Key facts on UK microbusiness

Microbusinesses in numbers (BIS Business Population Estimates 2015)

  • There were 5.15 million UK microbusinesses (those businesses with less than 10 employees) at the start of 2015.
  • There were 1.07 million micro employers (those businesses with 1 to 9 employees) at the start of 2015.
  • 95% of all UK businesses are micros.
  • 81% of all UK employing businesses are microbusinesses.
  • At the start of 2015, employment in microbusinesses was 8.5 million, 33% of total UK private sector employment.
  • At the start of 2015, microbusinesses had a combined annual turnover of £673 million, 18% of all private sector turnover.
  • Microbusinesses contributed 19% of all Gross Value Added (GVA) in the UK non-financial business economy in 2014. (ONS Annual Business Survey 2014).

Business performance and plans for growth (BIS Small Business Survey 2014)

  • 17% of micro employers experienced employment growth between 2013 and 2014, and 38% experienced turnover growth.
  • 71% of micro employers in 2014 aimed to grow their business in the next two to three years.

Women-led businesses and businesses led by ethnic minority groups (MEG) (BIS Small Business Survey 2014)

  • Just under one million (20%) of UK microbusinesses were majority women-led in 2014.
  • Around 280,000 (6%) of UK microbusinesses were minority ethnic group led (MEG-led) in 2014.

Home-based and family-owned businesses (BIS Small Business Survey 2014)

  • 59% of all microbusinesses and 37% of micro employers were home-based in 2014. The definition of home-based businesses used by BIS is explained here.
  • 74% of micro-employers were family-owned in 2014.

For an overview of key definitions used see Core UK statistical definitions

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