The first Kirklees Top 100 Companies: Focus on Kirklees SMEs 2023 edition has been officially launched to shine a spotlight on the small and medium enterprises (SME) across the Kirklees region that make a significant contribution to the local economy.
The launch of the special SME edition was held at John Smith’s Stadium on Thursday 20 July, as part of the annual Kirklees Top 100 Companies Summer networking event, with over 50 companies in attendance, as well as the initiative’s partners and sponsors.
Launched in 2020, the Kirklees Top 100 Companies initiative aims to raise the profile of the local business community and build stronger links around topics of shared interest between the companies on the list and its founding partners, the University of Huddersfield, Kirklees Council and the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC).
There are over 15,000 SMEs across Kirklees and selection on the basis of the usual Kirklees Top 100 Companies criteria would have been inappropriate as they favour larger organisations.
Consequently, the SME list, derived using data from the Beauhurst database, focused on both high growth SMEs (with a value of at least 20% growth over 3 years) and pipeline scale-ups with 10 to 19% growth.
Jill Johnes, Professor of Production Economics at Huddersfield Business School, said: “Having produced the Kirklees Top 100 Companies for the last three years, it has become apparent how important small and medium sized enterprises are to Kirklees. Over recent years, SMEs have faced multiple challenges and we have been supporting SME leaders through initiatives such as the government-funded Help to Grow programme. We are therefore thrilled to celebrate firms’ growth, whatever their size!”
Rebecca MacDonald, Head of Business Partnerships at the University of Huddersfield, said: “Collaboration between SMEs and Universities is often underrated but is important for supporting innovation across local economies. It allows us both to connect, understand and learn from each other. SMEs can access research and funding opportunities to enhance product development, sales, leadership and reputation to support long-term growth and stability.”
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “In light of recent challenges to the economy, we’re continually upping our game in terms of inward investment and business growth. It’s fantastic to see our community of local businesses thriving despite these economic challenges, showing once again the resilience, perseverance and innovation of our local businesses and entrepreneurs. We want to continue to create more growth and career opportunities across the region, and initiatives like this only strengthen our commitment to this.”
Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Growth & Regeneration, Kirklees Council, said: “As well as supporting local businesses, we want to celebrate their achievements. We know we have a fantastic wealth of talent and entrepreneurialism within Kirklees, and the Top 100 is a great opportunity to showcase this – and show what businesses can achieve here in Kirklees.”
Sue Cooke, CEO of the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre (3M BIC), added: “We are delighted to bring together partners and companies to emphasise the diverse nature of the Kirklees business community. The Focus on Kirklees SMEs brochure is a great opportunity to showcase challenges and opportunities that Kirklees SMEs face, as well as the varied support on offer.”
The Kirklees Top 100: Focus on Kirklees SMEs 2023 is kindly sponsored by the Huddersfield Giants.
Founder of Fintel and owner of Huddersfield Giants, Ken Davy, said: The Kirklees Top 100 Companies initiative is a great platform to promote businesses like Fintel and we are privileged to have been part of the list for the last three years.
“The Huddersfield Giants are proud to sponsor the new Focus on Kirklees SMEs edition and play our part in showcasing the calibre of SMEs we have within Kirklees.”
The list for Kirklees Top 100 2023/24 will be announced on Thursday 5 October.