By Claire West

New analysis published by Experian reveals that out of all the jobs created by small and medium sized enterprises in the UK over the last 10 years, 4.4 million were created by fewer than 10 per cent of SMEs.

According to Experian’s analysis, these ‘champion’ high-growth firms created two thirds of all the jobs within the SME community and identifying and nurturing potential champions holds the key to driving economic growth.

Charlotte Hogg, Managing Director of Experian UK & Ireland, said: “All eyes are on private sector SMEs to drive growth, but encouraging them to take the risks associated with growth at a time when they are focussing on survival will be a challenge. Our analysis tells that less than 10 per cent of SMEs firms have created millions of jobs in the last decade.

The challenge for Government is how to identify budding ‘champions’ and give them the support they need while still helping support the rest of the SME population who are the bedrock of the economy.

Our research shows that support focus should not be on just sectors. For Government, it will be key to ensure that the new Local Enterprise Partnerships and Regional Growth Fund do not over emphasise the high tech or green sectors because champions can exist in all sectors.

It is also not about regions.

Some of the least resilient areas in the UK have some of the highest levels of potential champions - driven by a need to innovate.
The key to driving rapid employment lies in the ability to identify potential champions — new and old — that share the same DNA as the 10 per cent that have fuelled employment over a ten year period. Our research shows that it absolutely matters who leads the business, and their experience, and it matters whether that business is linked with other high growth companies, and whether or not they have an international focus.”