Despite the many problems associated with the forthcoming advent of Brexit and the UK leaving the powerful trading bloc of the European Union, things are still looking very promising for those thinking of starting a business in the UK. A prime example of that is that the country now has 5.7 million small businesses, a record number, which have a combined turnover of more than $1.8 trillion. This number has increased by one million over the past seven years, which UK business can at least partly attribute to the considerable government support for small businesses and startups since 2010.
These measures have included:
- a 10-year plan aiming to facilitate an extra $26.5 billion dollars in investment in small firms
- a $3 billion package to reduce local taxes (council rates)
- more than $1 billion in fuel subsidies
- the creation of nationwide local hubs that support and advise startups and existing small businesses
- the provision of over 50,000 special “Startup Loans”
- the British Business Bank has provided more than $4.5 billion of finance to nearly 60,000 small businesses and startups
The Rise of #beyourownboss2018
Along with this governmental support, the environment in Britain in general has become very conducive to helping startups grow. As a part of its campaign, #beyourownboss2018, Startups have sought to provide the motivation and tools to help those who are considering starting a business in the UK in 2018.
They believe that for a variety of reasons, 2018 is just about the best year yet to start a business in the UK, despite fears of what may happen after Brexit. Several highly successful startup founders have joined their campaign to add their expertise and views on why starting a business in the UK has become such a promising adventure. These include Dragons’ Den investor Touker Suleyman; Jon Wright, founder of Innocent Drinks; Cassandra Stavrou, founder of PROPERCORN and Simon Calver of BGF Ventures.
They listed some of the main reasons why they believe the field of UK business is one of the most fertile for startups, including:
Better access to investment and funding
Due to record low interest rates and increased government support and tax incentives, a growing infrastructure of investors has developed who are willing to back great ideas and passionate founders.
A hive of creativity
The UK is increasingly becoming one of Europe and the world’s most important tech hubs. This spirit of innovation and creative fusion means that there are huge opportunities for collaboration and overlap, as well as a feeling that anything that can be imagined can be created. This multiplier effect of successful tech companies fosters the desire and optimism of future startup founders.
Great support structures
While the government has been trying to do its part, the UK business community itself has also been a considerable asset in creating this startup culture. Mentoring and guidance are ways that entrepreneurs have developed to help out those with less experience, cutting the margin for error with regards to mistakes and introducing startup founders to the contacts they need to create a successful business.
Having many of the best universities in the world is also a considerable asset. The ingenuity and desire to constantly be at the cutting edge of thought and technology from the UK’s universities means that its graduates enter the professional world with both the hunger and the skills to make big changes.