Medium-sized businesses are the UK's "forgotten army", overlooked by government but with the potential to inject between £20bn and £50bn into the economy by 2020, according to the CBI.
Firms with a turnover of between £10m and £100m represent less than 1% of businesses but generate 22% of economic revenue and 16% of all jobs.
The UK's leading business group is today publishing a major new report, called Future Champions: unlocking growth in the UK's medium-sized businesses,using new analysis conducted with the help of McKinsey & Company.
The CBI is calling for a broader range of finance to be made available to medium-sized businesses (MSBs).
With banks' lending constrained, these firms can no longer rely solely on bank lending for long-term growth capital to invest in their companies.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:"Medium-sized businesses are truly a forgotten army, and now is the time to unlock their potential.
"We should be championing, nurturing and encouraging our mid-sized firms so that more of them grow and create jobs.
"For too long these companies, which could inject tens of billions of pounds into our economy, have fallen under the radar of policymakers."
To achieve extra growth, medium-sized firms must have access to new kinds of finance, he said.
This means opening UK bond markets to medium-sized businesses, encouraging use of venture capital, and making it easier for large companies to invest in medium ones, possibly in their supply chains, he said.
Putting the tech into protection
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fallout from Haywood suspension
Launching later in 2019
£80bn funds under calculation