UK Growth Dashboard 2018

21 June 2018

Business growth snapshot shows Brexit ‘crunch spots’

• Firms in Northern Ireland and parts of the North of England show strong growth and productivity gains in latest annual study of SMEs
• Coastal and rural areas display lower numbers of fast-growing firms, leaving them vulnerable to economic shock
• Experts warn threat of more complex trading arrangements could undo recent success of firms in some regions


Brexit’s threat to burgeoning small firms in Northern Ireland and less dynamic areas of England, Wales and Scotland is underscored in the latest annual health-check of the UK’s SMEs.

The UK Local Growth Dashboard 2018, published by the Enterprise Research Centre, paints a stark picture of the nation’s varied growth geography among small and medium-sized enterprises.




Micro-business Britain

21 June 2018

‘Digital dividend’ productivity boost for UK’s micro firms

• Biggest ever study of UK ‘micro-businesses’ (with 1-9 employees) shows big boosts to productivity from use of digital technologies
• Doubling adoption could provide a ‘digital dividend’ boost to the economy worth £16.6bn
• Research points way to boosting output of group of firms traditionally seen as ‘drag’ on national productivity
The UK’s army of micro-businesses could boost the economy by £16.6bn with greater adoption of five key digital technologies shown to supercharge productivity.

The largest ever study of so-called micro-businesses – those employing between one and 9 staff – conducted by the Enterprise Research Centre is the first to put hard numbers on the effect digital adoption can have on productivity for the smallest firms.

Three more years of enterprise research announced

15 February 2018

The Enterprise Research Centre has secured funding for three further years of research on the state of entrepreneurship and SME growth in the UK.
ERC are delighted to announce that the ESRC, along with funding partners BEIS, Innovate UK, the British Business Bank and the Intellectual Property Office will be funding an exciting programme of research and engagement at the Centre for the next three years. We will continue to cement the reputation of the ERC as the ‘go to’ place for rigorous and independent research and insight on SME innovation, productivity and growth. We look forward to further developing our excellent working relationships with stakeholders across the research, policy and business communities to produce high quality, impactful research.

Why do some firms survive a crisis and others don’t? Europe-wide study launched to find out

9 February 2018

An international study of small and medium-sized firms has been launched to find out why some are more resilient than others when a crisis hits, at both the level of the firm and in the wider economy.
Small and medium-sized businesses make up 99 per cent of all firms across Europe and provide around 70 per cent of employment.

During the financial crisis of 2007-08 the Federation of Small Business (FSB) estimated that up to 50 companies were closing every day in the UK, and yet many survived and there are now more SMEs than ever with the FSB calculating there were 5.7 million in the UK in 2017.

The two-year study, supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, will involve surveying 3,000 SMEs – defined as firms with less than 250 employees – in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan and Madrid.

Press release -The taxpayer tech dividend: R&D grants provide £43bn economic boost 7 September 2017

8 September 2017

7th September 2017

The taxpayer tech dividend: R&D grants provide £43bn economic boost, study finds
• Largest ever study shows public R&D grants turbo-charge growth in UK’s industries of the future
• Innovation grants stimulated £43bn additional turnover and created estimated 150,000 jobs
• Employment is boosted by around a fifth, turnover by a quarter – but regional variations are substantial

Taxpayer support for high-tech innovation benefits the economy by significantly boosting jobs, turnover and productivity among the companies backed, new research has found.
Over a 13-year period, R&D grants spurred growth worth £43bn to the British economy – more than five times the £8bn invested – and created around 150,000 jobs.
But the study - the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, carried out by the Enterprise Research Centre – also found big variations in the types of firms most likely to benefit from grants, as well as regional differences in the strength of the effects.
Scientific and technological innovation is seen by the Government as a key plank of its new industrial strategy.


GEM UK 2015 Report

12 May 2016

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UK Report, published [12th May], analysed early-stage start-up activity as part of an in-depth study into entrepreneurial trends, attitudes and aspirations in 2015.
It found people who live in the UK but were born overseas have a significantly higher rate of Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) than the life-long resident population. UK-born returning migrants also have a significantly higher rate of TEA than the life-long resident population.
The report, written by experts from Aston Business School in Birmingham and University of Strathclyde's Business School in Glasgow, reveals 15.4 per cent of immigrants were early-stage entrepreneurs in 2015, compared to 10.5 per cent of UK-born returning migrants.

ERC HGF’s Insight paper. February 2016

21 April 2016

Analysis by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), the UK’s leading independent institute for research into small and medium size businesses, shows that the number of ‘high-growth firms’ (HGFs) across the UK has risen to 11,855 – the largest number since the dotcom boom of the early 2000s.
Number of high growth firms – seen as indicator of economic health – reaches nearly 12,000, highest level since the dotcom boom.
The number of companies achieving high growth in the nations and regions of the UK is rising more than twice as fast as in London, new research suggests.
Read the full press release below.

ERC HGF’s Insight paper. February 2016

18 February 2016

Analysis by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), the UK’s leading independent institute for research into small and medium size businesses, shows that the number of ‘high-growth firms’ (HGFs) across the UK has risen to 11,855 – the largest number since the dotcom boom of the early 2000s.
Number of high growth firms – seen as indicator of economic health – reaches nearly 12,000, highest level since the dotcom boom.
The number of companies achieving high growth in the nations and regions of the UK is rising more than twice as fast as in London, new research suggests.
Read the full press release below.

Unlocking UK Productivity

16 November 2015

SME growth ambition key to UK productivity puzzle

UK productivity to be boosted by increasing exporting and innovation among small and medium sized firms.

Britain’s productivity is falling behind other economies because it is slower to turn ambitious smaller firms into exporters of innovative new products and services, according to a new report.

With more support, it is estimated that up to 110,000 small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could become regular exporters, adding an extra £1.15 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy in the first year alone in the form of new and higher value jobs.

The report published today, Unlocking UK Productivity has been co-authored by Goldman Sachs, the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) and the British Business Bank (BBB). Its findings draw heavily on the core research themes of ERC for the past three years.