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The State of Small Business: Putting UK entrepreneurs on the map

A data-led guide to the state of small business in the UK, examining local-authority level characteristics of SME growth, productivity and other factors.

A data-led guide to the state of small business in the UK, examining local-authority level characteristics of SME growth, productivity and other factors.

Key findings

  • SMEs have disproportionately driven job creation since 2010

  • High productivity doesn’t accompany high survival rates

  • Digital infrastructure without digital skills and tools will likely not boost productivity

This report, produced by the UK’s innovation foundation Nesta in collaboration with the UK technology company Sage, is a data-led guide to the state of SMEs in the UK. We break down the SME landscape, looking at factors such as productivity, rates of growth, and business churn to provide a view of how small business is faring in our towns, cities, and rural areas across the UK. Our analysis then seeks to identify some of the environmental factors that support or hinder the strength of the UK’s SMEs at a local level, from skills to infrastructure.

It is accompanied by a comprehensive data-guide to the SME landscape for every UK local authority, online at www.stateofsmallbiz.com. We hope that this data tool, along with the findings of this report, gives policymakers and elected representatives at every level of government, from Whitehall to town hall, the data they need to make informed and evidence-led policy decisions to support their local SMEs.

Authors

Harriet Maltby, Christopher Haley, Andrew Ledger and Jonathan Bone

 

Erratum: In the first publication of this report, Figure 11 incorrectly showed ONS data for 2013-16 rather than 2007-16. This has been amended.

Authors

Jonathan Bone

Jonathan Bone

Jonathan Bone

Quantitative Researcher

Jonathan’s research at Nesta focuses on two key areas: 1) understanding how digital entrepreneurship can be supported across Europe (as part of the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) a...

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Christopher Haley

Christopher Haley

Christopher Haley

Head of New Technology & Startup Research

Chris leads Nesta's research interests into how startups and new technologies can drive economic growth, and what this means for businesses, intermediaries and for the government.

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