Tech SMEs highlighted as the top-performing sector

A total of 65 tech companies feature on London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report

The IT small and medium-sized (SME) sector saw an average annual revenue growth of 350% between 2010 and 2014, according to the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report which featured 65 tech companies on its 2015 list.

The second release of the annual report identifies the “UK’s most exciting and dynamic small and medium-sized businesses” and what they mean for economic growth and job creation.

The UK’s "digital revolution" was highlighted as the top-performing sector in the report.

Of the 1,000 companies featured on the list, 75% were based outside of London. The inclusion of SMEs in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales saw a 30% rise.

Business secretary Vince Cable launched the report and said: “These 1,000 exemplary businesses show how SMEs punch above their weight – more than doubling their revenue over the past four years to deliver growth and create jobs across the UK.

“The government is backing innovative and ambitious companies like these to grow and export their products all over the world, and I wish them continued success for the future.”

London Stock Exchange Group chief executive Xavier Rolet said the report is a significant part of the London Stock Exchange’s broader campaign to support UK high-growth companies in their journeys from “startup to stardom".

“I’m delighted that a strong alliance between the UK government, financial market participants, investors, entrepreneurs and companies has been created to support these inspiring businesses,” he said.

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The cyber security sector is estimated to be worth £3.4bn in 2017, up from £2.8bn in 2013.

Commenting on the report, Tech City Investment Organisation CEO and chair Joanna Shields said the UK has become a tech nation.

“In the past year, brilliant digital companies have continued to spring from collaborative communities of entrepreneurs, supported by established businesses and government," she said.

“All across the country these companies are disrupting traditional industries, forging innovative sectors and creating an entirely new way of doing business.”

Shields said the creation of the UK National Cluster Alliance, created by Tech City in 2013, has played an important role in this growth.

“The UK National Cluster Alliance was set up to engage digital businesses across the country, bringing together leading figures from thriving digital clusters with the specific purpose of using their collective expertise to accelerate digital growth in the UK,” she said.

According to Shields, big data, the internet of things and cloud computing are examples of areas in which Britain’s digital industry is leading the way. She said verticals that are seeing the most growth include financial tech, digital advertising and marketing, data management and analytics, software development, e-commerce, and media and entertainment.

“We are still at the beginning of an amazing journey," added Sheilds. "We must continue to support the tech sector and sustain our incredible rate of growth to date, consolidating our position as global leaders in this area.

“By capitalising on our core digital strengths and nurturing their development, we can help more cities across the UK become international leaders which will, in turn, ensure the continued prosperity of the British economy.”

The Scale-Up Report, published in 2014 by Sherry Coutu, showed that boosting the scale-up sector by just 1% would create as many as 230,000 new jobs and add £38bn to UK gross domestic product. Scale-ups currently make up 6% of UK businesses overall.

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