Are SMEs in the UK Enjoying a “Golden Age”?

Research from a freshly-published government report into small firms has indicated that UK SMEs are currently in the midst of a “golden age”. Conservative peer Lord David Young was tasked by Prime Minister David Cameron with analysing small businesses over a five year period, from 2010-2015.

The results revealed a record number of SMEs were established during this time, with more than 5.2 million now set up. There has been an increase of 760,000 since 2010. Besides this, British SMEs now employ 30.8 million people, equating to 48% of private sector workers.

Lord Young said: “This is the golden age for small firms – there has never been a better time to start and grow a business.

“My report reflects on the key developments that the government and its partners have supported to raise ambition about enterprise and enable entrepreneurs to build successful businesses. Put these together and you can see the transformative effect on enterprise opportunities in the UK today.”

UK named most entrepreneurial in Europe

The statistics from this report are believed to have contributed to the UK being named by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute as the most entrepreneurial out of all the countries in Europe, and the fourth most entrepreneurial in the world.

Nick Willis, President of the UK200Group of independent chartered accountants and lawyers, reflected on a similar study into small businesses conducted in the 1970s. This report outlined a belief that SMEs would cease to exist after a few years.

He said: “While the future of small firms may have seemed lost in the 1970s, today’s picture couldn’t be more different and instead of doom we are seeing boom.

“This report just enforces what many of our members have been saying for a long time, that they are the key to continued economic revitalisation in Britain. Small businesses are the backbone of Britain and much of the economic success in recent years can be put down to their hard work and innovation.”

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