Import barriers and poor public transport links risk hindering UK business growth, new Barclaycard study finds
- New Barclaycard analysis finds that a one percentage point increase in public transport use is associated with 1,400 more businesses reaching the scale up phase over a 12-month period
- Access to imports also boosts scale up numbers – while increased inflation, competition and overheads have a negative relationship with the number of scale ups
- Today, a pool of fewer than 37,000 UK scale ups contribute more than £1.3 trillion to the UK economy
- The majority of business leaders believe they should trade overseas to secure growth
New analysis from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, has identified key external factors impacting the number of scale up companies in the UK – defined as businesses with at least 10 employees and average annualised growth of 20 per cent or more a year over the last three years.
The study, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), found that a one percentage point increase in public transport use would result in 1,400 more scale ups over a 12-month period. A good public transport system means scale ups can access talent based further away from their company’s offices, and with Wi-Fi increasingly available on public transport, this commuting time can be used productively.
Public transport is followed in importance by access to global markets, measured in terms of imports. Household income also ranks highly, with scale ups clearly benefitting when consumers have greater spending capacity.
The table below details the critical success factors with a strong impact – both positive and negative – on the number of scale ups in the UK, as identified through the Cebr analysis.
Relationship between critical success factors, and number of scale ups