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A small number of rapidly growing firms create the majority of jobs. What factors drive the performance of high-growth firms? What does this mean for cities, policy makers and business? Our research focuses on the barriers to growth firms face and how these can be addressed.

Related Reports

Econometric Analysis: a report for UK trade and investment
This report for UKTI investigates what drives the investment or procurement decisions of multinational firms.

Hiba Sameen & Neil Lee
31 January 2013

Free to Grow: Assessing the obstacles faced by actual and potential high growth firms
This research, funded by NESTA, provides evidence on what high-growth firms and firms with the potential to achieve high growth see as the obstacles to their success. As a small proportion of high-growth firms are responsible for creating the majority of new jobs, this question is important for economic growth.

Neil Lee
08 February 2012

Ready, Steady, Grow? How the government can support the development of more high growth firms
With high growth firms widely recognised as major drivers of growth and job creation, this paper outlines what the government should do to maximise their success.

Charles Levy, Neil Lee and Annie Peate
18 March 2011

Related Blogs

Unleashing Metro Growth?
Blog on City Growth Commission

22 October 2014

Remembering the basics in the 'New Normal' business landscape
The latest blog from LEAD on the importance of the basics in the changing business landscape.

Rohini Bhattacharya
26 April 2013

The UK’s productivity challenge
The new productivity statistics that came out this morning show the UK falling behind some other major economies. Between 2007 and 2011 there was no growth in productivity (measured by GDP per hour worked) in the UK. In contrast, productivity went up by 7 per cent in Japan, 6 per cent in the US, and 3 per cent in Canada.

Ian Brinkley
19 September 2012

Weeding out the 'Idlers' won't raise GDP
“The British are among the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor”. This is one view of the UK labour market which is gaining ground among a growing number of politicians and think-tanks on the ‘de-regulating’ side of the debate on economic recovery. In their recent book, ‘Britannia Unchained’, the authors argue that employers are held back from creating wealth and new jobs by regulations which prevent them from sacking ‘coasting’ workers. In doing so they are echoing calls in the Beecroft Report that excessive employment regulation is strangling economic growth.

Stephen Bevan
14 September 2012

Leadership issues in SMEs and social enterprise
My first significant interest in leadership came about as a result of involvement in urban regeneration and Richard Rogers’ Urban Task Force. As a result, in March 2000 I gave a presentation at the Building Centre Trust Symposium entitled 'My Kind of Town'. I saw cities and towns as motors of growth and innovation. If we were serious about urban renaissance, a few thoughtful answers were needed to a few simple questions:

David Child, Entrepreneur
15 August 2012

Cameron’s StartUp Loans are unlikely to create jobs or growth
David Cameron has today announced StartUp Loans, a £2,500 loan to help young people start their own business. Schemes like this aim to address economic problems (the double dip recession) and social ones (high youth unemployment) simultaneously.

Neil Lee
28 May 2012

Finance for high growth firms: EIS and beyond
Brussels has given the Treasury the go-ahead to expand the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). By reducing the tax investors pay when backing high-risk companies, it’s designed to increase investments in them. The government argues the scheme will create more high growth firms: the seven per cent of firms who create half of all new jobs. It’s a big win for NESTA (sponsors of our Big Innovation Centre) who have been highlighting the importance of these firms for some time.

Neil Lee
26 September 2011

Transfer payments: Why knowledge transfer helps the UK get value from its Universities?
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) have just announced the new higher education innovation funding (HEIF) package.

Neil Lee
26 May 2011

Ready, Steady, Grow? - the future of high growth firms
The Work Foundation’s latest report - ‘Ready, Steady, Grow? How the government can support the development of more high growth firms’ - was launched yesterday (21st March) at the Palace of Westminster....

Chris Brown
22 March 2011

Why not turn the whole of the UK into an Enterprise Zone?
There’s a new twist in the Enterprise Zones saga - the Chancellor is reportedly increasing the number of zones from 10 to 20. With the £100 million in funding now apparently spread over four years and 20 zones, each Enterprise Zone will be funded to the tune of just £1.25 million per year. That might sound like a rather paltry sum in the context of the government’s austerity programme, but it’s actually the best thing that could happen to the Enterprise Zones policy, short of them being scrapped altogether.

Andrew Sissons
21 March 2011

Related News

Living with rats (Blog) by Julian Dobson features Lancaster University's Work Foundation on enterprise zones
Enterprise zones study by The Work Foundation featured in blog by julian dobson 'Living with Rats'.

Living with rats (Blog)
25 October 2014

The Work Foundation's 2011 report 'Do enterprise zones work?' cited by Louisa Hannan on BBC Radio Solent (08:11:58, 4:59)
Radio: TWF report on the weaknesses of enterprise zones cited on BBC Radio Solent

BBC Radio Solent
07 October 2014

Centrally-led growth policy holding back cities outside London
Cities outside of London and the South East are at risk of being left behind by the economic recovery unless the government adopts a less centralised growth and innovation policy.

07 December 2011

Will Hutton calls for Independent Commission on Banking to tackle sector failure to support high growth firms
The UK’s financial sector is systematically failing SMEs which could provide the greatest source of innovation, jobs and growth...

Tom Phillips
05 July 2011

Coalition must back manu-services as vital force for manufacturing revival
Following George Osborne’s call for a 'manufacturing revival', a report published on 14 March by The Work Foundation argues that if the Coalition is to safeguard the future of UK manufacturing, it must go beyond the traditional view that it is just about 'making things'.

Tom Phillips
14 March 2011