HR · 30 November 2015

CBI sets out new measures championing scale-up businesses

New research from the CBI reveals scale-up companies contributed 59bn to the UK economy between 2010 and 2013
Industry body the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) is calling on the government to go further to encourage small and medium-sized business growth, outlining several measures it sees as key to boosting the sector.

In her fist speech as CBI director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn encouraged the government to review the tax system to guarantee it incentivises entrepreneurship, and improves access to skilled workers deemed essential for companies looking to scale-up by raising the general visa cap.

Fairbairn also suggested shortening the timeframe for payment for research and development tax credits as well as a process of raising awareness of the benefits of employee shared ownership schemes in small and medium sized firms.

Speaking at a CBI summit in London championing the UK’s SMEs, Fairbairn said: ‘scale-up companies have the potential to help re-balance our economy and bring recovery to every corner of the UK.

A recent survey conducted by the CBI entitled Life in the Fast Lane? reveals that between 2010 and 2013, so-called ‘scale-up? businesses contributed 59bn to the UK economy – the difference between economic recession and recovery.

Defined as those companies growing at an average rate of 20 per cent each year for three years, the survey finds that although scale-up firms represent just two per cent of companies in the UK, one in six jobs are created by these firms and the collective generate nearly a quarter of all private sector revenue.

as a country, we are good at telling the beginning of the story, Fairbairn added. The traditional story of’start-up Britain’, a single person, with a single idea and single-minded determination. We’re also good at telling the end of the story. The story of ‘Brand Britain’ of well-known firms which people recognise and interact with every single day.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.