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Number of new UK startups increased 4.6% in 2015

startup growth

Startup formation in the UK increased by 4.6% last year, with 608,100 new businesses started in 2015 in comparison to 581,173 created in 2014.

According to Companies House Data analysed by the Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE), 2015 had the highest number of new incorporations on record, signalling a potential cultural shift towards entrepreneuralism.

Luke Johnson, chairman at CFE, said in a statement: “The UK has sustained startup activity despite economic recovery providing opportunities in established businesses. We have seen a record number of new businesses created for four consecutive years, proving that entrepreneurship has become engrained within the UK’s business culture.”

Johnson also spoke about the need to continue promoting entrepreneurial culture in the UK through “sensible and incentivising government policies”.

Activity across the country

London topped the table, with over 200,000 companies created last year. Boroughs in the capital city were also featured as top areas for company creation on a per capita basis – accounting for 15 of the top 20 areas.

“While London remains unrivalled compared to the rest of the country, thanks to its better access to funding and strong entrepreneurial support, other regions are also proving their worth – especially Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham,” said Matt Smith, Director of CEF.

Areas on the outskirts of major cities, such as Watford and Warrington also performed well, added Smith.

British seaside towns – including Brighton, Poole and Southend-on-Sea – were also featured in the top 20 on a per capita basis.

Not all positive

It was not all positive, however, with university cities proving a “concern” despite the need for them to be “the entrepreneurial hubs of the future”.

The number of startups per 1,000 people in Cambridge dropped from 15.9 in 2014 to nine in 2015. Only 6.8 startups were created per 1,000 people in Oxford.

Rural areas in the UK also showed less entrepreneurial activity.