By Maximilian Clarke

Major innovations that are already shaping business globally over the next decade are being driven by innovative smaller enterprises, not corporates, says business intelligence providers Index B.

Its new “Ones to Watch” report highlights 25 companies that embody six powerful emerging trends that are already shaping the major economies and will continue to do so over the next decade.

Companies highlighted in the report are of all shapes and sizes from around the globe, which collectively represent the commercial landscape of the future but small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) predominate as the leaders of innovation.

“Whilst it is fashionable to characterise the year ahead as one laden with unpredictability, this view is still quite selective and too hasty,” says John Owrid, CEO of Index B and co-author of the report. “In fact the future is more predictable than often realised.”

“While most commentators focus on short-term macro-economic forces, the business world is being reshaped by long-term trends, and the companies that reflect these trends are increasingly important for economic growth — and worth watching.

“It is not large corporates driving these trends; it is primarily innovative businesses — although often they ultimately often get taken over by large corporates: Apple taking over Siri in order to use its innovative voice recognition technology for its new mobile phones is a good example.”

Roger Trapp, the report’s co-author and a leading commentator and author on small business issues, added: “Overall smaller companies are now the forerunners of behavioural change, and it is good news that British companies feature heavily in the report — the UK is definitely at the head of the curve in terms of having a good share of innovative smaller businesses that will shape the future. London’s Silicon Roundabout gets a lot of publicity, but it embodies the spirit of tech-savvy entrepreneur and will prove a huge asset for the UK economy.

“It also presents a major challenge to government policy, which has previously relied on handing billions in grants and subsidies to large companies to create jobs and skill-creation. This has always had disappointing results, and as a viable approach now looks hopelessly dated in a decade when innovation and employment comes from the self-employed and smaller businesses.”

The Ones to Watch report from Index B is available to download here

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