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We work with businesses of all sizes and like the UK Government, we believe medium-sized business (MSB) is the sector where the most growth potential lies.
MSBs have grown faster, invested more, and improved both productivity and employment at better rates than either the small business or large firm sector*. In short, it is the UK’s growth engine.
It employs more than four million people but when it comes to exports, it lags behind its international equivalents, with only 29% of UK MSBs having international operations compared with 46% of the German ‘Mittelstand’*. This fact alone, when taken in context with the trebling in global trade flows by 2025, highlights the scale of opportunity for MSBs.
But to seize that opportunity the UK's MSBs need support in answering practical questions: How do we build our confidence and capability to export? How do we build joint ventures? How do we approach funding from a long-term rather than short-term perspective? How do we develop agility and move our culture on?
Answering these questions effectively requires a genuine client-centric perspective and insight into the cultural features of MSBs.
The role we play
We made a conscious decision in 1990 to focus on serving the MSB sector and our success since then has built a wealth of practical insight into the leadership dynamics of these organisations.
They’re often owner-managed, family-run and private-equity-financed, with real roots in their communities and a thought process different to the interests of shareholders and managers – and therefore more readily ‘purpose-led’.
MSBs have not only sat at the heart of our firm’s growth, their culture has informed our culture and we understand the emphasis they place on relationships – with their people, supply chains, customers and advisers. In helping them grow, we have understood the driving need to place the long-term relationships first and build trust steadily, based on an approach which is not governed by sales or self-interest.
Dynamic organisations on every scale, from start-up to large corporate, are frequently found in sectors where consumer expectations are shifting radically, including technology, media and telecoms, healthcare and food and beverage.
The solutions we can offer here range across audit and assurance services, tax advisory transactions, to business process services, talent development and growth advice.
Our strengths and credentials to do this
We’ve been a leader of growth for 25 years which means we know it inside-out.
This was why the UK Government selected us to lead the Business Growth Service. As part of the project we connected all the experts, data and providers and plugged 28,000 businesses into a valuable service that helped them grow four times faster than the average SME, creating 110,000 more jobs and attracting £155 million of investment.
Our recent award as Experian top corporate finance dealmaker, the outcomes achieved for our clients on our Growth 365 programme, our seven years of partnership with the Sunday Times Top Track 250 award and our substantial role in serving the critical UK medium-size business sector, all add to a set of substantial credentials.
* Statistics drawn from our Agents of Growth report, 2015
Aston manor cider
This privately owned producer of branded and ‘own label cider had no previous relationship with us when it joined Growth 365 in May 2014.
Their aim was to support international growth and in particular to understand opportunities in China and India. We’ve delivered a complete service as an integral adviser, using our global connectivity to review potential joint venture (JV) partners, analyse various local markets, make personal introductions to key people and practically support their trips – including hotels and English speaking drivers.
A similar range of services, including a mini-trade mission has helped the firm analyse and prepare them to enter the Indian market. Watch its managing director, Gordon Johncox, discuss the trade mission
Iomart was founded as a telecoms company and with our help, has grown and taken a new strategic direction, moving into the cloud computing sector, operating out of eight data centres, employing 350 people and increasing its market capitalisation from £25 million to £300 million in 10 years.
Since 2008 revenues have grown from £11 million to £66 million – half by organic growth and half by acquisitions.
A marine business
Our Southampton team has been working closely with a number of our top local growth coaches and we’ve developed a relationship with the CEO of a dynamic organisation in the commercial marine outfitting sector, who has led the business to a 40% increase in turnover (to £30 million) over the last two years.
over the course of 2015, msbs expected to increase turnover by 6.7% compared to expected growth of 6.1% for all businesses
in 2015 we were ranked no1 corporate finance adviser in the uk by experian corpfin for the fourth year running
msb exports grew 3.4% in 2014 (total export value of £37.2bn) with anticipated export growth of 4.5% in 2015
our business growth services team has serviced 40,000 clients from tech start-ups to large corporates
in the last three years our business growth services team has helped businesses raise £200m of external finance
we are ukti’s principal partner in the global entrepreneur programme helping entrepreneurs across 24 global markets to relocate to the uk
we have coordinated 196 trade missions and been responsible for supporting 6,579 uk businesses export to new markets
as the largest provider of growth services to innovate uk, we provide advice to 20,000 recipients of innovate uk’s r&d grant funding
we are the exclusive provider of investors in people to over 4,000 organisations in the south of england