Liam Byrne – Chief Secretary to the Treasury in Gordon Brown’s government – says one in 26 people set up their own enterprise in the average UK community.
However the Labour politician has published new research which reveals that this figure can vary from one in nine people in the London borough of Camden, which he names as the most entrepreneurial district in Britain, to only one in 50 in Sunderland.
Mr Byrne released the figures to coincide with the release of his new book, Dragons: How Ten Entrepreneurs Built Britain, which celebrates, amongst others, York railway pioneer George Hudson.
His comments come as Lord Sugar – who did become enterprise tsar under Mr Brown’s government – was recruited by David Cameron to use his expertise from The Apprentice TV series to inspire more young people to create their own business ventures.
“Britain was built by some of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs in history. And while we’re more enterprising than we used to be, we’ve got a long, long way to go,” said Mr Byrne.
“It’s great the Government has hired Lord Sugar to help Britain’s entrepreneurs set up shop. Now we know which parts of Britain he needs to help. We need Lord Sugar to get stuck into those parts of Britain that need a little boost - and we need him to lobby the government to far for enterprise education, start-up funding, and government contracts for young business. These are the kind of policies that our competitors use all the time.”