Entrepreneurs in the UK predict strong business growth of 37 per cent for 20221, as new research from Barclays Eagle Labs highlights support that could help unlock further growth for early stage businesses.
Barclays Eagle Labs, a growing network of business hubs across the UK, found the optimism shared among Welsh businesses owners, as 60 per cent of businesses in Wales anticipate an increase in turnover in the next year, compared to 58 per cent UK wide, while almost half (48 per cent) of businesses in Wales anticipate hiring more staff.
The predicted growth reflects a continued trend, as payments data revealed increased activity among small businesses, with transactions to SMEs across the UK having risen by nearly two-fifths (38 per cent) beyond pre-pandemic levels2.
And, despite the challenges of the past two years, business owners in Wales have proven resilient, as 71 per cent of founders would still recommend starting a business to others, compared to 66 per cent UK wide, with only two per cent in Wales responding that they would not.
However, business founders also pointed to the additional support they need to unlock their potential, as over a third (35 per cent) of Welsh business owners responded that access to mentor and investor advice would help to grow their business, a quarter (25 per cent) would like help in accessing networks and 37 per cent would benefit from access to growth programmes, such as business accelerators.
Jon Hope, Director of Eagle Labs at Barclays, said:
“It’s great to see the optimism and resilience business owners across have shown, despite the challenges faced in the past two years.
“By uncovering how the ambitions of start-up businesses can be better supported, we’re confident that with the right support and advice, and access to networks and mentorship that we know are crucial, UK entrepreneurs will continue to drive innovation and economic success nationwide.”
Case study: Health & Her, Cardiff
One business that has benefitted from the support Eagle Labs provides to early stage start-ups is Cardiff based Health & Her. Founded in 2017 by business partners Kate Bache and Gervase Fay, Health & Her offer practical expert advice and handpicked products for women experiencing perimenopause and menopause through their Health & Her Menopause app, as well as an online menopause clinic providing one-to-one sessions with specialist GPs.
Health & Her became residents at the Cardiff Barclays Eagle Lab in August 2019 and benefitted from networking opportunities with national contacts and local investors. Kate and Gervase also leveraged mentorship opportunities through Eagle Labs with start-up experts Codebase and, through the site partner at the Hull Eagle Lab, C4DI, took part in a HealthTech Innovation Challenge, providing them with a commercial opportunity with an international health retailer.
Kate Bache, Co-founder of Health & Her, said:
“There’s a steep learning curve when start running your own business and it only gets steeper as you start to grow and scale your idea.
“The right support and advice is really invaluable and we found Eagle Labs to be a great place to get it. We took advantage of weekly workshops on the nuts and bolts of running a start-up, whether it was accounting or HR, and learning these things that we otherwise would have no expertise in has helped accelerate the growth of the business to where we are today.”