West Midlands

A region seeing investment at expansion stage

The West Midlands is home to the fifth-highest number of high-growth companies in the UK at 271, edging out the East Midlands, which hosts 200, and behind London (1,529), the South East (572), East of England (360) and the North West (320).

It has 41 private equity-backed companies, a decrease from 66 in last year’s research, and its ratio of companies receiving private equity per 1,000 companies has dropped from 0.29 in last year’s research to reach 0.17.

271: Number of high-growth companies
£79m: Amount of expansion funding invested

The number of businesses receiving venture capital funding is relatively low, at 12 – higher than the East Midlands’ three, but behind London (89), South East (54), Wales (32), Scotland (25), East of England (25) and Northern Ireland (20). The total value of venture capital funding is £4 million, lower than regions such as East of England (£23 million), the South West, North West and Scotland (all £12 million).

Like its near neighbour, the East Midlands, however, the West Midland’s outlook is much rosier when it comes to expansion funding. 20 companies received expansion funding, with the total value of expansion investment amounting to £79 million, exceeding that of Scotland (£68 million), Yorkshire and the Humber (£57 million), the East of England (£46 million), the East Midlands (£38 million), and the North East (£10 million).

Key findings

National data offers a conflicted snapshot of entrepreneurship, while regional data proffers a promise of diversifying new business activity. London and the South East remain strong incubators, and the North’s entrepreneurial growth is strong. 

Entrepreneurs index

A barometer of the entrepreneurial environment and activity in the UK. This, the ninth volume, focuses on three main indicators: start-up activity, growth of new business and exits of young enterprises.