Complex picture of firm growth and job creation across the UK highlighted in latest research.

 For business owners, being sent to Coventry might be just what they need to learn about creating jobs. And when it comes to growing a multimillion-pound turnover, entrepreneurs are better off basing themselves in Belfast and Aberdeen than London.

The surprising findings are revealed in new research published by the Enterprise Research Centre in its annual UK Local Growth Dashboard.

ERC, a consortium of leading university business schools, is the top UK research institute on the drivers behind private sector firm growth. The Dashboard provides the most comprehensive picture of growth among small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up 99% of all UK firms. Its key findings  have been  unveiled at ERC’s third annual State of Small Business Britain conference today  at The Shard in London.

Professor Mark Hart, Deputy Director of ERC, said:

“What we see in the Growth Dashboard is that firm growth and job creation is spread right across the UK and is not limited to a few cities or regions. Nor is it restricted to certain types of ‘fashionable’ high-growth firms – there’s a complex growth pipeline of companies in every corner of the country that have different support needs based on their individual ambitions.This is incredibly important to understand if we’re going to create an industrial strategy that capitalises on the strengths we already have without over-focusing on star firms, or regions labelled as ‘powerhouses’.”

Addressing the UK’s productivity problem, Prof Hart added:

“In aggregate, it’s certainly the case that the UK has a productivity problem. But we are too preoccupied with average productivity. Within that overall distribution we see some real productivity stars that we refer to as ‘growth heroes’. We need to learn the lessons from these companies and share the reasons behind their success more widely. This will be a major focus of this year’s State of Small Business Britain conference.”