Small business owner

What works for microbusinesses

Date published: 
30 August 2018

What works for microbusinesses

Key facts

  • There are 1 million microbusinesses across London, which make up 96 per cent of companies in London.
  • A microbusiness has 0-9 employees. They can differ considerably from small and medium-sized companies, which have between 10-249 employees.
  • They generated £277.3 billion of turnover last year and created at least 282,000 jobs in the last five years.
  • Microbusinesses are the fastest growing type of business in London. 

Survey findings

The Economy Committee surveyed over 150 micro businesses in London. From our survey results we found: 

  • The top three immediate concerns of microbusinesses were attracting new customers and or expanding into new markets, the cost of doing business in London and dealing with income volatility. 
  • Microbusinesses say they are finding it hard to access business support in London. Almost two thirds of the firms that responded to the survey had not heard of the London Growth Hub, the Mayor’s flagship business support website.
  • New businesses want face to face contact and tailored support, whilst established businesses are keen to receive online support or access workshop events.


Sue Terpilowski OBE, London Policy Chair, Federation of Small Businesses said:
“We welcome this report as it addresses some of the major concerns of members of FSB in London. Whilst London micro businesses remains dogged and determined, the high cost of doing business is putting additional pressure on wages and inflation for London businesses. The higher cost of employing staff generally and the heavy burden of cripplingly high commercial space costs is having additional negative impacts on small businesses. With the most recent business rates revaluation impinging on the bottom line of small businesses, we urge the Mayor to continue to press the Government for a cut in rates at the Autumn Budget.”

Krissie Nicolson, Director, East End Trades Guild said:

"The East End Trades Guild is pleased to have made representations to this concerted enquiry into the challenges of London's fastest growing business constituency. The report paints an accurate picture of the barriers imposed on micro businesses and the lack of relevant provision for them.

"We are encouraged that the Economy Committee stepped out of City Hall for a more relational approach to solving these urgent issues. We hope that this report will translate into the meaningful co-production of policies with those most affected, to unlock the enormous potential of micro businesses, as they are the community wealth builders needed for the Mayors 'Good Growth' agenda."