A celebration of the region's dynamic companies

London Stock Exchange Group launched the sixth annual edition of its ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report in June 2019, featuring some of the UK’s most dynamic and fastest growing companies.

Bod Buckby is Head of UK Primary Markets North at London Stock Exchange

The report showcases the diverse range of sectors these innovative companies are engaged in, from opera to gene editing, wood chippers to wind energy; reflecting the entrepreneurial drive seen across the UK.

Over two-thirds of the companies appeared in the report for the first time. The 1000 companies featured have also recorded an outstanding annual average revenue growth rate of 108 per cent.

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Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) – accounting for 60 per cent of all private sector employment and generating over 50 per cent of all private sector turnover – drive growth, innovation and job creation and are the lifeblood of the UK economy. Companies in this year’s report have created almost 96,000 jobs over the past two years, a near 40 per cent increase compared to the 2018 report.

Potential for further job creation is clear; the ScaleUp Institute estimates that a 1 per cent increase in the number of UK high-growth companies could drive an additional 238,000 jobs within three years.

North England and Scotland account for almost a quarter of the companies featured in the 2019 report. This includes 73 companies from Yorkshire and the Humber, including 22 from Leeds and 11 from East Riding of Yorkshire. The annual average revenue growth rate of Yorkshire and the Humber companies has also recorded a boost from last year, up to 86 per cent, making it one of the top five performing regions in the UK.

Featured companies from the region include JAY-BE. The father and son business, which can trace its roots to the early 1800s, is one of the UK’s most distributed bed brands, supplying approximately 1,000 retailers around the world. Also included is OE Electrics Group, which designs and manufactures electrical power, USB charging and data connectivity solutions. Its products can be found in call centres, hospitals and home offices. Aquaculture genetics firm Benchmark Holdings has now featured in the 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report for the fifth consecutive year.

These are just three businesses that illustrate the dynamic and diverse high growth companies operating in Yorkshire and the Humber. And they’re making an impact - the 73 companies from the region have generated almost £2.3bn in total turnover and created almost 6000 jobs over the past two years.

Access to growth finance is key to ensure that companies with high growth potential can continue to grow, innovate and create jobs. However, more needs to be done to ensure companies are aware of their financing options and have access to both financial and non-financial support for their development.

While one of the UK’s great strengths is the variety of finance available to companies, a recent report published by British Business Bank found that 56 per cent of SMEs are not aware of funding channels such as venture capital, equity crowd-funding and angel investment, and have not considered using equity finance.

In addition, the proportion of these companies seeking external finance decreased to 36 per cent in 2018 from 44 per cent in 2012. Further support for enabling access to finance comes from The Scaleup Institute’s 2018 report, which found that companies exhibiting higher turnover growth and higher employee growth are more likely to have used equity finance.

AIM, our world-leading growth market is a vital source of equity finance for growing businesses having raised over £110bn for nearly 4,000 companies since it was launched 24 years ago.

Around 70 per cent of the capital raised on AIM is through further issues, highlighting the long-term nature of growth capital available from institutional investors.

Over 200 companies from the UK have joined ELITE, LSEG’s pioneering platform and ecosystem that helps private, ambitious companies grow and raise capital. These include Brewdog, FIRST Agency, LendInvest and La Fosse Associates, all companies featured in our report. 11 companies from Yorkshire and the Humber are also part of the ELITE community.

Findings from the ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ 2019 report highlight how important high growth companies from Yorkshire and the Humber are the to the UK economy. Despite the current macroeconomic uncertainty, companies in the region have continued to thrive, recording high revenue growth rates and an increase in job creation from 2018. Ensuring that dynamic growth companies can realise their potential is vital to the UK’s current and future prosperity.

The 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019 report is available at www.1000companies.com