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The UK’s entrepreneurial hotspots revealed

New figures, released by Startup Britain this week, reveal which of the UK’s postcodes are the most entrepreneurial – and some of the results are quite surprising.

Recently, we reported that more new businesses were set up in 2013 than ever before, with over 525,000 new firms registered at Companies House, compared to around 440,000 in 2011.

A regional business heat map has now been publshed using the Companies House data. You can view it here.

London and South-East – economic powerhouses

Unsurprisingly, Greater London accounts for easily the largest proportion of new businesses started last year, with almost 137,000 (26% of the total), followed by Birmingham (16,000), and Manchester (11,800).

However, the report did reveal some interesting and surprising difference between regional start-up figures.

For example, 9,259 new enterprises where founded in Harrow (a suburb of London with a population of 240,000) in 2013; more than the total start-up figures for Glasgow, Bristol or Edinburgh.

Another suburb of the capital – Twickenham, home of England Rugby, also appears to be an entrepreneurial hotspot, with nearly 5,900 new companies formed last year – more than the whole of Newcastle.

Of course, compiling statistics via postcodes alone can be misleading in some cases; the ‘Twickenham’ (TW) postcode prefix is used across the whole Richmond-upon-Thames, for example, with a total population of nearly 160,000. Even so, the number of start-ups per head of population is significantly higher in the South-East.

Emma Jones, co-founder of StartUp Britain said that although the South-East contains a disproportionate number of new businesses as a percentage of its population, there are hotspots all over the country

“The new regional statistics reveal a power house in the South East and London – which is what we were expecting – but there are also impressive pockets of entrepreneurial activity in the North West, South Yorkshire, the Midlands and Scotland.”

Self-employment up 40% since 2000

These latest figures confirm a long-term trend towards self-employment in the UK. In fact, the total number of ‘live’ enterprises has risen by 40% over the past 14 years. There are now 4.9 million businesses operating in the country, according to the latest business population estimates published by the Department of BIS.

Of these enterprises, 63% are sole traderships, 9% are partnerships, and the remainder are limited companies.

The Government statistics also confirm that the number of businesses as a proportion of population is significantly higher in and around the capital, with over 1,250 businesses per 10,000 people in London, compared to 633 in the North-East and 740 in Scotland.

You can find out more about the latest official business population data here.

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