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Boom in British start-up companies is bright spot for the economy

Emma Jones, CEO of Enterprise Nation, says record number of businesses registered last year is a testament to UK's entrepreneurial spirit

Britain’s start-up boom is a bright spot for the economy, says small business expert EMMA JONES

Emma Jones CBE is the founder and CEO of small business network and business support provider Enterprise Nation.

2022 has been another banner year for UK business registrations.

Amidst the downbeat and downbeat times we find ourselves in, British enthusiasm for entrepreneurship continues to grow.

According to data released on Friday, in 2022, 784,762 companies were registered with Companies House, nearly 30,000 more than in 2021 and 114,000 more registered annually before the pandemic.

Emma Jones, CEO of Enterprise Nation, says record number of businesses registered last year is a testament to UK's entrepreneurial spirit

Emma Jones, CEO of Enterprise Nation, says record number of businesses registered last year is a testament to UK’s entrepreneurial spirit

In 2019, 670,575 companies were registered.

While many will talk about so-called zombie companies and the high level of breakups, the relentless upward trend in these numbers has always been an indicator of the UK’s growing entrepreneurial aspiration.

People take their destiny into their own hands; they seize the opportunity to build something for themselves and be their own boss.

They’re tech-savvy Gen Zers, it’s millennial mums hustling and the over-50s looking to use their skills to create value.

An Enterprise Nation survey commissioned before Christmas showed clear evidence of this trend before these official figures were released.

He revealed that around a third of UK adults are planning to start a business this year. It’s an incredible statistic.

Yes, there was evidence of necessity in the findings. The cost of living crisis and the constant decline in the purchasing power of wages have been an important driver of this boom.

People of course want to supplement their income. But the reality is that for many years we have seen these numbers rise and rise.

In 2013 the UK passed the 500,000 registration mark and over the next few years we will undoubtedly reach one million.

There are currently 5.6 million businesses in the UK. About 96% of them are start-ups, start-up micro-enterprises and sole traders.

And all this despite being constantly bombarded by an inexorably bleak economic outlook and news that many businesses are grappling with energy bills, skills and labor shortages and a growing tax burden. .

And they always come.

Startups are really the silver lining in the business world right now. Without an adequate supply of innovation and fresh talent, we can never build the future we want.

Tickets to our annual StartUp Show last month sold out well in advance this year.

We had 2,000 delegates all eager for inspiration and to learn the basics of starting a business, from how to increase investment to how to launch a marketing campaign. There wasn’t a zombie among them.

David Fishwick

These businesses start with sustainable principles at their core. They’re naturally energy-efficient, they’re goal-oriented, and they’re tech-enabled. Evidence shows that businesses that start up in downturns have built-in resilience.

But they need access to support. Most people who start out are brilliant at what they do, but they may not be good at running a business.

They should be directed to available resources, such as StartUp UK – a free online support and learning initiative with run with Monzo or business.connected – free digital support in conjunction with Vodafone.

Enterprise Nation is working with key partners this year to increase the amount of free support available so we can avoid the breakups and windups that reviewers like to point out.

This is another banner year for this enterprising nation.


1. Do your research. The first thing to do is to make sure you are doing your research correctly. If it’s a food product, test it on your family and friends, then introduce it to a wider, less biased audience. It is always worth tirelessly researching competitors. How do they do things, and how can you do things better or more efficiently? There are some great free e-learning modules on how to research a business on StartUp UK.

2. Create a business plan. If you haven’t already, you need to invest some time in developing a business plan. A good way to look at this is I’M OFF: idea, market, operations, finances and friends – which includes advisers and those who can help you along the way. You can create a business action plan on Enterprise Nation’s free Strive app with Mastercard. It will walk you through everything from finance to marketing strategy. It helps keep you on track and accountable and achieving goals can also be very motivating.

3. start selling. Reaching a wider audience immediately without having to invest in a huge marketing budget can be done through powerful global marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy and eBay will give you easy access to customers and you can package and send through your local post office. You have to consider the cost, but it’s a quick way to get started without having to invest in your own digital e-commerce software upfront. Or look for service-based businesses, consider platforms like Fiverr or People per Hour.

4. Get Paid. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s essential to have processes in place to ensure you can get paid on time. Having money in the bank means you are less likely to have to accept unnecessary and costly financing. If you’re using marketplaces, the money comes in automatically, but if it doesn’t, get used to charging regularly and chasing after it. Getting paid is vital and prompt payment is vital for small businesses.

5. Upskilling and network. Once you have orders or jobs coming up, start networking to expand your contacts and develop your skills. We know that companies that seek advice or find a mentor are more successful than those that don’t. Joining local groups and attending events now that we can again is a great way to learn and explore the world of business. Enterprise Nation organizes friendly local get-togethers called Local Leaders. Membership is free, but you must buy your own coffee from an independent coffee shop.

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