South Wales has been revealed as one of the UK’s top hubs for micro-business growth (businesses with fewer than 10 employees) in a landmark review of UK micro-business activity.
The State of the Nation review released today by tech giant GoDaddy, shows that between April and June 2020, at the height of the coronavirus outbreak, the South Wales hub experienced 18% growth in new microbusiness ‘ventures’, compared to a nationwide average of 14%.
The State of the Nation review shows despite COVID-19 restrictions and challenges, South Wales’ increase in micro-business activity is an acceleration of the area’s previous growth trajectory which saw the number of micro-businesses increase by 19%, between 2017 and 2019.
Delving deeper into the figures, a poll of micro-business owners in the area, found that confidence is high among these entrepreneurs, with over two thirds (69%) expecting their business to reach pre-COVID 19 levels of revenue by this time next year. 1 in 5 said their business had already surpassed its pre-pandemic revenue.
Despite high levels of confidence, South Wales micro-business owners are still aware of the threats posed by the pandemic, with a second wave of COVID-19 ranking as the top concern (37%) for their business – above cash flow (22%) and the impact of Brexit (18%). For many, the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of having an online presence with around a third (28%) saying the ability to sell their products online is vital to help ensure they are able to continue playing a role in the country’s economic recovery.
Sakshi Anand, GoDaddy Senior Director UK&I said:
“This area of South Wales is proving to be a real engine of resilience and entrepreneurship, even when faced with significant challenges during COVID-19. With 95% of all of Welsh businesses being classed as “micro-businesses”, their ability to thrive during significant economic downturn is particularly important. It’s fantastic to see local business owners across Caerphilly, Newport and Swansea hustling and working out new ways to contribute to the country’s economic recovery.
It also makes this hub the perfect place to kick start our Back to Business virtual roadshow – part of our long-standing commitment to support everyday entrepreneurs and ensure they are able to continue their positive impact on the communities they operate in.”
Lee Sharma, CEO of local start-up Simply Do Ideas, is a well-known businessperson and entrepreneur in South Wales and features as one of the expert speakers in GoDaddy’s Back to Business Virtual Roadshow.
Lee Sharma, CEO of Simply Do Ideas said:
“GoDaddy’s ‘State of the Nation’ review findings are testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and flair of the people of South Wales. The Back to Business Virtual Roadshow event will give existing and budding business owners invaluable access to expert advice and insight. I hope that by sharing my own experience as an entrepreneur in South Wales, others will be inspired to kickstart their own business venture too.”
The ‘State of the Nation’ review identified six hubs around the country, which have all experienced unique bursts of micro-business activity between 2017-2019 and have continued their growth trajectory during Q2 2020, at the peak of the pandemic. Over the next three months the GoDaddy Presents: Back to Business virtual roadshow will be visiting in the top six most entrepreneurial areas of the country’:
- South Wales, including Caerphilly, Swansea, Newport
- M1 Corridor, including Wellingborough and Milton Keynes
- North West Powerhouse, including Salford and Burnley
- Channel Coast, including Eastleigh and Brighton Hove
- West Midlands Suburbs, including Wyre Forest and South Staffordshire
- North East London Boroughs, including Hackney and Camden