The UK is brimming with entrepreneurial energy, now is the time to focus on empowering businesses to scale-up

With the economy continuing to grow and a record number of businesses starting up in 2015 [1] , the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK is thriving. Businesses of all sizes have a strong appetite to grow and channeling that energy into scaling-up is integral for the UK's future growth prospects.

Scaling-up is the act of growing quickly, whether through creating new jobs, increasing turnover or investing in your business. In recent years a number of reports have underlined the importance and economic value of fast growth businesses:

    • NESTA found that the fastest growing 6 per cent of UK businesses generated half of the new jobs between 2002 and 2008.[2]
    • Octopus Investments have heralded the impact of fast growth small businesses who created 1 in 3 jobs in 2014.[3]
    • Sherry Coutu's 'Scale-Up Report' estimated that a 1% boost to the UK's scale-up population would drive an additional £38bn worth of GVA within three years.[4]

Our ambition for this report:

This report aims to build on that existing evidence with particular focus on fast-growing medium sized businesses – often the unsung heroes of the UK economy. Produced in partnership with Experian and Lloyds Bank its conclusions are based not only on data analysis, but also in-depth interviews with over 50 inspiring leaders of medium sized, scale-up businesses based in the UK. The key findings are:

  • Scaling-up medium sized businesses are the heroes of the UK economy; without the additional £59bn these fast growth MSBs generated between 2010-13, the UK would have been in recession over that period
  • More MSBs could scale-up – between 2005 and 2008, 15% of them were able to achieve scale-up status, versus 11% in the most recent period
  • Businesses from any region, any sector and any age can scale-up – an ambitious mindset is what unites them
  • Based on the advice and insights of fast growth companies across the UK, there are 6 key factors that can stimulate your company to scale-up – such as, selling the scale-up journey to hire the best people

Through harnessing the insights of fast growth medium sized businesses, the report also intends to provide practical guidance into the choices that can fuel fast growth and profile how these dynamic firms overcame roadblocks on their way to success. In doing so we want to encourage more companies to follow their lead and gain insight into the key decisions that matter to spurring growth.

In partnership with:

“Experian “Lloyds

Disclaimer: The quantitative analysis and stakeholder engagement were undertaken in partnership with Experian and Lloyds Banking Group. The CBI is responsible for the written content of the report and government recommendations.


[1], 2015

[2] NESTA, The Vital 6%, 2009

[3] Octopus Investment, High Growth Small Business Report, 2015

[4] Sherry Coutu CBE, The Scale-Up Report, 2014

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