A recent Dun & Bradstreet/American Express Power Index survey ranked Wisconsin second in the nation for scaling up companies in the “mid-market” business sector. Wisconsin outperformed states including New York, California and Texas on this measure.
The survey of 19 million American businesses defined mid-market companies as those with annual revenue between $10 million and $1 billion. Wisconsin’s mid-market companies are creating 92 percent of the net jobs in all commercially active businesses, despite accounting for less than 1 percent of all companies, according to the survey.
“Surveys show that Wisconsin’s mid-market companies have been leading the way to job growth in our state since 2008,” says Reed Hall, chief executive officer and secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “This is great news for the state, and is a promising indicator of business growth that impacts our entrepreneurs, business owners and labor force.”
The findings indicate these mid-market companies are typically privately owned and community-based, and have typically been in existence for more than 25 years. The survey also found that successful mid-market businesses are most likely to be in the following sectors: manufacturing, wholesale trade and natural resources.
When compared to New York and California, the report concluded, Wisconsin has 50 percent more mid-market companies proportionally than California (3,037 vs. 16,391 in absolute terms), where small firms take the lead. New York has a greater number of large firms than Wisconsin, but Wisconsin scores highly, given its size, in the mid-market range.
The survey findings also help validate the need for resources throughout the state such as Scale Up Milwaukee, a Greater Milwaukee Committee initiative supported by WEDC, American Express OPEN and private donors. Scale Up Milwaukee helps entrepreneurs at all stages grow their ventures by stimulating a strong regional entrepreneurship ecosystem, and its nationally recognized Scalerator program offers innovative training designed to teach these individuals how to maximize their growth potential.
“These rankings confirm that organizations like Scale Up Milwaukee are making a difference by supporting business startup, attraction and growth in the state,” Hall says. “Programs that help companies scale also power local economies by adding family-supporting jobs, bolstering tax revenues and creating wealth–all of which benefit the state’s economy.”
In April, Scale Up Milwaukee graduated its 27th company from the Scalerator program. To date, the 27 companies that have gone through the program account for $65 million in cumulative revenues, 12-month growth rates ranging from 10 to 50 percent, 265 new jobs, 464 new business customers and numerous new financings.