Number of Lancashire enterprises grows

The number of enterprises in Lancashire increased by 3 per cent between March 2013 and March 2014, the latest Barclays and BGF Entrepreneurs Index report reveals.

The county is now home to 38,485 enterprises, an increase of 1,150 enterprises over the 12 months.

In the North West as whole there has been a 4.8% increase in the total number of companies in the year to March 2014, taking this number up tonearly 217,000 enterprises. This was the third largest rise across the country, behind only London and the North East at 7.7% and 5.2% respectively.

This Entrepreneurs Index is the fifth in a bi-annual series tracking the UK entrepreneurial lifecycle, using data to measure start-ups, growth and share sales. In addition to the new enterprises starting up, the report also reveals that the North West saw a 2% rise in the number of partial or full company sales resulting in significant returns for investors, as many start to take advantage of more favourable economic conditions and return to the SME market.

Despite this growth in early-stage entrepreneurial activity and exits, in line with a trend seen across the UK, there was an 8.4% fall in the proportion of high-growth companies in the North West.

James Bailey, director, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, North West, said: “Despite the fall in the proportion of high-growth businesses, this edition of the Entrepreneurs Index paints a very encouraging picture of the entrepreneurial environment in the North West today. The fact that we are third out of 10 regions in terms of the growth in new enterprises is real testament to the strength of the local enterprise community. “It is now important that policy-makers focus on continuing to support this segment of the business community into the next level in their business journey, allowing them to grow and unlock the potential that they hold not only for the owners, but for the wider North West economy.”