Small Business Confidence, Profits and Hiring On the Rise

Hiscox study reveals 47% of UK small firms are optimistic for the future with post-recession start-ups‘ growth flourishing

Hiscox’s DNA of an Entrepreneur study has revealed small businesses across the world have experienced a rise in confidence, profitability and hiring activity across 2013.

Key findings are the increase in female entrepreneurs and start-ups launched. 38% of respondents set up after the recession of which 56% were established by women. Furthermore, post-recession start-ups appear to be performing better than older firms as they reported greater increases in growth (49% compared to 42%) and hiring rates (21% versus 15%), and are more likely to begin exporting in the future (28% versus 17%).

Overall findings displayed a positive trend across all firms with 45% of small businesses displaying optimism about the future (47% in the UK) and an increase in small firms’ profits as 45% reported growth – ending a three-year downward trend.

The survey, which was conducted with 3,500 small businesses from the UK, America, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, also reported a rise in overall recruitment, up 7% to 18% from the previous year with another 14% planning to recruit more staff in the next year.

However the research did reveal that many small companies remain worried with 34% stating an inability to attract new customers as their top concern and 31% worried that the government will fail to support small businesses. Additionally a third of respondents are considering leaving their business in the next five years, with retirement listed as the top exit route (49%) and 37% of entrepreneurs aged under 40 planning to exit by 2019.

Hiscox CEO, Bronek Masojada, commented on the findings:

“The findings indicate that the grit and determination small business owners have shown in previous years’ studies is paying off. This is particularly apparent in the performance of small firms set up during the recession, which appear to be playing a key role in driving economic recovery.

“This is immensely encouraging not only for small business owners, but for anyone with an interest in the small business sector – from policy-makers to academics.”

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