Low carbon entrepreneurs in the UK: the size, growth and strategic importance of the low carbon economy, and the pivotal role played by small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).
Publication date: 14/05/2013
Research by Shell Springboard and the Carbon Trust into low carbon entrepreneurs in the UK.
The low carbon economy is a UK success story. It accounts for more than £120 billion in annual sales and employs almost 1 million people. It has been growing despite the recession with "over a third of the UK's economic growth in 2011/12 likely to have come from green business".
The UK Government has put the low carbon economy at the heart of its strategy for growth. Its Plan for Growth identifies the low carbon economy as a priority theme which cuts across all sectors.
Given the size, growth and strategic importance of the low carbon economy, this research looks at the pivotal role played by small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). SMEs drive innovation, growth and job creation. They represent 60% of all UK private sector jobs. 9 out of 10 unemployed people who found work in the private sector since the economic downturn either started or joined an SME. Small businesses also account for more than 90% of the low carbon sector. SMEs are therefore critical to, and a key indicator for, the present success and future potential of the low carbon economy.
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