New research reveals how important small and medium enterprises are for the British economy, as businesses that employ upto 249 employees contribute more than £2 trillion in turnover and employ 44% of the British workforce.
The study revealed that the Hospitality Industry has the highest proportion of SMEs out of any industry. Out of the 200,645 businesses operating in the industry, 140,050 are small or medium-sized, which equals roughly 69.8%. The Hospitality Industry is made up of accommodation and food services including hotels and restaurants.
The industry with the second-highest percentage of SMEs is Wholesale and Retail Trade. This industry, which also includes mechanic shops that repair vehicles, has more than 500,000 businesses, and more than four in 10 (43%) are small or medium-sized.
Real Estate Industry has the third-highest proportion of SMEs, with 35.4% of all enterprises having below 250 employees. The industry has 134,095 businesses operating in the UK, and 47,740 are small or medium-sized.
In fourth is the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Industry, which has more than 150,000 businesses running in the country, and roughly 50,000 (33%) are SMEs. The industry counting the fifth-highest percentage of SMEs is Manufacturing, with 32% of the enterprises operating in this industry being small or medium-sized, which is 87,210 out of the 270,000 businesses.
The study also analysed each UK region and found that Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of SMEs in the UK. Scotland has the second-highest percentage of SMEs out of all the UK regions, with 27.7% of all businesses being SMEs. The East Midlands is home to the third-highest proportion of SMEs, with 100,300 SMEs, making up 27.3% of the 367,400 businesses operating in the region. North West England has the fourth-highest percentage of SMEs in the UK.Wales is tied for fourth, as 26.7% of operating businesses in the country are SMEs.