Business start-ups steady in 2008
Figures released yesterday by Barclays show that the number of new businesses remained at high levels in 2008, rising from 432,300 in 2007 to 436,600, although activity weakened in the second half. The estimates also reveal that the total number of businesses increased by 1% to just under 2.9 million firms.
Steve Cooper, local business managing director at Barclays said:
“These figures may seem surprising given the current economic climate. There could be a number of reasons for the robust start-up market, including individuals made redundant opting for self-employment. We should also remember that there are always opportunities, even in more challenging times.”
In terms of percentage growth women outperformed in comparison to the national average and overtook men. Female-only starts ups increased by 9% to more than 90,000 in 2008 compared to 83,000 in 2007. Male-only start-ups showed a slight increase of less than 1%, to 300,000.
“It appears women more than men are bucking the downturn by starting a business,” said Cooper. “We know from our Let’s Talk Starting in business seminars that almost half of people attending are women, which is a notably high percentage considering men still make up the majority of all start ups. Perhaps with women showing more interest, we will in the future see equal number of businesses started up by both men and women.”
Other highlights from the 2008 start-up figures:
- At a regional level there were contrasting fortunes, start-up activity increased by 8% in Yorkshire and 6% in the East Midlands. However, the number of businesses started up declined by 6% in Wales and 3% in the South West.
- There is some indication of the development of the economy over the past year in the business sector pattern of start-ups in 2008. New property service firms fell by 13% and there was an 8% decline in businesses associated with construction. In contrast, start-up activity in the area of health, education and social work increased by more than 13%.
Barclays, is helping businesses who want to set up a business by running more than 500 free events throughout the UK focusing on setting-up, surviving and thriving in this climate. To book visit www.barclays.co.uk/seminars or call 0800 515 462.