Study sheds light on SME growth trends

A new study has revealed the UK’s top business sectors in terms of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth.

The research, which comes from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and Hampshire Trust Bank, reveals that the total number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the UK grew by almost a quarter between 2011 and 2016.

The office administration and business support sector welcomed the highest number of new SME entrants during that period, the research reveals, growing by 76 per cent over the five years studied.

This sector was closely followed by the transport and distribution sector, which grew by 41 per cent over the same period, and the domestic building and construction sector, which grew by 38 per cent.

Furthermore, the research also assessed each sector in terms of business confidence, finding that the transport sector was the most confident overall, with 60 per cent of firms optimistic about their long-term growth.

This was followed by the real estate sector, with 53 per cent of firms feeling optimistic about their future.

Nina Skero, Head of Macroeconomics at CEBR, said: “The service industries account for around 78 per cent of UK GDP, hence it is encouraging to see that over the past five years growth in the number of SMEs has been particularly strong in these sectors.

“The buoyant confidence among SMEs is a further sign that these businesses will continue supporting economic growth.

“The UK is undergoing a period of great economic change and cultivating this optimism must be a priority.”