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w w w. b r i g h t o n f u s e . c o m

4. Fast growing firms in the Brighton cluster

5. A fused cluster

The OECD defines high growth firms as those with

Combinations of diverse skills and knowledge

employee or turnover growth of more than 20% over

sources can be a source of competitive advantage

three years, and with more than 10 employees in

to new business ventures.22 Two thirds of the firms

the first year. We have drawn on that definition to

in the Brighton cluster say they combine creative

identify potential high growth firms in our sample,

design and technology in their work – half of these

noting we only have growth data for one year and

(i.e. a third of our sample) agree with this strongly.

also used a less restrictive one focusing on firms

We refer to them as the ‘superfused’ firms. We

that, in 2011, had five employees or more.

see fusion across all sectors in our sample, but

Overall, 15.2% of all firms with more than 5 employees in 2010, and 16.7% of all with more than 10, experienced growth rates above 20% between 2010 and 2011. That is, they were on the way to ‘being high growth’ in a ‘vital 6% way’. This references a NESTA report which found it is a “vital 6%” of firms that play a disproportionately large role in economic growth and job creation.21

some sectors appear to be more fused than others – for example, 94% of digital agencies, 80% of architecture and interior design firms, 78% of design services, and 67% of marketing services are fused. By comparison, only a quarter of arts organisations show any level of fusion, and only 50% or less of firms in creative goods & crafts and KIBS show any level of fusion. Figure 4: Fusion overall and by sector

High growth firms are more prevalent (in absolute, as well as relative terms, i.e. proportion of all ‘eligible’ ones) in digital technologies, digital agencies, marketing services, KIBS, and design services.

0% Architecture and Interior Design

growth firm with more than 5 employees in 2010 (out of 15 firms) and none out of those with more

Design services

than 10.

Content. Unfused 40.4%. Fused 32.1%. Superfused 27.5%. Creative goods and Crafts. Unfused 50.0%. Fused 25.0%. Superfused 25.0%. Design services. Unfused 21.5%. Fused 27.8%. Superfused 50.6%.

Other

Digital Agency. Unfused 6.2%. Fused 32.3%. Superfused 61.5%. Digital Technologies. Unfused 43.1%. Fused 32.3%. Superfused 24.6%.

21.5%

21.7%

4.3%

27.5%

25.0%

25.0% 50.6%

32.3%

61.5%

43.1%

32.3%

53.7% 33.3%

100%

46.7%

27.8%

26.8%

24.6% 19.5%

28.6%

38.5%

38.1% 46.2%

42.9%

Unfused

KIBS. Unfused 53.7%. Fused 26.8%. Superfused 19.5%.

80%

32.1%

50.0%

KIBS Marketing services Web Portals and e-commerce

60%

33.3%

40.4%

Digital Agency 6.2% Digital Technologies

40%

73.9%

Content Creative goods and Crafts

Art organisation. Unfused 73.9%. Fused 21.7%. Superfused 4.3%.

20.0%

Art organisation

By comparison, in content we only observe a high

Architecture and Interior Design. Unfused 20%. Fused 33.3%. Superfused 46.7%.

20%

42.9%

Fused

15.4% 14.3%

Superfused

Marketing services. Unfused 33.3%. Fused 28.6%. Superfused 38.1%. Web Portals and e-commerce. Unfused 38.5%. Fused 46.2%. Superfused 15.4%. Web Portals and e-commerce. Unfused 42.9%. Fused 42.9%. Superfused 14.3%.

Coad, A. and Timmermans, B. (2012). Two’s Company: Human Capital Composition and Performance of Entrepreneurial Pairs, SPRU Working Paper Series 201, SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.

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21

NESTA, (2009). The vital 6 per cent: How high growth innovative businesses generate prosperity and jobs. NESTA: London.

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The Brighton Fuse  
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