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SMEs to boost Birmingham’s economy by massive £14 billion per year

  • SMEs will create 18,000 new jobs in Birmingham over the next five years
  • The number of SMEs in Birmingham has already soared by 20% since 2010
  • Birmingham SME growth down to city’s international airport, strong broadband connections and working age population growth

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will generate a whopping £13.8 billion in value added annually for Birmingham by 2020 according to a new report, which ranks the city in the UK’s top five for SME growth.

The research for npower Business by Capital Economics ranks Birmingham fourth in the country for SME growth prospects. The city’s enterprise zone, relatively low living costs and favourable demographics are among the factors behind the growth.

SMEs will create 18,000 new jobs in Birmingham by 2020 as a result, the report found. The number of SMEs in Birmingham has already increased by 20% since 2010, creating 31,400 new jobs in the city, Capital Economics said, with the city poised to flourish further.

Birmingham has existing SME “clusters” in two of the 10 fastest growing SME industries – health and education, the report notes, with growth underpinned by the city’s international airport, strong broadband connections and working age population growth.
The findings come in a national report that highlights the huge contribution that SMEs make to UK economic and employment growth. The 15 UK cities with the best growth prospects for SMEs will generate an additional £16 billion for the UK economy each year by 2020, it finds. SMEs currently provide jobs for a mighty 16.8 million people – over 50 percent of UK employment.

Philip Scholes, Head of npower Business, said: “It is fantastic to see SMEs thriving in Birmingham. The city has a much larger share of the country’s manufacturing than the national average, and it is exciting to see makers of everything from furniture to cars continuing to flourish in the city. SMEs have been the backbone of the country’s economy in recent years and as this research shows, there is significant opportunity for them to grow further in Birmingham in coming years.

“At npower Business, we are committed to working closely with SMEs to help support the huge contribution that they make to the economy.”

Dale Murray, CBE & Board Advisor at the Centre for Entrepreneurs: “The report highlights the fantastic opportunities in Birmingham for entrepreneurs to start new businesses and to expand existing ones.

She added: “SME growth will be crucial to the British economy over the next five years as they create tens of thousands of jobs. Birmingham’s policy makers must recognise how vital business rates, living conditions and workforce skills are to attracting SMEs and do everything they can to support them.”

npower Business and Dale Murray will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday 14 September at 11am to share detailed results from the report with SMEs and help them take advantage of growth opportunities. To find out more about the webinar please visit here.


Notes to Editors

About npower Business
npower Business is one of the leading energy suppliers to the UK business market, serving gas and electricity to more than 195,000 small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs). 

Dedicated to helping UK SMEs, by helping our customers better understand and manage energy, we help them to reduce their energy costs and in turn improve their bottom line.

We’re in touch with more than 1000 SMEs and through them, we hear what business owners want from their energy company and the issues they face when running a business.

npower Business is part of npower Group

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About Dale Murray
After an early corporate career, Dale co-founded Omega Logic, a technology "solution provider" that co-launched prepay mobile phone top-ups in the UK in 2001. She sold her company and began investing in startups, winning the British Angel Investor of the Year in 2011.

She now holds a number of board positions in the public and private sector and was honoured with a CBE in June 2013 by HM the Queen, for services to business. She served on the Business Taskforce for David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, in 2013 for a report on EU Red Tape. Debretts named her one of the "500 most influential people in Britain" in 2015.