Start-ups on the rise in UK

The number of businesses started in 2011 is up by 18 per cent on last year, research finds.

Start-ups in 2011 number an estimated 471,000 compared to around 400,000 in 2010, according to a study by business intelligence firm Creditsafe. By the end of the year, some 16,000 of these are expected to be insolvent.

London is the centre of business start-ups with almost 160,000 new businesses expected to be set up by the end of the year. The South East is the second most popular location for fledgling businesses (60,715), while the North West will be the hub for more than 46,000 new businesses, followed by East Anglia with more than 40,000.

On a city level, a similar story is revealed, with Greater London top and Birmingham (West Midlands), Manchester (North West) and Guildford (South East) making up the top four. The North East and Northern Ireland are the only regions not to have a representative city in the top 15.

Business development director at Creditsafe David Knowles says, ‘This year has been difficult but the entrepreneurial spirit of the Great British public is alive and kicking. While there has been a higher number of business insolvencies this year, the number of new businesses set up over the last two years has also grown steadily. Overall, growth in the UK business population has actually accelerated in 2011.’

Knowles expects that, by the end of the year, more than 14,000 new businesses will have started in Birmingham, 4,000 more than nearest rival Manchester, confirming Birmingham’s status as ‘second city’ of the UK.

‘It is perhaps no coincidence that Yorkshire & Humber and the North West – which have seen the biggest public sector job cuts – have also seen significant rises in start-ups. This could suggest that those made redundant in the public sector are starting new ventures in the private sector,’ he adds.

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