and at our regular events. Thanks to all the 10,000 champions and we will see you at next week’s Entrepreneurs’ Summit!

The Growth Challenge will be the theme at the 2012 Investec Entrepreneurs’ Summit, supported by the CBI, Land Rover and Spring Law, on June 13 at the London InterContinental, Park Lane. This will be the most high-density gathering of high-growth businesses in the UK this year.

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