Growth of UK scaleups spikes as young founders lead the charge

With the rise in scaleups that’s been documented by Smith & Williamson the number of fast-growth companies in Britain increased by 12% in 2016

Growth of UK scaleups spikes as young founders lead the charge

The UK is home to millions of startups and scaleup companies  and with record levels of companies launched, the entrepreneurial ecosystem is thriving like never before.

And now, research from Smith & Williamson, the investment group, reveals Britain has seen a 12% surge in the number of scaleup companies. A scaleup by definition is a company which has had its revenue and staff count rise 20% over three years and the number of the businesses in 2016 hit 35,210 from 31,440 the year before.

After interviewing over 500 scaleups and over 500 slower-growth businesses, the firm found that one in three in companies reach their growth level within three years. And very interestingly, 42% of scaleups were founded by entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 34, suggesting young founders are particularly hungry for growth.

Commenting on the report, John Morris, scale-up lead at Smith & Williamson, says: “We have uncovered considerable differences between scaleups and the rest of the business community, in both mentality and approach. But 91% of businesses want to grow further, and I am convinced almost any of them can emulate scaleup business success – provided they have the right growth toolkit.”

The research delves into the key traits businesses share. It includes a variety of factors such as attitude, technology and government support and said that 50% of scaleups attributed tech advances to their success, while only 18% of slower-growth firms agreed. Elsewhere, 34% also pointed to an innovative business plan while 27% of non-scaleup companies thought the same.Moreover, 37% of scaleups were confident that the UK government’s current policy would have a positive effect on their business, compared to 12% of non-scaleups.

While the challenge of sailing through the storm of uncertainty and sustaining growth among the increasing number of companies on the market continues with factors such as General Data Protection Regulation and Brexit on the  doorstep, seeing such a spike in entrepreneurs achieving scale will surely only fire up those eager to take their businesses to the next level.

Varsha Saraogi
Varsha Saraogi

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