The number of SMEs has grown in total by 23 per cent from 2011 to 2016, with office administration and business support being the top growth sectors at 76 per cent. Other top growth sectors in the past five years included human health services and motion picture, video, sound recording and music publishing – both of these industries have experienced a 50 per cent rise. This is according to a study from Hampshire Trust Bank, conducted in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Other industries which have performed well include the transportation and distribution sector, which has grown 41 per cent in the past five years, and domestic building constructors, which have grown by 38 per cent in the past five years. Nina Skero, head of macroeconomics at CEBR, said: “The service industries account for around 78 per cent of UK GDP, hence it is encouraging to see that over the past five years growth in the number of SMEs has been particularly strong in these sectors. “The buoyant confidence among SMEs is a further sign that these businesses will continue supporting economic growth. The UK is undergoing a period of great economic change and cultivating this optimism must be a priority.” A recent report by Nesta found that SMEs have disproportionately driven job creation since 2010 – accounting for 73 per cent of new private sector jobs created, while making up only 60 per cent of private sector employment. However, the growth in SME numbers across the UK varies – while there was an increase of 41 per cent in London, this figure stood at just four per cent in Northern Ireland. The top ten micro sectors by SME growth include: office admin and business support (76 per cent), human health services (50 per cent), motion picture, video, TV, sound recording and music publishing (50 per cent), other professional, scientific and technical (48 per cent), land transport and pipeline transport (46 per cent), head office and management consultancy (45 per cent), computer programming (44 per cent), architectural, engineering and technical testing (44 per cent), transportation and storage (41 per cent), and activities auxiliary to financial services and insurance activities (40 per cent).
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