Back in March, we revealed how new insights from the ScaleUp Institute showed that the number of businesses achieving ‘scale-up’ status in the UK had significantly increased to over 36,000, with over 480 of these from Oxfordshire.
The report also revealed that the top-five of these Oxfordshire scale-ups by employment growth were: Virtua, Silbury, AgilityWorks, Oxford Economics and YASA Motors, while the top-five for turnover growth were; Oxford Nanopore, Rebellion, Gigaclear, Circassia and Virtua.
Based on 2017 Office for National Statistics data, the report also highlighted the strength of small and growth businesses in Oxfordshire, a county that has the second fastest-growing economy of all UK cities (Irwin Mitchell report- autumn 2017).
Oxfordshire scale-ups are now employing over 49,000 staff and their turnover is worth an estimated £5.2 billion, with eight out of 10 expecting to scale again over the rest of 2019, generating £1.5 billion more in turnover and creating an extra 7,000 jobs, according to the results of the last ScaleUp business survey.
The ScaleUp Institute is a not-for-profit organisation with the ambition of making the UK the best place to grow and scale-up a business.
With a thriving business community, Oxfordshire also boasts significant business survival rates, with 49.3% of 2,790 new businesses created in Oxfordshire in 2011 still in operation in 2016 (ONS report - November 2017).
The Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy, set to launch at our 2018/19 Annual Review event, is underpinned by the five foundations of productivity: Ideas, People, Places, Infrastructure and Business Environment.
This final strand is based around the priority of addressing identified business challenges (including access to premises and finance) to ensure the region can ‘maximise its commercial and innovative potential’.
Whilst a location seen to drive growth, and with over 31,000 VAT registered businesses across a whole array of sectors, many firms in Oxfordshire continue to struggle to grow to scale and do not translate ideas into business growth as well as some other competitor locations.
One key way the Oxfordshire Local Industrial Strategy aims to enhance the county’s business support offer, is through the Growth Hub, otherwise known as OxLEP Business. In particular, this focuses on the eScalate scale-up programme, providing a service that delivers dedicated support for high growth potential businesses.
Now in its fifth year, the ScaleUp Survey 2019 is currently gathering responses and wants to hear from scale-up and fast-growing businesses from across the UK on the main barriers holding back growth, as they seek to improve the business environment.