Region sees 10pc rise in start-ups

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The number of start-ups in Yorkshire and Humberside rose 10 per cent last financial year, with more than 170,000 companies active in the region.

Research showed the number of enterprises in the region increased to 172,000 in the year to March - meaning the region accounts for around five per cent of the UK’s ventures.

The Barclays and British Growth Fund (BGF) Entrepreneurs Index showed continued growth in new ventures across the UK. Companies House data showing a 3.86 per cent rise in active businesses to a record 3.26 million nationally in the first six months of the year.

The figures, released to coincide with Global Entrepreneur Week, come as the Government continues to promote self-employment as a means to economic growth.

A review into self-employment, led by Cambridge Satchell Company founder Julie Deane OBE, was launched in July and is due to report next year.

While the number of businesses in Yorkshire and the Humberside was on the up, the proportion of high-growth businesses fell almost one percentage point to 20.9 per cent - representing 35,948 businesses.

This again reflected the national trends, with high-growth businesses down 0.7 percentage points to 20.8 per cent, or 678,262 firms, between December 2013 and December 2014.

Despite a slight fall back in high-performance firms, Yorkshire and the Humberside saw growth in valuable deals.

The number of business exits through merger and acquisition that resulted in wealth creation of £200,000 or more was up 8.7 per cent year-on-year, to 125 transactions in the 12 months to June.

Nationally, there were 1,541 deals in the period, up five per cent year-on-year.

Martin Cuthbert, regional director at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, Yorkshire and Humberside, said it was no surprise to see strong figures for the region’s start-ups.

He said: “Yorkshire and Humberside is a varied economy, with a number of different sectors performing well in the region.

“Leeds is a particular hub of activity, with lots of new building work taking place in the city, but there are strong enterprise zones popping up right across the region – particularly in the area around the M62, which is a strong avenue to link the North from coast to coast.”

However, Mr Cuthbert said the report is an opportunity to examine how the region’s thriving start-ups can scale up to high-growth businesses more effectively.

He said: “The industry needs to do more to support this segment which is why we are leading the way by offering a unique proposition for high-growth firms, providing access to a range of innovative funding, services and networks for the most ambitious businesses driving economic growth.”

Andy Gregory, regional director for North, Scotland & Northern Ireland at BGF said: “It is very promising to see that the region has seen such a positive rise in the number of entrepreneurs starting up their own companies and I’m hoping their confidence will encourage other business leaders to pursue their own entrepreneurial ambitions.”

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is currently consulting on support available to self-employed people, in a bid to boost the number of start-ups.

The results, which will be considered by entrepreneur Ms Deane, are expected to be published around April 2016.