Expert commentary by Michael Moore, Director General, BVCA
The UK is internationally recognised as a home of innovation. We have the talent, the technology and, crucially, the funding. We attract businesses, entrepreneurs and capital from across the world and, as the country embraces its new role on the global stage, it is imperative our position at the forefront of the technological revolution is not only maintained but enhanced. Our start-ups, scaleups and growth companies are key to this.
For the UK economy to thrive, both in the immediate term and in the future, as we address the challenges arising from the COVID-19 crisis, we need a business and investment environment that nurtures and actively promotes entrepreneurship and fast-growing businesses. To that end, 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain continues to be an excellent initiative, acting as a showcase for the extraordinary work being undertaken throughout the country.
As the UK Government embarks on a strategy to address the post-COVID recovery of the UK economy and ongoing productivity challenges present in different parts of the country – while simultaneously ensuring we have an outward-looking, internationally-focused economy – start-ups and scaleups will be a core component in achieving those aims.
For evidence, look no further than the research the BVCA published in March, where we explored the economic impact of angel investment and venture capital. We found there are in excess of 21,000 businesses operating in the UK which have raised angel or venture capital in the last five years and, combined, they employ more than 220,000 people.
Together these companies generate £36.5bn in turnover and contribute almost £20bn to the UK’s economic output. Even more impressive is the effect these businesses have on the wider economy. Once you factor in the impact on the supply chain and other areas, this translates into well over half a million jobs and more than £37bn of gross domestic product.
These are clearly very significant numbers and, while the study was conducted before the pandemic, the results nevertheless underline just how important high-growth companies are to the UK’s economic success. We must ensure the UK remains a leading destination for investment, and a place that attracts the people that entrepreneurs’ businesses need to grow and succeed. As this very publication demonstrates, we are doing it already. Now, we need to make sure we not only keep doing it, but do it even better.
“We attract businesses, entrepreneurs and capital from across the world and, as the country embraces its new role on the global stage, it is imperative our position at the forefront of the technological revolution is not only maintained but enhanced”