Clusters of SMEs are a priority

According to research conducted by Opus Energy, the top three geographical areas in the UK where SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) have productivity issues are:

  • West Midlands
  • North East
  • London

To compete, SMEs there are being forced to implement a wave of changes, including:

  • Introducing flexible working
  • Paying employees above the average wage
  • Offering incentives and perks to raise team morale

However, nearly three quarters of them also believe that working nearby similar businesses – aka clusters – would provide them with some much-needed help to improve their productivity, commercial success and competitive advantage

But, despite this, few have set up shop near other like-minded businesses

Main reasons for choosing their current location were:

  • 50% – to be near where they lived
  • 26% – to capitalise on nearby talent
  • Only 11% – to be part of a business cluster

Nikki Flanders, COO of Opus, concluded:

  • “SMEs comprise 99% of all (individual) private sector businesses
  • “Clearly, there’s an appetite for greater collaboration with other similar businesses by joining a business cluster in order to benefit from the proximity to them
  • “However, only a quarter are taking steps to make these ambitions a reality”

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