Businesses leading Britain 2013

UK Futures

November 2013

The UK economy has recently shown some welcome signs of life. Five years after the financial crisis, expansion and international competitiveness are the new focal points for British business.

Key findings

  • Deloitte's '1,000 Businesses Leading Britain' have provided a cornerstone for the economic turnaround growing revenues by £45 billion and employment by 200,000 over the last four years. This ambitious cohort of companies now accounts for 8.7 per cent of UK GDP.
  • The hallmarks of success of these businesses point to three rules for growth: a focus on niche markets, a leader who is visionary and an export-led growth strategy.
  • Government and businesses need to work together to create an environment that is conducive to success. By setting out a clear agenda both parties can provide the most appropriate and targeted financial and professional support.

Executive summary

Growth and job creation in the United Kingdom are heavily reliant on the success of medium-size businesses, a segment which accounts for just over 300,000 businesses in the United Kingdom. These businesses are very much the bellwether of the UK economy.

Indeed, our research shows that the gloomy economic conditions of the past five years have not affected all medium-sized businesses – an important cohort that has been able to grow and outperform even the most difficult economic circumstances. In which regions are these companies based? What are the secrets behind their growth? And, in what ways might government and business further strengthen their growth?

To answer these questions Deloitte has identified a cohort of 1,000 firms that have been leading the way for home-grown economic growth, with the 'Leading 50' businesses achieving 73 times faster growth than the national average between 2009 and 2012.

The hallmarks of success of these medium-sized businesses point to three rules of growth: a focus on niche markets; a leader who is visionary; and an export-led growth strategy.

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