The SETsquared Partnership, the global no.1 business incubation and start-up growth acceleration network, comprising five research-intensive universities: Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, will contribute £26.9 billion to the UK economy by 2030, independent research undertaken by Warwick Economics and Development (WECD) has found.

Key findings from the report:

It is estimated that 965 businesses were supported by SETsquared between 2015 to 2017, with the partnership providing 3,645 business assists since 2002.

The Gross Value Added contribution of supported businesses each year indicates that they have directly contributed a total of £5.8 billion to the UK economy between 2002-17.

The level of employment supported by these businesses is estimated at 10,900 jobs in 2017. This is projected to rise to 22,200 by 2030.

Projecting the forward impact of the programme, assuming the level of support continues at the current rate, supported companies could rise to 6,650 and contribute a further £12.4 billion to the economy between 2018-2030.

Including an estimate of supply chain impacts of the businesses, the cumulated direct and indirect impacts on the UK economy are estimated to be £8.6 billion by 2017 and a further £18.3 billion by 2030.

SETsquared operates five incubators on, or near, each partner university’s campus. The aims of the partnership are to accelerate the growth of high-tech start-up companies, develop the entrepreneurial talents of the students at the universities and to help academic researchers realise the commercial impact of their work.

Building on its success in supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups, SETsquared recently launched a £5m scale-up programme to help power high-growth UK companies. Supporting them to accelerate their growth through access to investment, university research and potential customers, the programme will further increase SETsquared’s economic impact on the UK. 

The release of the WECD findings follows separate analysis by accounting firm RSM, which suggested that there are now more new technology companies than ever before. Its study of Companies House data suggests a total of 10,016 software development and programming businesses were incorporated in the UK for the first time during 2017; a 59 per cent increase on the 6,300 companies created in 2016.  

Karen Brooks, programme director at SETsquared, said:

“The findings from the report show the important role incubators, such as SETsquared, play in nurturing new businesses, entrepreneurship and innovation in the UK, as well as the positive impact this has on the UK economy through job creation and GVA contribution. With the expansion of SETsquared’s support to scale-up companies, and the significant growth we have seen in the number of start-ups we are supporting, we hope to exceed the projections outlined by the WECD in its latest report.”     

Download a copy of the full WECD report

Submitted on 01/09/2018