Since 2000 the number of MSBs has risen by 11% compared with 6% for small businesses and a decline of 17% for large businesses. Despite the economy, their turnover and headcount are rising. Their export growth is faster than that of any other category of business. They are highly productive, with productivity virtually on a par with that of large capital intensive firms and very much higher than smaller businesses.
Despite this they receive little attention and do not have an independent voice. This is partly because they are diverse in their nature. But they are the forgotten sector – a defect that this report tries to remedy by setting out the facts and tracking the progress of the sector. There is no good data available on the ages of medium sized businesses but I have a theory that many of today’s successes were the small businesses formed in the Thatcher era – they are Thatcher’s children as it were. The vitality released in the UK in the 1980s has trained on into today’s MSB success.
The next decade is likely to be a tough one for British business as it adapts to the new world created by the industrialisation of two thirds of the world’s economy. We will have to compete with people who pay themselves 10p for every £1 we pay ourselves and who increasingly can do anything that we can.
Every potential success story in the UK will have to be nurtured and supported. This report identifies a key sector that will need to be observed, tracked and supported. It is vital that this happens and this report is the first step in understanding an outstanding British success.
Douglas McWilliams – Founder & Chief Executive of the CEBR
Please download the full report below, or visit Grant Thornton’s mini-site here