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Peer2Peer Finance News | September 18, 2019

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Young entrepreneurs leading scale-up growth

Young entrepreneurs leading scale-up growth
Tim Evershed

YOUNG entrepreneurs are taking the lead as the number of scale-up businesses in the UK continues to grow, according to new research.

The number of start-up businesses that are successfully scaling up increased by 12 per cent in 2016, according to research from accountancy firm Smith & Williamson.

Almost half of scale-up companies are headed by 18 to 34-year-olds, despite making up just 18 per cent of founders across all businesses.

A scale-up is a business which has grown in either headcount or revenue by 20 per cent for three consecutive years, from a starting position of 10 or more employees.

“It’s been fascinating to gain insight into how such extremely successful companies think and feel,” said John Morris, scale-up lead at Smith & Williamson.

“We have uncovered considerable differences between scale-ups and the rest of the business community, in both mentality and approach.

“But 91 per cent of businesses want to grow further, and I am convinced almost any of them can emulate scale-up business success – provided they have the right growth toolkit.”

Read more: Businesses feel a lack of government support

According to Smith & Williamson there were 35,210 scale-ups in 2016, up from 31,440 the year before.

Half of all high-growth companies said that tech advances have been critical to their growth, compared to just 18 per cent of slower-growth firms.

Read more: Small business using big data but missing trick on AI

And 34 per cent also believe that having an innovative business plan has been key to their success.

“Scale-ups are more optimistic, more bullish and consequently less risk averse. They embrace technology and innovation, using it to their advantage,” said Morris.

“They are eager for growth and foster a culture of learning and openness, while keeping a close eye on the competition.”

Read more: SMEs feeling bullish despite economic uncertainty