Entrepreneurial activity at record high

An annual survey has found that the UK’s entrepreneurial performance has increased by 10 per cent since 2011 to an all-time high and is bouncing back after a decline in 2014.

According to Barclays’ Entrepreneurs Index, overall entrepreneurial activity is booming, with a four per cent rise in the number of active businesses recorded from December 2015 to June 2016, equating to 345,000 new incorporations.

Every region in England saw growth, with the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber producing the greatest number of scale-ups. Conversely,
Scotland and Wales both saw a decline of almost three per cent.

There has also been an increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) of firms less than five years old, with the number of deals between December 2015 and June 2016 up 33 per cent.

The service sector made up the bulk of these deals, at 23 per cent, followed by financial services, industrial products and services and computer software.

However, start-up activity in this area had fallen by almost four per cent by the end of 2015, which Barclays says reflects the fact that the UK is producing fewer businesses with ambitions of scaling-up.

A Barclays spokesman said that uncertainty is an everyday part of life for entrepreneurs, so those that succeed in navigating “uncharted waters” and adapting to find opportunities will always thrive.

However he added that the Index also shows that before the EU Referendum, regulations and conditions for entrepreneurs had improved, making it easier to start a business and contributed to a rise in M&A.

With the current uncertainty since the vote, however, he advocated that, until the political landscape becomes more certain, the Government must do everything in its power to deliver a strong environment that will sustain entrepreneurs.