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The Entrepreneurial Spirit of the UK

Entrepreneurial growth: where are new businesses being started?

Given how tumultuous the past two years have been since the start of the pandemic and the seemingly unending torrent of challenging news for businesses in the UK, we wanted to look at how this has affected the growth of new businesses either positively or negatively.

To do this we looked at Companies House data to see how many new businesses were formed pre-pandemic in 2019 compared to 2020 and 2021. Extraordinarily the UK shows clear growth since Covid-19 turned our worlds upside down:

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In 2019, an average of 57,594 new companies were registered every month which rose to 65,090 in 2020, an extraordinary 13 per cent growth. At the time of writing, data for 2021 is only available up to and including the end of November 2021 but, remarkably, it shows yet more growth with an average of 65,312 companies being formed per month. So, the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK is more than alive and well, it is burning very brightly indeed. The question is where are these businesses being formed?

The top 10 places where new businesses were formed in 2021

We initially looked simply at raw Companies House data which tells us where new businesses were being registered in 2021. Unsurprisingly the major cities of the UK dominate the top 10:

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London is far and away the central hub of new business growth and development followed by the UK’s ‘second city’, Birmingham. However, we were interested to take this a stage further and adjust for population density. In short, we expected London and the major UK cities to feature in the top 10 because they have the highest populations, meaning that they’re far more likely to have a greater number of businesses being formed.

We took the population of every town and city in the UK that had formed a new business in 2021 and divided the number of businesses formed by their respective population number and multiplied this by 100 to give an overall figure of businesses formed per 100 members of the population. It’s fair to say that it gave us a very different perspective on the most entrepreneurial towns and cities in the UK in 2021!

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All of the major cities are replaced by smaller areas showing fantastic entrepreneurial spirit, none more so than Llandudno in Conwy, Wales which tops our entrepreneurial rankings thanks to an incredible 16.22 new businesses registered per 100 people in 2021. Situated in north Wales, Llandudno is a popular seaside resort, home to the renowned natural landmark the Great Orme, a wonderful promenade and the famed Welsh coast helping to attract thousands of visitors every year. An impressive 2,477 new companies were registered there in 2021.

The popular Surrey commuter belt town Redhill also scored highly with 4,415 new companies formed and Tunbridge Wells in Kent was third with 10.78 businesses formed per 100 people, that means for every 10 members of the town, a business was formed!

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