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Enterprise at record high

Published 20 Mar 2008
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The number of start-up businesses opening their doors has reached the highest level in 20 years, according to new figures. A record 471,500 new businesses started up in 2007, says Barclays - despite ‘increasingly difficult' trading conditions during the second half of the year.

The number is 17% more than in 1988, and an increase of 3% on 2006. Last year also saw business closures ‘increase markedly', with 498,900 shutting their doors - an increase of 8% since 2006.

The North East saw the highest increase, along with the West Midlands, at 11%. Yorkshire was the only region which did not see an increase, instead falling 1%. New firm formation was particularly strong in Construction (20 per cent) and Health, Education & Social Work (19 per cent).

John Davis, Marketing Director for Barclays Local Business, said: "It is clear that the past 20 years have seen business formation and enterprise become firmly entrenched even if there is the odd hiccup in any given year."This year expectations are for slower economic growth and a weaker housing market. This is likely to curtail the buoyancy of start-ups. We do not expect further start-up records in 2008, but we do expect the small business sector to be resilient."

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  3. Enterprise is at a record high

    David J 7:59 20 Mar 2008

    It is excellent news that the no of business starts is increasing. This is particularly good for regions such as the North East. It is however, a worry that the no of closures is also on the increase. This suggests a churn, which does not need to occur. Many of these businesses that close would survive if the business owner had a clearer understanding (very quickly) of what it takes to run a business. A grasp of some of the fundamentals such as the importance of customers, money management etc. Whilst these are core business skills, one of the major reasons people dont 'get it' is that they don't have an 'inner map', a template against which to evaluate what they are doing. This is all down to human psychology - before we seek to develop skills, we need to ensure the individual on the receiving end has a core grasp of the basics. Teaching cash flow skills before someone understands the importance of cash flow, and how it fits into the bigger picture of running a business, is a waste of time.

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