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More Startups Are Launching In The UK, Study Shows

Number Of Companies Operating In The UK Rises By 3.4% In The First Six Months Of 2013


There has been a noticeable increase in the number of startup organisations being launched in the UK in recent months, a new study has suggested.

Barclays has teamed up with the Business Growth Fund (BGF) to put together the latest Entrepreneurs Index, which tracks how many new companies are being established across the country.

There was a 3.4 per cent increase in the number of firms operating throughout Britain in the first six months of 2013 when compared with the end of 2012.

A total of 2.82 million businesses were trading at the start of July 2013 - up from 2.73 million last December.

The government has constantly emphasised the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and has introduced numerous measures to help startups to expand.

It seems this work is starting to bear fruit, as the Barclays/BGF report showed the proportion of high-growth companies - those that have increased their turnover by at least 33 per cent in the past three years - trading in the UK is rising steadily.

Indeed, 20.5 per cent of businesses reported this scale of growth in 2012, which was up from 17.4 per cent in 2011.

Access to funding is usually the biggest obstacle preventing SMEs from executing their expansion plans, but the survey indicated that firms are now exploring different investment methods.

While 84 per cent of entrepreneurs rely on their own savings when setting up an enterprise, companies are increasingly turning to crowd-funding and angel investors in order to give their business the best chance of success.

Stephen Welton, chief executive at BGF, said the recent surge in entrepreneurial activity in the UK is "heartening".

"While many businesses can be sparked with very little capital, it is important that today's entrepreneurs have access to the right support and information about starting, funding, growing and connecting to other businesses in order to sustain this success story for future years," he commented.

Expert Opinion
This research paints a very positive picture in terms of entrepreneurs and small businesses thriving in the UK, and is a fantastic sign that more and more opportunities are emerging for innovative and ambitious new businesses. We share the government’s view that SMEs have a huge role to play in helping the economic recovery and also welcome this research’s view that many are open-minded when it comes to financial options.

"So much research in recent months has outlined the concerns of small firms over access to finance, so this attitude of many to consider all kinds of approaches to investment is very positive to see.

"Amid all of the positive signs however, we would stress that start-ups are fully prepared for what the future holds for them. This means owners ensuring they have the right infrastructure and support network in place so they can successful steer a course through the various difficulties which can arise as companies grow – including having the right staff policies in place and a full understanding of their regulatory requirements.

"Quality specialist legal support is a necessity in this regard and we would urge all of the new companies popping up across the UK to ensure they are in the right position to enjoy a very positive future."
Fergal Dowling, Partner