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Front cover of the November 2013 Entrepreneurs Index Report

Barclays has today published its latest Entrepreneurs Index.

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Entrepreneurs are early adopters by nature and quick to seize market opportunities, meaning that entrepreneurial activity is often viewed as a leading economic indicator. As such, the study of their activity is increasingly important.
Richard Phelps, Managing Director, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management

Barclays has joined forces with Business Growth Fund (BGF) for this third report in an ongoing series which is the first to track the full entrepreneurial lifecycle using data to measure start-ups, growth and share sales.

The latest edition discusses the pace and strength of entrepreneurial activity across regions of the UK and Ireland, finding that London is home to the highest percentage increase in the total number of enterprises between March 2012 and March 2013.

The number of start-ups and the proportion of high-growth companies has climbed in the past year.

There has been a 3.4% rise in the number of active companies in the first six months of this year, taking the total number of active companies in the UK from 2.73 million at the end of 2012 to 2.82 million at the end of June.

The proportion of high-growth companies in the UK – mid-sized SMEs recording an increase in turnover of at least 33% over the past three years, as well as 10% year on year growth for a minimum of two of these years – has also shown an impressive increase, from 17.4% in 2011 to 20.5% in 2012 . This means that one in five of these companies can now be defined as high-growth.

Richard Phelps, Managing Director, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, said: “Entrepreneurs are early adopters by nature and quick to seize market opportunities, meaning that entrepreneurial activity is often viewed as a leading economic indicator. As such, the study of their activity is increasingly important.”

Sources of funding

The report goes on to explore alternative funding sources for businesses that are both starting up and looking to grow, such as crowd-funding and angel investors who provide finance and guidance to start-ups in exchange for a percentage of ownership.

The majority of entrepreneurs (84%) had relied on existing funds and savings when setting up their business, while one in 10 (12%) had used credit card funds and a similar number (11%) had borrowed from friends and family.

It is possible to set up a successful business on a modest budget, the research found. Nearly half (49%) of entrepreneurs set up their business with under £2,000, while almost one in 10 (8%) needed no start-up funding whatsoever.

Barclays supports small and medium-sized businesses with specialist advice and tailored products and services, whether they’re looking to grow or are just starting out. You can find about more about these services here.

Stephen Welton, Chief Executive, BGF, said: “It is heartening to see the surge in the amount of entrepreneurial activity in the UK in recent years, as entrepreneurship has opened up to an increasingly diverse range of sectors, specialities and individuals. 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.”

Watch a short video about the findings of the researchWatch a short video about the findings of the research (new window)
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