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Start-Ups on the Rise But High-Growth Companies Fall in Wales

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Number of start-ups and deals on the rise, but high-growth companies fall in Wales, finds latest Barclays Entrepreneurs Index

• Start-ups: Number of enterprises in Wales rose by 2.1%, reaching 99,860
• Exits: Number of deals resulting in individual wealth creation of £130,000 or more rose 12.5%
• Growth: Proportion of high-growth firms in Wales fell by 2.2% which was the second worst decline in the UK after Scotland

The number of new businesses starting up in Wales grew by 2.1% in the year to March 2016 to reach a total of 99,860, according to the Barclays Entrepreneurs Index, which tracks the UK entrepreneurial lifecycle.

This increase in the number of enterprises in Wales is in line with trends for the UK as a whole, where the Index recorded a 4 percentage point increase in the number of active companies from December 2015 to June 2016.

Wales also saw an increase in the number of entrepreneurs realising their wealth from their businesses in the year to June 2016. The region saw 45 deals, which represents a 12.5% increase on the same period previously. This is a trend seen by the UK as a whole, with a record number of deals resulting in a rise of 33%.

The Index showed a decline in the percentage of high-growth companies within Wales’ SME population, with a 2.2% decrease, making it the second lowest figure in the UK after Scotland which faced a decline of 2.9% while all other regions, except Northern Ireland, saw an increase.

Eileen Cronin, Regional Director, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, Wales, comments on the report findings:

“The latest version of the Index reveals that the Wales’s start-up scene is performing well. The increase in the number of new companies and number of deals suggests Wales is continuing to show signs of positive growth and entrepreneurial spirit, despite a fall in the proportion of companies reaching the high growth phase of their business journey.

At a national level this year’s Entrepreneurs Index shows that before the EU Referendum, regulations and conditions for entrepreneurs had improved, making it easier to start a business. Until the outcome is fully known, it’s vital that we do everything in our power to deliver a strong environment to sustain UK entrepreneurial growth. Nothing must stand in the way of the Wales’ entrepreneurs’ access to talent, skills and the UK’s ability to attract inward investment. That is why we are focused on providing specialist support and funding for high-growth companies in order to generate tomorrow’s world beaters, that will in turn drive economic growth and job creation.”