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East Anglia: One in four of region’s companies is now a ‘high-growth’ firm, Barclays/BGF study shows

06:00 31 March 2014

Police are trying to contact customers who used an ATM which had a skimming device attached

Police are trying to contact customers who used an ATM which had a skimming device attached

One out of every four companies in East Anglia now ranks as a “high-growth” business, according to a new study.

The proportion of high-growth companies in the region increased by 42% between March 2012 and March 2013 to 25%, the latest Barclays and BGF Entrepreneurs Index report reveals.

This is one of the biggest rises recorded nationally, just behind Wales (66%), the Midlands (54%) and the North West (44%).

This index is the fourth in a bi-annual series tracking the entrepreneurial lifecycle across the regions of the UK, using data to measure start-ups, growth and share sales.

The findings reveal that East Anglia saw a 14% fall in the number of active, growing companies recording share sales in the past year to 477. This could indicate that entrepreneurs in East Anglia are concentrating on growing further while they capitalise on a strengthening economy, before they consider a transition from the expansion to exit phase.

There was a 0.5% rise in the number of enterprises in 2013, making East Anglia home to 217,620 enterprises, ranking the region fourth nationally behind the Midlands, the South East and London.

Simon Smith, regional director at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management in East Anglia said: “The findings in this edition of the Entrepreneurs Index confirm that the economic recovery in East Anglia is gathering pace.

“This is something we are seeing on the ground: Cambridge alone is home to more than 1,500 science and technology-based companies, including ARM, one of the UK’s most successful companies. As a result, the city has become a major hub for talent, and a key destination for venture capital and other forms of funding.

“The fact that an increasing proportion of companies in East Anglia go on to become high-growth indicates that they have strong foundations underneath them and savvy entrepreneurs leading them.”

Chris Hodges, investment director for East Anglia at BGF, added: “The latest Barclays and BGF Entrepreneurs Index clearly highlights the positive environment that exists in East Anglia for businesses of all sizes looking to grow.

“As long-term equity investors in growing UK companies, we are encouraged by the fact that there is this clear and addressable market in East Anglia, full of business owners who are keen to expand.”

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