6 Oct 2016

UK businesses backed by private equity and venture capital are optimistic they can continue to grow despite fears about the impact of Brexit on the wider economy, according to the latest survey published by the BVCA.

A survey of 200 key decision-makers conducted by Ipsos MORI for the BVCA found that economic confidence has fallen significantly since the previous survey was published in March, before the EU referendum. Forty percent of respondents now believe economic conditions have worsened over the past 12 months and 45% think they will get worse, an increase of 30 percentage points for both statements.

The poll of business leaders backed by private equity and venture capital was conducted across August and September, and whilst 24% believe the economy will improve over the coming year – compared to 49% earlier in the year – there is a resilient optimism over their own prospects.

Sixty-three percent say that business has improved over the last 12 months - down a modest six percentage points - and 70% believe it will get better in the coming year – a decrease of 14 percentage points. Innovation and product launches were the most likely reasons for improvement, whilst 84% are optimistic of revenue growth and 91% are optimistic they can retain talented people.

Brexit is the biggest concern, however, with 59% of respondents citing the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU as their main worry, while 32% are concerned about trading with countries outside the European Union.

The topline findings can be found here.

Other highlights include

Fifty-eight percent cite access to the single market in goods and services as the most important issue, and 42% say maintaining access to high-skilled labour through the single market is a priority;

Allowing businesses to employ talented people from across the world should be the main task for Government (52%) followed by ensuring the UK remains attractive for overseas investment (48%);

Eighty-five percent are confident they can adapt to leaving the EU, yet 59% say the decision to leave the EU is a “significant” risk to their company;Thirty-five percent of business leaders are confident in the Government’s ability to negotiate the best possible deal for UK businesses with the EU, while 47% are not.

Tim Hames, Director General of the BVCA, said: “Given that we have been in the midst of the party conference season with numerous conference and fringe debates on a post-Brexit UK, our recent survey highlights that key issues such as access to the single market and a highly skilled labour force are essential to maintain business confidence and growth. This is a message that Government must take seriously as it considers its Brexit position and tries to maximise its negotiating hand in the coming months."

Notes to editor
  1. The topline results can be found here.

  2. A total of 200 businesses participated in the research: 92 companies backed by private equity, 60 businesses with venture capital investment and 46 companies backed by both private equity and venture capital. Fieldwork was completed by telephone between 15 August and 16 September.

  3. It is the second business confidence survey produced by the BVCA. The first was conducted in December and January and can be found here.

  4. The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) is the industry body for the UK private equity and venture capital industry. The BVCA has over 600 member firms, representing the vast majority of UK-based private equity and venture capital firms and their advisers.

  5. The Ipsos MORI Reputation Centre provides corporate clients and not-for-profit organisations with highly customised research that allows them to manage and build their reputation, plan, manage, and improve strategic and crisis communications, better understand their employees and audiences, and oversee stakeholder relations.

Further information


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