Grassroots firms outshine big bets

by Apr 23, 2012 No Comments

Scotland’s fastest growing companies are traditional and unglamorous, according to a recent business magazine report, leaving in-vogue sectors, such as life sciences and renewables, in their wake.

Financial services, oil, property development and elderly care are all represented by Scottish companies who made it on the list of the UK’s 100 fastest growing, privately owned, mid-sized businesses.

Nine Scottish companies are featured on the list, compiled from data filed at Companies House.

The 100 had achieved an average compound growth rate of 44 per cent over the past four years, and an average turnover of £150m in their last financial year.

Tony Banks, chairman of the Balhousie Care Group, based in Perth, which provides care for the elderly, told Holyrood that among the factors in its success were “the ability to spot opportunities, to add value, to make a difference in our sector but most importantly to access growth funding and capital”.

Company culture was key, he said: “We really do care.” Ed Cottrell, of Investec, the specialist private bank, which compiled the data, and Matthew Rock, founding editor of Real Business magazine, which published the list, said that the results also revealed a restructuring of the economy.

“From procurement to elderly care services, from IT to laundry, SMEs are taking up work formerly done by government and the big corporate sector.

“You can see the beginning of the restructuring of the economy around outsourced solutions.

“As government cuts go on, you would expect this to continue, yielding great opportunities for entrepreneurs, and better services for customers and the public.”

Will Peakin Will Peakin

Beginning as a reporter on weekly newspapers in the North-East of England, Will moved to Glasgow and worked as a freelance for a number of UK national newspapers. In 1990 he was appointed News Editor of Scotland on Sunday and in 1995, Scotland Editor of The Sunday Times. In 1999, he and his family moved to the south-west of France where he wrote for The Sunday Times Magazine. Returning to Scotland in 2002, he was Assistant Editor (Features) and Deputy Editor at The Scotsman before joining Holyrood Magazine in 2004. He writes for the magazine's business pages and edits its series of...

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