The search is on for the fastest-growing firms in eight UK nations and regions.

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The Fast Growth 50 list, which has an impressive 25-year history  of identifying the fastest growing firms in Wales, is now embarking on a national expansion across the UK, sponsored by the world’s leading global wealth manager, UBS.

Since it published its first list in 1999, the Fast Growth 50 has been working with the top-performing fast-growth firms in Wales, recognising their achievements and helping them to make a difference to the Welsh economy. Over this period, the firms that have appeared on the annual listings have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated billions of pounds to the Welsh economy. Because of this, the Fast Growth 50 is firmly established as the list of business success that entrepreneurs across Wales aspire to. 

The goal of the awards is to promote those small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may well prove to be the innovators that lead our local towns and regions through some tough economic times. According to the latest report from the Scaleup Institute, fast-growth firms - which are normally defined as achieving 20% growth per annum - make up less than 0.6% of the UK business population but represent 50% of the total SME turnover output.

Research has also shown that this small group of firms are more productive, innovative, and export-oriented than other businesses and despite an impending recession, nine of ten plan to grow further in 2023. They make a massive contribution to the UK economy and the now national Fast Growth 50 will publish a detailed list of fast-growing firms in eight nations and regions across the UK namely the East of England, London, the Midlands, North of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South of England, and Wales.

By creating a list of 400 fast-growing ‘local heroes’, this programme will also make a significant contribution to the levelling-up agenda that is currently driving UK Government’s economic policy and recognise the best businesses in the nation.

The Fast Growth 50 list will open for applications on March 1, 2023 and those named to the list will be celebrated at awards events to be held in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds and London in October and November.

The founder of the Fast Growth 50, Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, is delighted that the project is now being replicated across the UK:

“Since we published our first list, we have seen the massive impact that the fastest growing firms in Wales have had on the economy with 701 businesses creating 55,000 jobs and generating £30 billion of additional turnover, much of which is spent in their local area. In 2023, we are proud to be taking this important programme and series of events nationally as we believe it is important to highlight the impact that the best-performing businesses have on every nation and region in the UK. 

“For example, it is estimated that the 400 high-growth firms we will be identifying in 2023 will have increased their sales by £4 billion per annum and generated 20,000 new jobs every year. That is an incredible contribution that will encourage many other businesses to follow in their footsteps to generate wealth across every part of the UK.”. 

Mark Goddard, Head of UK Regions at UBS Global Wealth Management said:

“We’re proud to see UBS become the lead sponsor of the Fast Growth 50 list, as it expands to shine a spotlight on the fastest-growing small businesses across the UK. Business owners and entrepreneurs are the engine of our economy, and UBS has a long history advising and connecting them on each stage of their wealth journey, helping them to unlock their potential. We look forward to joining the Fast Growth 50 team on this journey and can’t wait to see what ideas, innovation, and talent we uncover during the process”.

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