The North West cities are flourishing as an entrepreneurial mecca, accounting for an increasing share of British start-ups, according to a new report from Barclays conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Almost 100,000 new businesses have been launched in three years, and between 2009 and 2012, the North West saw a ten per cent rise in new business creation, and captured five-teen per cent of the UK’s regional funding on offer from so-called growth accelerator schemes.

In total 98,885 new businesses launched between 2009 and 2012 across a 100 mile corridor of the North West running from Liverpool to York.

The report surveyed trends in entrepreneurial Britain and found that labelling “innovation hotspots” produces a compound effect that fosters entrepreneurialism.

It concluded that entrepreneurs are made, not born, and that entrepreneurialism is something that can be cultivated with the right mix of learned skills, opportunity access and confidence.

While barriers to entry and increased investment are showing bright spots for UK businesses, more could be done to unlock new business start-ups.

The report though identified the following challenges to the region which included Encouraging entrepreneurial hubs beyond traditional city boundaries, and strengthening ties between education systems and the business community.

It also recommended removing demographic-specific barriers to entrepreneurialism and better matching the funding needs of entrepreneurs.

The report surveyed experts across industry, academia, government and business about what conditions are needed to support an innovation ecosystem in the UK.

Andy Gornall, Head of Business Banking for Barclays in the North West said: “Entrepreneurs will thrive across the UK if conditions are put in place that allow them to do so. This research shows that business, the education sector and Government can all do more to create thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems across the UK.

“The North West, in particular, is an example of a successful hub establishing itself outside London and the South East. It shows it can be done. The challenge now is for all interested parties to do more to create those conditions elsewhere.

“A thriving entrepreneurial industry in the UK will create jobs and growth and have a knock-on effect to the wider UK economy. It has to be a good thing.”


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