Small and Medium Sized
Enterprises 2000 to 2015
Some Facts and Figures
C W Mobbs
• For the purposes of this analysis, small and medium sized
enterprises are defined as those with less than 250 employees
(large enterprises have 250+)
• Small enterprises have less than 50 employees; medium ones
between 50 and 249
• An enterprise is defined as a profit, non-profit or government
Data Source: Department for Business Innovation and Skills ‘Business Population Estimate for the UK and
Regions, 2015”, unless otherwise stated.
Growth in Total Businesses
The total number of businesses has grown from 3,467,200 to 5,389,500
over the period. This is an increase of 1,922,300 or 55%
Breakdown by Employees (1)
This expansion in number of businesses is predominantly
in single director/sole proprietorship firms – 1,497,500 to
3,037,300, an increase of 1,539,800 – 103%.
Breakdown by Employees (2)
Number of Employees Increase/Decrease (2000 to 2015)
All Businesses 1,922,300
500 or more -300
Business Growth – Region (3)
• Of the four countries within the UK, England saw the greatest increase in
number of new businesses (399,400). However, due to its already large base,
the increase was only 10%.Wales, with its much lower base saw an increase of
9%, gaining only 18,200 new businesses.
• Scotland only gained 3,500 new businesses, a percentage increase of 1%.
• Within the English regions, London saw the greatest rise in businesses
(113,500) an increase of 14%.The NorthWest saw the greatest percentage
change – up 16% (69,700 new businesses).
• The East Midlands only gained 41,300 new businesses, an increase of 2%.