Economic uncertainty not impacting scale up businesses’ confidence about growth

  • Barclaycard research finds 75 per cent of UK scale up business leaders are confident about their growth prospects over the next year, despite challenging economic conditions
  • 77 per cent of scale ups recognise the need to invest to realise this potential for growth
  • On average, leaders say 29 per cent of turnover is the proportion that must be invested each year to secure progress

New research from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, identifies that even in an uncertain environment, UK businesses remain confident of their growth prospects – over both the short and long term.

The new study finds that three-quarters (75 per cent) of scale up business leaders in the UK are confident about their growth prospects over the next 12 months, despite challenging economic and political conditions. Almost four in 10 (37 per cent) even describe themselves as ‘very optimistic’. Over the long term, looking to the next five years, this mood remains buoyant with 70 per cent of scale ups optimistic about growth prospects.

The scale up innovation opportunity

Economic uncertainty is not denting appetite for innovation and investment either. Defined as businesses with at least 10 employees and average annualised growth of 20 per cent or more over three years, scale ups view themselves as best-placed to innovate. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) agree that a scale up business needs to ‘invest to grow’, with, on average, 29 per cent identified as the proportion of turnover that needs to be invested annually to secure progress.

The majority (65 per cent) believe that they have the edge on bigger businesses in this area, due to more agile ways of working and a strong pool of talent. Almost four in ten (37 per cent) believe it’s easier for scale up businesses to ‘test and learn’, as there is less red tape and bureaucracy required to implement new ideas, while 29 per cent think scale up businesses attract the most exciting and creative employees.

Konrad Kelling, Managing Director, Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said: “Confidence among scale up businesses is certainly robust, with appetite for innovation and investment remaining strong. The combination of businesses’ optimism and commitment to investing to achieve growth bodes well for their success.”

Notes to editors

*A ‘scale up business’ is defined as a company which has seen average annualised growth of at least 20 per cent in last three years with 10 or more employees at the start of the period, according to the OECD.

Research was carried out by Opinium between 22 January and 14 February 2019. 500 online interviews were conducted with senior decision-makers in businesses that meet the OECD’s definition of a scale up. 

For more information, please Phillipa Russell at Barclaycard on 0207 116 5473 or at Phillipa.Russell@barclaycard.co.uk.

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Bank PLC, is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit and point-of-sale finance. In 2018 we processed nearly £268bn in transactions globally. Barclaycard is a pioneer of new forms of payment and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting-edge forms of payment for the future. We also partner with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.


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