London Stock Exchange Group has released its 2019 edition of the 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain list, which this year features companies from across 40 different sectors
From BT’s red phone boxes to the old British Motor Corporation’s Mini Cooper, businesses are behind some of the UK’s most iconic cultural symbols – now a 2019 list of the 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain will hope to make their own mark.
Burger chain, fashion brands and pharmaceuticals firms are among those featuring in the annual report that celebrates the nation’s SMEs.
Compiled by the London Stock Exchange Group, the 1,000 companies have an overall revenue growth of 108% and have helped to jointly create 95,827 jobs over the past two years.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “[The report] lays bare how small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing the jobs that support families and communities and drive our country’s growth.
“Our country has a history of being a great place to grow and start a business – and the innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism that has always been the key to our success is tangibly demonstrated by those in this report.”
1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019: Food
London-based SME Gousto delivers ingredients and recipe cards to its growing number of subscribers every day and has seen 100% year-on-year growth.
The company describes itself as “food tech” and uses AI to customise recipes according to each customer’s tastes.
Gousto founder and CEO Timo Boldt claims the company is delivering two million meals a month at prices that look to compete with supermarkets.
He added: “Online is the fastest-growing segment of the grocery market and customers increasingly want to know exactly what’s in their food, so personalisation is the key to successful retail.”
It has been a difficult year for restaurant chains in the UK but Honest Burgers is bucking the trend.
The homemade burger and chip chain first opened in Brixton in 2011 and now has 31 across the country.
Speaking about what sets his company apart, co-founder Phil Eeles said: “We’ve always been upfront about where our products come from, and opening our own butchery puts us in complete control of the traceability and quality of our beef.
“Plus, we’re doing all this for a really good price, so it’s helped us get a loyal following in our restaurants.”
1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019: Technology
The London tech start-up grew from an inauspicious start, founded in 2012 by five people working in a shed.
Now, the company – which uses AI to optimise marketing campaigns – has offices in Singapore, Ukraine and the US.
CEO and co-founder Stephen Upstone said: “To see sustained growth, it’s really important to nurture the right talent in the UK, and this should start at a young age with a career in technology made accessible to all.
“There are so many roles in tech, from data science to client services and marketing, and it’s important that this is communicated and prioritised within the education system from a young age.”
Regularly listed among the UK’s fastest growing tech companies, Perkbox has set about trying to improve workplace benefits for employees.
Its web platform allows staff in signed-up businesses to select from a range of benefits and deals – from mobile phone insurance to cinema tickets and money off vouchers.
Saurav Chopra, co-founder and CEO of Perkbox, said: “Employees spend a third of their lives at work, but there is no longer a clear split between life at work and life outside of it.
“That’s why Perkbox has created a multi-product platform that gives businesses the opportunity to provide a great employee experience, retaining talent and becoming the employer of choice.”
The company has set itself the mission of reaching 100 million end users by 2025, which is 100-times its current figure.
1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019: Healthcare
Horizon Discovery, based in the Cambridgeshire village of Waterbeach, specialises in developing gene editing and modulation technology.
Its technology is used to help improve understanding of genetic diseases.
The company’s products have been used by over 10,000 academic, drug discovery, drug manufacturing and clinical diagnostics customers around the globe.
CEO Terry Pizzie said: “Gene editing is a fast-emerging area in the life sciences sector, and the use of gene editing technologies are becoming common practice in research and throughout the drug development process.”
Guildford-based pharmaceuticals company Ergomed helps other firms with the development of new drugs, as well as the monitoring of their safety.
It specialises in drug development for rare diseases and has so far conducted 600 clinical trials in 53 countries.
Founder Dr Miroslav Reljanovi said: “An estimated 30 million people worldwide suffer from rare diseases and the market for orphan drugs is forecast to be $200bn by 2020.
“Through a strategic acquisition and in-house expertise, the company has positioned itself as a leader in this fast-growing area of drug development.”
1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019: Green
Recycling Lives aims to be more than just a recycling firm and puts social responsibility on the same level as environmental concerns.
It operates 12 recycling sites across the UK, which take in scrap metal, electrical goods, scrap cars and general waste.
Alongside waste management, the company also runs a rehabilitation programme for offenders, supports the homeless and redistributes food waste.
William Fletcher, CEO of the Recycling Lives Group, said: “Our social business model has granted us a number of opportunities, from securing investment to sourcing the very best staff and winning work with blue-chip businesses.
“We win work from commercial clients based on our social values as much as our commercial expertise.”
Camco Clean Energy
Camco Clean Energy was founded in 1989 as a renewable energy consultancy.
It is now a market leader in climate finance and helps find funding for clean energy projects in developing countries.
To date, Camco has helped raise $15bn across 180 projects and has set up a private investment platform for Sub-Saharan Africa’s renewable energy sector.