A springboard to recovery: Building back better together

Here’s how the UK’s small businesses can confidently navigate today’s altered economic landscape.

The UK’s 1.4m SMEs represent a powerful engine of prosperity, with the potential to deliver as much as £140bn in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy by 2030 – and to create 3.2m jobs over the same period. But much of this exciting promise remains unrealised: on average, SMEs are significantly less productive than larger firms, and the structures designed to enable their growth often fall short of their goals. Only a fraction of small businesses participate in support programmes, and even fewer see real productivity gains as a result.

How can the vast potential of the UK’s SMEs be more effectively unlocked? NatWest’s research, incorporating data from a comprehensive array of surveys, reports, interviews and focus groups, shows that the greatest gains can be found in five key areas: SME productivity, scale-up density, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation, female entrepreneurship, and sustainability. If SMEs are intensively nurtured in all five areas, there will be rich prizes for the UK economy.

One potent finding is that personalisation is vital for any SME support programme: diverse SMEs require tailored solutions to strengthen their productivity and accelerate their growth. The NatWest research team has distilled eight ‘golden principles’ to guide programmes on this journey. With this blueprint, more businesses across the country can be reached, engaged, and helped to thrive and grow.

NatWest, with its unique access to communities and customers, will be investing £6bn in the effort to unlock SME growth in diverse communities across the UK. Together, we can build back better.

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A springboard to recovery (PDF, 13MB)

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A springboard to recovery infographic (PDF, 153.3KB)

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of NatWest Group, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © NatWest Group. All rights reserved.

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