An international study reveals a confident tone among small businesses, with two-thirds (67%) reporting revenue growth and more than seven out of ten (71%) expanding their customer base in the past year. US and Spanish firms top the revenue growth tables. By contrast, in the UK there is a modest decline in the numbers reporting revenue growth.
Economic recovery is finally being translated into solid jobs growth in the small business sector, according to the survey by specialist global insurer Hiscox, which finds that one in six firms (16%) has added staff and more than a quarter (27%) plan to hire in the year ahead.
Millennials (those in their 20s and 30s) are leading the upswing. They are significantly more likely to be optimistic about the year ahead and to report an improvement in their personal finances.
The ninth annual Hiscox DNA of an Entrepreneur Report is based on responses from 4,000 small business owners and senior managers in six countries – 1,000 each from the UK and US and 500 each from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. It provides a unique window into the world of the entrepreneur – and serves as a barometer for the financial health of the small business sector.
Bronek Masojada, CEO at Hiscox, said: “The report demonstrates that small businesses are now getting their share of growth in all the countries covered. It shows too there is a new generation of risk-takers coming through who are clearly prospering. And it reveals for the first time there is a dynamic core of entrepreneurs, engaged in more than one business, who are likely to be leading the way with exports and innovation. These are the wealth generators on whom our future growth depends, and policy-makers should take note.”