The ScaleUp Institute’s analysis of the latest ONS data showed that in 2018 there were 33,860 scaleups in the UK. This uses the OECD high-growth (scaleup) definition of firms growing their employment numbers and/or turnover by more than 20% a year over a period of three years, with at least 10 employees at the start of the period.
This number has fallen over the year – a risk we signalled in our 2019 review. This was driven by an 11% fall in scaleups growing by turnover which now number 27,285. However, the total number of scaleups is still 25% above the figure in 2013, compared to 16% growth in SMEs over the same period. The ONS data shows that there was a 6.1% increase in scaleups growing by employment – to 13,965. Importantly, there was also a 1.2% increase in scaleups growing by both turnover and employment – to 7,390.
Scaleups employed 3.5 million people in 2018, up from 3.4 million in 2017.