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Britain’s start-up population expanding

The number of active companies in the UK increased by 3.9% in the first half of 2014 to form three million companies in total according to the fifth volume of the Entrepreneurs Index, published in November 2014 by Barclays and the Business Growth Fund.

The report examines the entrepreneurial landscape in the UK by looking at the levels of activity occurring at different stages of the entrepreneurial lifecycle. Featuring interviews with experts and entrepreneurs themselves, it paints a detailed picture of the factors influencing entrepreneurial activity. The result is a comprehensive view of activity levels across business sectors and regions.

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Key findings

Expanding start-up population

In the six months up to June 2014, there was a 3.9% rise in the number of active companies, up to 3,027,622. Almost 350,000 businesses have been started so far in 2014.

Expanding start-up population infographic

Proportion of high-growth companies is plateauing

This positive news is somewhat tempered by the latest data on high growth companies. Following an increase in the percentage of high-growth companies within revenue bands of £2.5m to £100m during 2012, there has been a levelling effect during 2013, with a 0.3 percentage point fall.

Proportion of high-growth companies is plateauing infographic

Construction still on a high

Following significant investment in infrastructure and house building the construction industry once again had the largest proportional increase of high-growth companies, with a rise of 41%.

Construction still on a highinfographic

‘New economy’ sectors fare well

There has been a significant rise in the number of beneficiaries from deals in new economy sectors, notably an 84% jump in the number of people benefiting from deals in the IT and computer services industry and a 76% increase for the medical, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sectors.

Number of beneficiaries

Mixed regional picture

London and the South East continue to be the backbone of the economy but activity is spreading to the rest of the UK. The strongest regions for deals across all sectors are the East (up 27%), the Midlands (up 20%) and London (up 15%).

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