Posted: Sat 31st Dec 2022
Small businesses in the UK reported a 40% drop in growth ambitions during the last year, a new analysis has found.
According to Enterprise Nation's quarterly Small Business Barometer, during the final three months of 2021 74% of start-up, micro and early-stage businesses expected to grow in 2022. But by October, that figure had fallen to 34%.
At the same time the number that said they thought their business would stay the same increased from 17% to 34%, suggesting many have put their growth plans on hold.
The growth ambitions of female entrepreneurs have been hit the hardest. In 2021, 77% predicted growth, but that had dropped by 46% to 31% by October 2022. By contrast, male founders' growth expectations fell by 32% in the same time frame.
But confidence remains constant, with just over half (54%) of all businesses polled saying they were confident they would survive this turbulent period of high inflation and energy price hikes.
Emma Jones CBE, founder and CEO of Enterprise Nation, said:
"Heading into 2022, businesses were full of expectation that this was going to be a better year, performance-wise following the impact of the pandemic.
"But their growth plans were put on hold, hijacked by a series of unfolding events that no-one could have predicted.
"Things can only get better, as they say and while these figures are shocking, they also reveal the undying resilience of small businesses, with confidence remaining constant.
"There are a number of reasons to be cheerful in 2023; lower inflation, the promise of a stable government over the next 12 months and thousands of people looking to start-up in business."