‘County needs more fast-growing SMEs’

JUST one in 50 Yorkshire workers are employed by a high growth small business (HGSB), according to a new survey.

The study, which is published today, indicates that more than one third of all HGSBs are found in London and the South East,

The findings

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of the report, which was produced for Octopus Investments by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, reveals a stark North-South economic divide.

The report states: “There are nearly 30,000 HGSBs in the UK, but due to their unequal footprint across the country, not all regions are benefiting from the positive impact these businesses can have on local economies.”

Economic growth is higher in those regions with the most HGSBs, the report states. In the South East, where there are 5,366 HGSBs, the economy grew by 2.2 per cent in 2013. But in Yorkshire and the Humber, where there are less than half the number of HGSBs (2,147), the economy grew by just 1.4 per cent. Employment growth was 2.9 per cent in London in 2012-2013 while in Yorkshire and the Humber, employment grew by just 2.1 per cent. Almost one in 25 workers in London is employed by an HGSB.

Simon Rogerson, chief executive of Octopus Investments, said: “While it’s clear that some areas of the country are benefiting from the remarkable contribution that HGSBs make, there is much more that needs to be done to nurture the growth of more fast growing companies across the UK.”

High growth small businesses are defined as those with an annual turnover of between £1m and £20m and with annual growth greater than 20 per cent over a three year period.