Mid-sized business growth outpaces FTSE 350

  • Mid-sized businesses grew turnover by 46% over five years
  • Employment by mid-sized businesses grew by 44% over the same period
  • Mid-sized, PE owned and AIM listed businesses, what BDO calls the economic engine, account for less than 1% of businesses but generate £1.4tn in revenues and provide one in four jobs

Mid-sized businesses in the UK grew revenues by 46% to £1.4tn over the last five years, according to new figures published today by accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO.

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Despite several years of economic uncertainty as a result of on-going Brexit negotiations, the growth of mid-sized, PE owned and AIM listed businesses, what BDO calls the economic engine, has outpaced both FTSE 350 and smaller businesses.

The growth of economic engine businesses compares to revenue growth of 18% for FTSE 350 businesses and a decrease of 16% for smaller businesses over the same five-year period.

In addition to revenue growth, economic engine businesses also increased the number of people they employ by 44% over the last five years, from 5.6 million to just over 8 million.

In comparison, FTSE 350 businesses grew their workforce by 9% over the same period, bringing the total number of those employed within FTSE 350 businesses to 6.8 million. Smaller businesses recorded a 27% increase, with total employment at around 1.5 million.

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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, mid-sized businesses were often overlooked and undervalued, accounting for less than 1% of businesses overall but contributing £1.4tn in revenues and providing one in four jobs.

Paul Eagland, Managing Partner of BDO, said:

“History tells us that the UK’s mid-market businesses will play a huge role in the overall recovery of our economy; indeed, this segment of the market outperformed other parts in the 5 years prior to COVID-19.

“With this in mind and with the country facing a real risk of increasing unemployment, we would encourage the Government to ensure policies are specifically designed to help mid-market businesses invest in creating jobs. In particular, it’s critical that employers are able to offer our young people, our talent of the future, long term careers.”


Note to editors:

This set of data will not account for the impact of COVID-19, but is the most up-to-date representation of corporate accounts available.

Economic engine businesses are defined as businesses with revenues of £10-300m, PE owned or AIM listed.

Smaller businesses are defined as those with revenues of less than £10m.

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP provides integrated advice and solutions to help businesses navigate a changing world.

Our clients are Britain’s economic engine – ambitious, entrepreneurially-spirited and high-growth businesses that fuel the economy. 

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We share our clients’ ambitions and their entrepreneurial mind-set. We have the right combination of global reach, integrity and expertise to help them succeed. 


BDO LLP operates in 18 offices across the UK, employing 6,000 people offering tax, audit and assurance, and a range of advisory services. BDO LLP is the UK member firm of the BDO international network.

BDO’s global network

The BDO global network provides business advisory services in 167 countries, with 91,000 people working out of 1,658 offices worldwide. It has revenues of $10.3bn. 


Emma Ordidge
Senior PR Adviser
[email protected]

BDO press office: 
020 7893 3000
[email protected] 

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