Thriving businesses are vital to the UK’s economic recovery. Business people, investors and policymakers agree that they create jobs, wealth and wider prosperity.

If a government is to create the right conditions for businesses to grow in these challenging economic times, it must understand how this growth happens and what can stand in its way. The research summarised in this brief is the culmination of a programme of research into the nature of business growth in the UK, the detailed results of which NESTA is publishing today.

The research makes a powerful case that a small number of high-growth businesses are responsible for the lion’s share of job creation and prosperity, and that innovation is instrumental in the success of these businesses.

This has significant implications for the direction of economic policy. It shows that enabling innovation is good for growth. Just as importantly, it shows that focusing attention on growing businesses and promoting excellence, far from being an elitist policy, gives rise to widespread job creation and prosperity.

We hope that this research will be a powerful contribution to the debate on how to foster
economic growth. As ever, we welcome your views.

Jonathan Kestenbaum
Chief Executive, NESTA
October, 2009

vital-six-per-cent – full report