New figures released last week show the largest increase in the UK business population since records began in 1995. Approximately 260,000 more businesses were found to be in operation according to the DTI’s Small Business Service.
The business population totalled 4.3 million last year, compared to around four million at the start of 2003.
The figures also show:
- There were over half a million more businesses than in 1997.
- The increase in the number of businesses is spread across the majority of industries.
- The proportion of national employment generated by SMEs has increased from last year to its highest level in nine years.
- At least 95 per cent of businesses in all industry sectors were SMEs.
The SBS also provides a full statistical breakdown of the Department of Trade and Industry report:
Almost all of these enterprises (99.3 per cent) were small (0 to 49 employees). Only 26,000 (0.6 per cent) were medium-sized (50 to 249 employees) and 6,000 (0.1 per cent) were large (250 or more employees).
At the start of 2004, UK enterprises employed an estimated 22.0 million people, and had an estimated combined annual turnover of £2,400 billion.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) together accounted for more than half of the employment (58.5 per cent) and turnover (51.3 per cent) in the UK.
Small enterprises alone (0 to 49 employees) accounted for 46.8 per cent of employment and 37.0 per cent of turnover.
You can find much more at the U.K. statistical website.