Thousands of jobs were created across the region in the last financial year, the South East England Development Agency (Seeda) has said.
Latest figures from the agency show that it created 7,600 new jobs and also helped 12,600 people into employment.
Chief executive Pam Alexander said the agency had supported success and lifted under-performance across the region.
The statistics for 2007/08 also showed the South East gained nearly 5,000 new businesses, she added.
She said there had been a focus on innovation which linked business and research science, which had led to the creation of high-quality jobs and skills.
Seeda represents Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and East and West Sussex.