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480 Oxfordshire companies gain scale-up recognition

28 March 2019
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The number of fast-growing ambitious businesses with leaders hungry for success is increasing across Oxfordshire – new insights from the ScaleUp Institute reveal.
There are now 480 companies in the region that meet the definition of scale-up because they have increased turnover or employment by more than 20% annually.

Oxfordshire scaleups are employing a total of 49,000 staff and their turnover is worth £5.2 billion. This is according to new research by the ScaleUp Institute based on the latest 2017 ONS data.

In the area, the top five scaleups by employment growth are Virtua, Silbury, AgilityWorks, Oxford Economics and YASA Motors, while the top five for turnover growth are Oxford Nanopore, Rebellion, Gigaclear, Circassia and Virtua.
Across the UK there are over 36,000 scaleups, an increase of 3.7% from 2016.

ScaleUp Institute Chief Executive Irene Graham said: “Scaleups are the engine drivers of local economies; they are twice as innovative as large firms, employ twice as many apprentices, are twice as likely to be operating in international markets, and, significantly, they create high quality jobs.

"Their aspirations remain high. According to our recent ScaleUp survey eight out of ten expect to scale again in 2019, generating £1.5 billion more in turnover and creating an extra 7,000 jobs.

While they are ambitious about their growth, scaleups continue to face major challenges. In Oxfordshire they particularly highlight access to international markets and access to talent as key issues. They also want easier access to local professional services and stronger connections to public sector support opportunities, notably for innovation.

The ScaleUp Institute notes that Oxfordshire offers a number of services for scaleups. “This is encouraging and we will continue to monitor their impact," said Irene Graham.
OxLEP’s Director of Business Development Richard Byard adds “It’s so encouraging to see the policy decisions taken in 2013/14 really add value to the Oxfordshire scaleup ecosystem and that the county now has the highest annual growth rate of scaleups per 100,000 population nationally.

“We invested £55m in four innovation centres to meet the needs of rapidly growing companies, provided a small team of Network Navigators to help them on their high growth journey and more recently have been able to augment that with modest grants thorough our Growth Hub programmes.’’


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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