Home>>The first 2,000 Companies: Is sector relevant?

The first 2,000 Companies: Is sector relevant?

February 5, 2013
David Thomas

The latest analysis of the GrowthAccelerator client base of 2,000 looks at regions, barriers to growth and also sectors.

The subject of sectors and high growth is an interesting one. The most recent school of thought is that high growth businesses are sector agnostic; that they do what they do superbly well regardless of whether their sector is growing or not. There is certainly an argument for this. Think of the fastest growing sector in the UK – Cloud Computing, with a projected growth of 13% over the next five years according to IbisWorld. Then, think that being a high growth company requires growth at 20% year on year for 3 years. A high growth company has to vastly outperform its sector to the point that it probably does render it irrelevant.


However, sectors do have some relevance when you look at the numbers. NESTA, in its Geography of High Growth analysis identified the key growth sectors across the UK, with business services the largest, followed by manufacturing and construction.


Image taken from NESTA Geography of High Growth


The sector profile of GrowthAcclelerator’s 2,000 client base closely mirrored NESTA’s study with business services on top and manufacturing a distant second and construction still in the top six.


GrowthAccelerator’s top 10 Sectors, Jan 2013




It may be that this is just the biggest group of businesses in England and it is skewing the results, but either way it begs the question: What are Business Services and why are they growing?  This is something the GrowthObservatory, with the help of our growth experts on the ground – the Growth Managers and Growth Coaches-  will be looking at in more detail soon. One thing I can reveal though is where they are so far:





On a final note, there is something nagging at me to discuss the categorisation of sectors (Is the Standard Industry Classification now completely redundant? Should a businesses sector be defined by its clients or by its own products? and many more questions), but if I did that then I would be exposing myself as someone who possibly needs to get out more.


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