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Greater Birmingham booming: small firms race to £1m turnover

Greater Birmingham booming: small firms race to £1m turnover

🕔24.Jun 2015

The proportion of new firms in the West Midlands generating a £1 million turnover within three years of starting up is running above the national average in yet another sign of the booming Greater Birmingham economy.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area has the highest SME scale-up rate in England after London, according to the Enterprise Research Centre.

Some 7.1 per cent of firms in Greater Birmingham generate a £1 million turnover within three years – compared with an average of 6.2 per cent in England.

Last week it was revealed that more foreign businesses invested in the GBSLEP area in 2014-15 than any other LEP region. The area attracted 73 new Foreign Direct Investment projects, nine per cent more than the next highest LEP.

The scale-up figures were released ahead of the first Venturefest WM show at the NEC on June 30, a free event for 450 of the region’s entrepreneurs and innovators to generate new ideas and contacts.

Dr Ruth McKernan, chief executive of Innovate UK, the Government body that supports SMEs with high growth potential, will address delegates and discuss the West Midlands’ strong track record in supporting the growth and development of its smaller firms. She said:

The West Midlands is home to some of the UK’s strongest innovators and entrepreneurs. Only by innovating will we create the new jobs and industries of tomorrow.

With SME growth and start-up rates returning to pre-recession levels, now is the time for innovative firms in the region to capitalise on an upturn in business confidence – to grow their market share, form new partnerships and further develop their products.

Dr McKernan will be joined at Venturefest WM by key speakers including Sir Peter Rigby, chairman and chief executive of Rigby Group plc; Patrick McCarron, partnerships executive at UK Trade & Investment (UKTI); and Simon Hill, CEO of ideas-sharing platform Wazoku, one of the UK’s fastest growing software firms.

Topics covered at the exhibition’s seminars and workshops include getting ideas to market, building the digital capabilities of SMEs, student and graduate start-ups, engaging with universities and angel investors.

Venturefest WM is organised by Birmingham Science City, an independent partnership of public, private, and HE sectors that promotes science and technology.

Director, Pam Waddell added:

The West Midlands has a strong international reputation in innovation and creativity, and is home to some of the UK’s largest clusters of life sciences and technology businesses.

Venturefest aims to help companies within the science and technology sectors turn their creative concepts into reality – helping firms to exchange ideas with like-minded entrepreneurs, hear from industry experts and meet potential investors.

To register for Venturefest WM, view the event programme and find out about sponsorship opportunities, log on to the exhibition website.

Image: Dr Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive of Innovate UK. 

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