Discovering Trends in Business Growth

Discovering UK GrowthAnalysis of business creation data from Companies House has shown that in the 4 years since the economic downturn, over 500,000 new businesses have been created.

The data analysis was carried out by QlikTech a business intelligence provider whose interactive application, Discovering UK Growth, draws 20 years worth of data from Companies House.

As well as incorporations and dissolutions, the app takes into account other dataforms including exchange rates, fuel prices, GDP data and interest rates.

By combining these numerous data sources the Discovering UK Growth app has made for a number of interesting observations:

The best time for startup enterprise in the UK was in March 2007 when 45,000 firms opened their doors for business. This coincided with a change in legislation when the tax incentive for flat management companies was withdrawn and there was an increase in incorporations at the end of the financial year 2006-2007, just before the changes came into effect.

And then the financial crisis hit.

May 2009 was a particularly poor month when the balance tipped from business creation to dissolution and the numbers went into negative figures by 30,000. The reason for the apparent number of "dissolutions" at this time was due to a one-off cleansing of the register by Companies House with defunct companies being removed.

The worst periods for business creation in the country happen to have coincided with, for example, G20 demonstrations in the capital, the slashing of interest rates and the swine flu epidemic.

Combining the data, QlikTech’s app has found some interesting points of note, such as:

  • Corporation Tax and fuel duty rises seem not to affect business creation
  • Electing a new Government sees business creation fall by 19%
  • Dungannon, NI, is the best place to start a new business with a +72% rate of creation to dissolution
  • The City of London’s ratio falls into negative figures by -30.6%

Another interesting find from the data has been in the types of new business.

Between 1988 and 1990 the most common form of startup was in property development and civil engineering.

Since 2010 new businesses have been mainly in the field of IT consultancy and software development.

Sean Farrington, QlikTech’s UK MD and RVP Northern Europe, said the findings were more useful than just finding the ups and downs in business trends:

“The main takeaway from the Discovering UK Growth app is that when you put multiple streams of data together in a visual way that you can explore associations, you can start to see patterns and trends.”

“There will always be peaks and troughs in business but, by mapping it onto socio-political and economic events, we can spot opportunities and hopefully help find patterns in economic growth to make more informed decisions in the future.”

The most important thing to take away from observations using the app is that correlation does not always equal causation, but there ahave been some interesting potential insights.

Discovering UK Growth is available online, and is acccessible via smartphone and tablets too.

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