Ingenious Britain slams Hiscox report on “unproductive” UK SMEs

A report published recently by insurance firm Hiscox claims that small business owners in the UK work fewer hours than their counterparts in the US, Germany, France, Netherlands and Spain. 

According to the Hiscox survey of 500 small businesses in six countries, British entrepreneurs work an average of 37.6 hours a week, compared to an average of more than 41 hours in other countries.

Ingenious Britain has now waded into the debate, saying Hiscox’s research is “unhelpful” and does not reflect the reality of many of Britain’s small business owners. Ingenious Britain is an SME campaign that aims to provide advice and support to encourage business growth. More than 25,000 SMEs are signed up to the campaign.

“Cheap little throwaway headlines”

“This is really the least helpful kind of research, put together and then presented as a factual representation of a whole industry,” says Ingenious Britain director Mark Moore. “There are more than five million SMEs in the UK, and it would seem that Hiscox has surveyed around 80 of them, presenting their results as a representative sample. 

“The SME sector is vital to the UK economy, as they are at the heart of economic growth, providing 60 per cent of private sector jobs and half of private sector turnover. The majority that are in contact with us work incredibly hard to build and sustain their businesses.

“Cheap little throwaway headlines like this do nothing to support them in this tentative recovery phase.”

Hiscox’s research also claimed that the average annual holiday taken by UK entrepreneurs was 21.4 days a year, the highest apart from Germany.

“I don’t understand the notion that taking time off is a bad thing,” says Moore. “We know that time off to recharge your batteries provides vital thinking time about your business and its direction, enhances your productivity on return and that most small business owners continue to work even when they have taken physical holiday away from the business.”

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