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The vital 6 per cent: How high-growth innovative businesses generate prosperity and jobs

A small minority of high-growth businesses hold the key to job creation and wider prosperity. New research published by NESTA shows that the 6 per cent of UK businesses with the highest growth rates generated half of the new jobs created by existing businesses between 2002 and 2008. Although these companies came from across the country and from all sectors of the economy, they had one important factor in common: they were far more likely to be innovative, and the research shows that their innovation was a source of growth. This has important implications for the Government: it suggests that economic policy should focus on promoting innovation and on the small number of companies with high growth potential, rather than broadly based business support programmes for new start-ups and SMEs. More importantly, it shows that an approach of backing excellence and innovation is not an elitist policy: rather, it is the best way of generating employment and opportunity. This goal forms the basis of NESTA’s research agenda, investment activities and practical programmes.